France Ligue 2 – Lens v Valenciennes Preview (25/2/17)

Match preview

  • Lens blew a good chance on Monday night when they lost against Orleans (1-2), but they were facing a surprisingly in-form side and that result maybe shouldn't be considered as bad as initially thought.
  • Friday night was good for Lens without them even taking to the field. All of their rivals in the promotion race failed to win so this is a good chance for them to get back on track.
  • This match is a northern derby affair and usually quite a hot fixture. A big crowd is to be expected at Le Stade Felix Bollaert and the atmosphere should be great. Both teams will be giving 200% effort in this one.
  • Lens are definitely the better team, both in terms of overall quality and current form. Valenciennes played one good half last week against Amiens,  but for the majority of 2017 they've been terrible, especially lacking offensively.
  • Key man upfront Nuno Da Costa remains injured and now Teddy Butin & Sigamary Diarra join him on the sidelines. It’s difficult to see where the threat is going to come from for the visitors.
  • I think there’s a good chance that Lens will only need one goal to win this game. They aren’t the most prolific scorers in the league but I think they’ll manage to find a way to collect three points.
  • I think Lens should be closer to a -1 asian favourite here so I’m happy to take odds of 2.05 on a -0.75 line. Alternatively, you could just take them straight up around 1.75. But because I don’t think they’ll concede a goal then the bigger line is worth chancing in case of a 2-0 or 3-0 success.
  • I’m surprised the goal line is so high here. This is a derby game so things can often become tight anyway, but Valenciennes have only scored three goals in their last six games, a couple of which came when they just attacked like crazy in Ajaccio when 3-0 down. I’m surprised over 2.25 is odds-on.

Prediction: 2-0

Recommended bet 1 unit: Lens -0.75 @ 2.04 (minimum odds acceptable 1.80)

Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player