France Ligue 2 – Clermont v Lens Preview (15/12/18)

Match Preview

Clermont are a team that I rate very highly. They have only lost 2 of their last 14 games and can at times play some excellent football which is nice on the eye to watch. They did lose last time out away at Paris FC 3-0 though and I wonder how much this will set them back. Of more concern are some fitness problems within the camp. Midfielder Manuel Perez misses out here which is a blow because they've had an extremely settled midfield/attack in recent weeks, near enough going unchanged for the last 7 games in this department. Perez started the season on the ACL injured list but back then they had Lorenzo Rajot available, but he is ruled out for the rest of the year and their squad depth could be exposed. The defence meanwhile doesn’t have any official abenes, but a number of players including Nsimba, Ogier, Sissoko and Phojo have been suffering fitness concerns in the last week or so due to injury or illness so might not be operating at full capacity.

Lens meanwhile, surprised me by beating Brest in their last fixture. Things hadn't been going well for Les Sang et or and that success managed to break a five game winless run. Prior to that they had come back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Lorient so the team clearly has some momentum right now. Their squad is in prime condition today apart from long term central defenders JK Duverne and Aleksandar Radovanovic who are both sidelined due to torn ACLs. If Clermont were at peak condition I would totally back them on a -0.25 Asian Handicap but I have a feeling Lens could take advantage of some of their defensive concerns today. I’m convinced the best bet is over 2 goals. Lens away games tend to have a history of containing goals and in recent times they had a wild 2-4 loss at Valenciennes and an exciting 2-2 draw at Les Havre. Something like a 2-2 outcome wouldn’t surprise me again and the overs are definitely my fancy here.

Prediction: 2-2

Recommended bet: Over 2 goals @1.77