France Ligue 2 – Clermont v Niort Preview (3/4/21)

Match Preview

Clermont

  • Late defeat to Nancy (0-1) last time out ended a 4 game winning streak
  • Still 2nd in the table and with a game in hand. In total have won 10 of last 14 matches
  • Win last 9 consecutive home games
  • Just 17 goals conceded, which is significantly less than anyone else in the division
  • No suspensions

Niort

  • Shock victory against Toulouse (1-0) last time out was just their 2nd since mid December!
  • Niort are now 7 points clear of the relegation zone and have more of a cushion
  • Failed to win any of their last 10 away games
  • Ibrahima Conte (CB) & Brahma Doukansy (CM) are both suspended
  • Goalkeeper Mathieu Michel - who has been in great form, is ruled out until the autumn with an ACL injury
  • Defenders Yongwa & Kilama tested positive for COVID so are ruled out

Conclusion & Betting analysis

Clermont suffered a disappointing late defeat to Nancy last time out (0-1), with a freak deflected own goal being their undoing. They were much the better team in that game though and should have won, or at very worst drawn. It was an encouraging performance after they had matches postponed due to COVID anyway and I would expect them to bounce back here. Clermont have an exceptional home record this season and have won their last 9 games on the spin at this venue. The question for me is not if they will win, but how many they will win by. Niort aren’t very good in my opinion and have been indebted to goalkeeper Mathieu Michel in recent weeks. But now he’s injured his ACL and will be greatly missed. Clermont are short 1.35 favs to win here but they can be backed on a -1.25 Asian Handicap. Yes, they are involved in a tight promotion race but I expect them to dominate with relative ease, so I’m happy to take this line.

Prediction: 3-0

Recommended bet: Clermont -1.25 Asian Handicap @ 1.81