France Ligue 2 – Bastia v Nimes Preview (24/7/21)

Match Preview

Bastia

  • First match back in the top 2 tiers since the 2016/17 season
  • Up to 10,000 fans expected and the stadium will literally be rocking
  • Some COVID cases have hit the squad and players in recent days
  • Key midfielder Salles Lamonge & left back Quemper both miss out here
  • Veteran playmaker Chaouki Ben Saada not included in the squad

Nimes

  • First match after being relegated back to Ligue 2
  • Depleted squad this summer due to numerous departures
  • Several players holding out wanting to leave
  • Youngster Mamadou Doucoure is the only striker in the squad
  • Key centre back Anthony Briancon ruled out injured until December

Conclusion & Betting analysis

It is a shame for Bastia that they have been picking up some COVID cases this week. If they were at full strength and without that distraction I would be very confident in them here. This is a big day for the club after several years of hardship in the lower league they have managed to bounce back to Ligue 2 level and will be desperate to start with a victory. The fans are going to come out in their thousands and the atmosphere is going to be electric. I am sure the Bastia players will respond to the occasion and out in a very committed display. Key midfielder Sebastian Salles Lamonge is the most significant absentee.

Nimes travel here in a bit of a slump and there is a feeling of negativity around the club. Some in the media are labelling them as one of the favourites to get promoted but I can’t personally see them being anywhere near the top of the table based on this squad so far. They are threadbare in attacking areas right now with youngster Mamadou Doucoure, who hasn’t even had a full senior start in his career expected to feature upfront. Apart from Niclas Eliasson on the wings they have very little in the way of offensive players in the squad today. It looks like a good time to be facing Nimes and I think they will start the season slowly. I will take my chance by backing Bastia DNB. I see them winning today something like 1-0 or 2-0 and I don’t expect Nimes to score a goal so this handicap seems safe.

Prediction: 2-0

Recommended bet: Bastia DNB @2.02