France Ligue 1 – Bastia v PSG Preview (13/8/16)


Bastia preview

SCB start the season with the same coach who masterminded their survival last year - Francois Ciccolini. The Corsicans were far from spectacular under his stewardship, but ground out enough home points, often in an ugly 1-0 fashion to finish in a safe midtable spot. During the summer the club survived a scare from the financial watchdogs and retained their place in Ligue 1. It’s a reminder how scarce their resources are and Bastia have to rely on a lot of loan signings to stay competitive. The big changes for SCB are in attack where they have added some interesting new signings. Jerson Cabral caught my eye in the Eredivisie last year for Twente and should go well. The likes of Crivelli & Lenny Nangis could be useful too. I am concerned the backline could be much weaker due to the departures of Modesto & Palmieri. SCB haven't been particularly great in pre season, with both Ajaccio and Eintracht Frankfurt both scoring four goals on them.

PSG preview

The visitors will be missing Edinson Cavani & Thiago Silva for this match. The former is a well known star but has underachieved in recent times for PSG. Some fans might even say it’s a positive he misses out! The loss of Thiago Silva will be felt more, especially as Marquinhos is on Olympic duty and will also miss out. Compared to the team that beat Lyon in last week’s Trophee de Champions, the likes of Krychowiak, Rabiot plus a few others are all available. Les Parisians have looked excellent in pre season and it looks like a change of boss will do them good. Gone is the often unimaginative Laurent Blanc and replacing him is Unai Emery who had great success at Sevilla. The only real question is exactly how many points PSG will win Ligue 1 by. Their main priority will be to go beyond the quarter finals of the Champions League. New signing from Real Madrid, Jese Rodriguez is included in the squad here, whilst fellow new man Hateem Ben Arfa is expected to lead the attack.

Conclusion & betting analysis

In Ligue 1 there are a lot of rules you need to generally apply when betting. One of them is to avoid short priced away favourites and to generally avoid any asian lines bigger than -1. But when PSG are involved, exceptional circumstances apply. They are head and shoulders the best team in this division and should romp to the title. In recent years they have been vulnerable in the early stages of a campaign, but I actually think they could start stronger than normal this season. The new manager has breathed a new lease of life into the side and he’ll demand excellent right from the start. They looked really sharp in pre season and carried that form into the Trophee de Champions last week, hammering Lyon 4-1. A trip to Corsica is never easy and the home crowd will be very boisterous. But apart from a one off freak 4-2 loss a couple of years ago, PSG have totally owned Bastia in recent times. Les Parisians have won 8 of the last 9 contests, all by at least a two goal margin. I don’t think Bastia have the defensive resistance to keep it close here. They might sneak one goal but PSG are well capable of scoring 3 or 4 themselves. Taking the visitors -1.25 looks an obvious no brainer bet. At worst, PSG will surely win by one goal, but overall I’d expect them to claim a comfortable success.

Prediction: 1-3
Recommended bet 1 unit: PSG -1.25 @ 1.85 (minimum odds acceptable 1.70)

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