France Ligue 2 – Reims v Le Havre Preview (28/10/16)


Reims preview

  • The Champagne side have only won 1 of their last 4 games and have dropped down to fifth in the table.  They do however, possess a 100% home record.
  • It won’t be easy to maintain their impeccable start at Le Stade Auguste Delaune but Reims have looked very strong in front of their own fans this season, scoring 10 and conceding just twice.
  • Key centre back Julian Jeanvier is suspended and this is a big blow because he’s one of the strongest defenders in the ligue.
  • Their only other absentee is midfielder Antoine Devaux who has now been missing for quite a while. Everyone else is available for selection and they’ve been boosted by the return of midfielder Jaba Kankava recently.

Le Havre preview

  • New coach Oswald Tanchot has started life with 2/2 wins. In total, Le Havre have won their last four consecutive games and have returned to form after a slow start.
  • Le Havre seem more clinical under Tanchot and are perhaps enjoying football more. It felt like they were almost trying too hard before Bob Bradley left to Swansea.
  • HAC have won three times on the road already this season and they have some fast attackers who can be very dangerous on the counter. The Normandie outfit are well set up for playing on the road.
  • Squad condition is very good with only defender/midfielder Cedric Cambon missing. But they’ve own every single game since he got injured so he’s hardly much of a loss!

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Genuine heavyweight clash between two teams with big promotion aspirations. This is 5th vs 3rd and there’s plenty at stake.
  • These two teams met in the cup earlier on in the season and Le Havre won here 5-2 on that occasion! Something similar would be a shock but they certainly have the weapons to end Reims’ 100% home record.
  • Reims are -0.25 favourites around the 2.05 mark, which is what you’d expect in a game like this. I consider both sides pretty equal and that isn't a market I want to get involved in. I personally think Reims might just edge the match, but this could go either way.
  • The overs do interest me though. Le Havre have looked more efficient going forwards under Tanchot, whilst Reims at home have a pretty good scoring record.
  • I prefer to take over 2 goals @ a shorter price. It’s the sort of game which might end 1-1 that nobody wants to lose. So in that instance, a push would be acceptable with a complete refund.
  • I don’t think this will be outrageously high scoring or anything, but it should be a good match to watch and both sides have the ability going forwards to get goals.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 2 goals @ 1.70