France Ligue 1 – Lorient v St Etienne Preview (17/12/16)

Lorient preview

  • Les Merlus recent revival was ended in Toulouse last week when they lost a thriller 2-3. In terms of performance they actually played quite well, but once again a weak defence let them down.
  • In fairness to new coach Bernard Casoni, they've picked up 5 points in 5 games under him, which isn't that bad.
  • Midfielder Arnold Mvuemba is suspended and striker Majeed Waris is rated doubtful. However, for the most part the squad is in good condition.

St Etienne preview

  • Laboured to an undeserved 1-0 win against Guingamp last week. But Sainte are inconsistent and aren't a current mid table side for nothing. They are very up and down.
  • Have one of the highest under 2.5 rates in the entire division. Their defence is quite good and goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier has been playing at a very high level this season. The custodian is however ruled out here which is a major blow.
  • As per usual they have a number of other injuries across the board. There's uncertainty about the lineup and the team seems to change week in week out.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Lorient are DNB favourites here which is probably about fair. Their form has improved under Casoni and Sainte are inconsistent. However, due to the unreliability of the hosts I don't dare back them.
  • Here we have a strong over team vs a strong under outfit. I do think that Lorient will suck their opponents into a shoot out though and this could be an open game.
  • Jessy Moulin isn't a bad backup, but one of the big reasons for so many Sainte under games this season was due to keeper Stephane Ruffier. With him out, it really increases the chances of Lorient scoring more.
  • The goal line is set at 2.25 around the 1.90 mark. every single Casoni game since taking charge has contained a lot of goals and I think this is worth taking. I could see someone winning this 2-1, or by a bigger margin.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 2.25 goals @ 1.86

Minimum odds acceptable: 1.70