France Ligue 1 – St Etienne v Nancy Preview (21/12/16)

St Etienne preview

  • Sainte have been very inconsistent recently and they are very much the definition of a midtable team right now. For the most part, I think their performances have been below par.
  • Third choice keeper Anthony Maisonnial will be starting the game. Stephane Ruffier is injured and Jessy Moulin suspended.
  • Les Verts really missed their star custodian at the weekend and they also missed highly influential defender Loic Perrin. He will once again be injured here which is a big blow, joining Florentin Pogba on the sidelines.
  • Sainte have only lost once home game this season, although at times haven’t been very convincing, fluking their way to some results.

Nancy preview

  • An improved run of form, just 2 losses in 9 games has seen Nancy climb up to 20 points and for now they have a decent cushion clear of the relegation zone.
  • I’m not quite sure what has sparked their revival. They don't have any star individuals and the starting XI regular changes. There is no real logical explanation for their improvement but they've become tough to beat. Only the top sides have blown them out this season.
  • Nancy have only won a single road match this season but should’ve collected all three points against Toulouse on Saturday, succumbing to a late goal (1-1).

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Sainte are -0.25 favourites which is about fair. The bookies have adjusted accordingly due to the recent form of both teams, and the two key injuries Les Verts have at the back.
  • I think this is a 0-0 contender but I actually have a feeling Nancy might sneak a 1-0 win. Maybe one individual error from the third choice keeper or a blown coverage will cost St Etienne at some stage.
  • The hosts haven’t looked good offensively for a while and Nancy have shown they can keep things tight. They in a good phase at the moment and confidence high.
  • I personally don’t want to risk anything on this match which is likely to be close and tight throughout. But I certainly wouldn't be backing St Etienne the way things are going for them at the moment.

Prediction: 0-1

Recommended bet: None