France Ligue 1 – Toulouse v Lorient Preview (10/12/16)

Toulouse preview

  • With 4 losses in their last 6 games, Toulouse have definitely slipped off the pace recently. Pascal Dupraz’s men are going through a rough spell and were very poor last week losing at Nice 3-0.
  • Dupraz isn't helped by a number of defensive absences. Key man at the back Christophe Julien is suspended, along with Steeve Yago. Unfortunately, Issa Diop is still injured whilst left wing back Moubandje is another casualty.
  • All four players would be starting if available.Toulouse are definitely lacking a strong physical presence in defence without them, both in terms of overall muscle and pace.
  • TFC have a good home record under Dupraz at this stadium and only Lyon (twice) and Metz have ever beaten him here. Every other home fixture under the ex Evian boss has resulted in victory.

Lorient preview

  • Les Merlus remain bottom of the table but they have hope. New coach Bernard Casoni actually seems to have made a positive difference recently and they are unbeaten in three games.
  • Of course, things are still far from ideal and their defensive record is poor, but Lorient look threatening again and they have some creative players in better form.
  • FCL have a very poor 0-2-6 away record but it’s worth noting that they led 3-1 at Metz and 1-0 in Angers recently. You could say they are knocking on the door of an away win soon.
  • The coach has no new injuries or suspensions to worry about and doesn’t have to make any significant changes to his squad.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • I expected Toulouse to be a strong odds-on shot here. I’m surprised to see the bookies offering them as big as 2.10 to win.
  • Is this a trap? Pascal Dupraz has such a superb home record in charge of TFC it’s always very difficult to bet against him here. However, TFC have been playing badly recently and their only recent win was a fortunate 1-0 facing Montpellier when they were second best.
  • Toulouse -0.25 would in theory be a safe play and statistically the obvious pick. But I’m just not overly convinced that they’ll get the job done so I’m willing to leave them alone.
  • Instead, over 2.25 goals will be my pick. Toulouse goals have dried up a bit recently but they should get a lot more chances facing one of the worst defences in Ligue 1.
  • The hosts are missing some key men at the back so Lorient should get plenty of opportunities as well. Overall I see a pretty open game so @ 1.82 I’m happy to back this over line.

Prediction: 2-2

Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 2.25 goals @ 1.82

Minimum odds acceptable: 1.65