France Ligue 2 – Le Havre v Tours Preview (16/12/16)

Le Havre preview

  • No win in four games and just one goal during this period has really stalled Le Havre’s progress. They are down to eight position, although only three points off third spot so the promotion hopefuls are still well in contention.
  • Despite scoring just one goal in four games coach Oswald Tanchot continues to leave out top scorer Mathieu Duhamel for personal reasons. Duhamel has been moody and difficult to deal with behind the scenes, but it’s still a big decision leaving out such a classy player.
  • HAC have no injury concerns and the squad has been in great condition recently,. They really should've been performing better and there are literally no excuses, which is very worrying.

 Tours preview

  • The visitors have finally managed to go on a somewhat decent run approaching this fixture and are unbeaten in three games.
  • Fabien Mercadal’s men remain inside the relegation zone but the situation isn’t as dire. The pressure on the manager has reduced as well, although a poor defeat here could see him get sacked during the winter break.
  • It looks like the squad will remain pretty consistent and they have few injury or suspension concerns. Their 1-3-4 away record isn't great, but it’s not terribly bad either.

 Conclusion & betting analysis

  • On paper, there is night and day between the two sides. Le Havre have much the better set of players but simply aren’t performing at the moment.
  • Performance levels have been really poor and something isn’t right. Maybe new coach Oswald Tanchot isn’t the answer and the players don’t seem to be responding to him.
  • I can’t argue too much with HAC being 1.80 favourites, but who could back them on current form? It’s true that their fixtures have been relatively hard of late but the lack of encouragement is worrying.
  • Tours have shown a willingness to fight hard and graft in their last few games so might be harder to beat than expected. Their defence suddenly seems more solid too and I’d imagine they’ll try to frustrate Le Havre here, a tactic which often works against the Normandy outfit.
  • I think Le Havre will win, something like 1-0 or 2-0, but this isn’t a match I want to get involved in. I can’t trust HAC at the moment, even against a poor team like Tours.

 Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None

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