France Ligue 2 – Orleans v Reims Preview (12/12/16)

Orleans preview

  • Not a great period for the promoted side, both on and off the pitch. They are bottom of the table and recently it was revealed the club could be in some financial trouble, potentially leading to a relegation.
  • On the the field they’ve won just 1 of their last 10 games which surprisingly came against Nimes. All of their victories have come at home this season which should at least give them some confidence. A victory against Strasbourg and a draw against Troyes show they can occasionally compete with the better teams.
  • Squad condition isn’t good with a number of injuries across the board. Probably the most significant new absentee is midfielder Mathieu Ligoule, who is suspended.
  • Orleans have one of the worst goalscoring records in the entire division. This is no fluke either and they simply miss too many chances. There’s no quality in the final third who can convert.

Reims preview

  • Similar to Orleans, Reims have also had issues on and off the pitch recently. Two defeats in three games is hardly ideal, although they did beat Niort 1-0 last time out. More significantly, an off field incident has rocked the club recently.
  • Talented centre back Antoine Conte is ruled out indefinitely due a vicious attack in which he severely injured a member of the public with a baseball bat. Conte can wave goodbye to his career and could be jailed up to five years for the attack.
  • Quite how this will affect the squad I’m not sure, but it’s obviously a massive distraction and hinders their chances on the field. With fellow centre back Julien Jeanvier also still injured and captain Anthony Weber suspended, Reims are clearly weakened in defence.
  • Reims also still have a number of injuries in midfield and attack, although more options are now available for them in the final third of the field. A 7-0 win in the Coupe de France last week might have improved the confidence of certain players.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • I’m surprised to see Orleans slight favourites on a DNB handicap here. Reims are definitely the better team on paper by a significant margin, albeit are usually overrated.
  • The hosts are a mess of a team and will probably get relegated this season, especially in light of the recent news regarding their insecure financial position. They have issues all over the field and just look to be lacking at this level.
  • Whether or not Reims can be trusted to win remains to be seen. They themselves have issues and could be distracted. Injuries don’t help them either, especially in defence.
  • If I had to side with anyone then it would be with Reims on a DNB line, but I’m happy to leave this market alone. The Champagne side have only won a single away match this season, although have drawn a number of contests.
  • Instead, the pick I like is over 2 goals. Both sides can be very inconsistent with overs and unders but the conditions are there for at least a couple of goals to be scored. Both teams are missing defenders and I have a feeling Reims’ strikers will be in better form tonight.
  • Around the 1.80-1.85 mark then I’m quite happy to strike with this line. Of course, there are concerns if Orleans will keep missing chances or if Reims are flat but the price and line are too big to ignore.

Prediction: 1-2

Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 2 goals @ 1.85

Minimum odds acceptable: 1.70