France Ligue 2 – Red Star v Valenciennes Preview (9/12/16)

Red Star preview

  • Victory last time out against Orleans (1-0) ended a three game losing streak. Red Star scored in the first minute of the match and hung on. It was a throwback to a lot of their tight victories last season.
  • Defensively, Rui Almeida’s men haven’t been as assured this year. This is a surprise but perhaps that most recent result will encourage them to work hard to a clean sheet again.
  • The squad is in excellent condition with no major casualties. The only players ruled out are those who have longer term injuries.
  • Red Star aren’t particularly known for their strong home record and currently have a wild 3-3-3 record in front of their own fans, developing no consistency at all.

Valenciennes preview

  • VA have managed to string together a three games unbeaten run, which followed on from three consecutive defeats. They’ve looked more solid in recent games, keeping back to back clean sheets.
  • Their away record is only middle of the table but the makeup of their team is quite suited to the road, with a few pacey strikers who can hit hard on the break.
  • Valenciennes have no injuries to worry about but who of their midfielders, Enza Yamissi & Fulgini are both suspended. It looks like the visitors will be lacking some bite and solidity in this part of the field.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • A lot depends on the approach of both teams. Some Red Star games have been surprisingly open, containing a lot of goals this year but this isn’t their natural way. I would expect more of an emphasis to be put on keeping a clean sheet.
  • Valenciennes have had their defensive issues as well this year but are trying to address them. It’s been noticeable how much better they’ve defended the last two games, although still not that convincing.
  • I’m not sure Red Star have the offense to take advantage of a potentially shaky backline. The hosts should have an edge in midfield though where VA are missing two regular starters.
  • The visitors couldn’t break down 10 man GFCA in their last match and will probably find it hard to penetrate Red Star as well. I could see this ending as a tight home win but I’m not interested in betting. Both the asian lines and goal lines seem pretty fair for this contest.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None