France Ligue 2 – Orleans v Brest Preview (13/1/17)

Orleans preview

  • The promoted outfit have decided to take a different direction by sacking Olivier Frapolli during the winter break and replacing him with Didier Olle Nicolle. It’s been a while since he managed at this level in French football, but he does have plenty of experience.
  • Club captain and ex Algerian international Anthar Yahia has retired to become the general manager. It all feels like a fresh new start for Orleans and it was maybe something they needed because the club seemed to be heading on a downward spiral.
  • They are rock bottom of the table and won just three games all season. However, just three points from safety the situation is far from insurmountable and they could easily escape danger with a strong second half of the season.
  • With the exception of starting keeper Oumar Sissoko who is on African Nations Cup duty, they don’t have any significant absentees.

Brest preview

  • They sat top of the table during the winter break. Brest have been pretty good under the management of Jean Marc Furlan, an expert Ligue 2 coach who has a great record at this level.
  • Key striker Neal Maupay, who has probably been the best player in the division this season misses the fixture because of injury. He’s weighed in with ten goals so far and will be a massive loss for the Breton outfit tonight.
  • Another key player also misses out for the visitors. Centre back Luciano Castan has previously played every single minute of league action but a suspension keeps him on the sidelines here.
  • Everyone else is fully available and new signing at left back Quentin Bernard could make his debut. Furlan isn't convinced with Louis Nganioni at this position and it looks like Bernard will be the first choice starter from now on.
  • Brest have the third best away record and have only lost once on the road all season.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • There are too many question marks here which makes this game pretty unbettable in my opinion. The first doubt is very obvious, exactly how will Orleans respond to their winter ‘shake up’ and new manager?
  • Orleans might be bottom of the table, but they’ve not been that bad really, especially at home where they actually have a reasonable record.
  • The obvious outcome when top plays bottom is that the fancied team will prevail. However, without Neal Maupay who is a crucial player for Brest, they might lack penetration going forwards.
  • The bookies actually make Orleans slight favourites, which is wrong in my opinion. Brest deserve that accolade, but I just don’t see any value on anything.
  • With so much doubt surrounding how Orleans will play, the only sensible option is to refrain from betting. I’m not really sure what will happen here, maybe a draw?

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None