Bordeaux v Guingamp – Matmut Atlantique at 19:00 GMT
Rock-bottom Guingamp are four points from safety in Ligue 1 having won just three times in 2018/19. Nevertheless, the Brittany boys have enjoyed a rare week of joy as their midweek penalty success over Monaco secured a first-ever Coupe de la Ligue final appearance.
Jocelyn Gourvennec was the EAG boss back in 2014 when Monaco were beaten in the Coupe de France semi-finals and the Breton club went onto lift the trophy. The former Bordeaux coach’s decision to bring on Marc-Aurèle Caillard for the shootout proved inspired as the 24-year-old made two saves to help seal Guingamp’s passage to Paris.
It was an odd performance from EAG, who barely laid a finger on Monaco in the opening 45 minutes despite playing against 10 men from the 13th minute. However, Guingamp found their feet after the interval and clawed their way back into the contest, scoring twice to level proceedings and force extra-time.
How much their midweek excursions will have taken out of the team mentally and physically can only be speculated but what’s true is, Guingamp have rarely excelled on the road in Ligue 1 over the past few campaigns and I’m inclined to believe the visitors may struggle to meet their Tuesday night heights here.
Guingamp easily opposed
The relegation battlers have already been beaten in 14 of their 22 league tussles this term, including seven of 11 away ties by an aggregate 6-27. Since the beginning of last season, EAG have lost 60% of their away games, with 11 of 18 losses by at least two goals. The visitors have also fired blanks on 12 occasions.
That 60% loss rate extends across the past four Ligue 1 seasons and that ingrained sense of defeatism on their travels mean the lowly club have always had to balance their efforts out with a degree of overperformance in Brittany. Unfortunately, survival hopes appear slim following their dreadful start.
That should encourage Bordeaux, who have recovered from their own crisis on and off the field since August. Brazilian head coach Ricardo Gomes has brought about a semblance of calm since his appointment in September; Les Girondins have W6-D7-L4 in that timeframe to move into mid-table safety.
Hosts too big to ignore
Bordeaux have W5-D4-L1 when taking on bottom-half teams this term, conceding fewer than two goals in eight of those 10 tussles. They’ve held runaway leaders PSG here in recent weeks, as well as toppling high-flying St Etienne so there’s plenty of scope to believe they can overcome Guingamp.
Les Girondins are available to back at 1.93 to overcome a -0.50 Asian Handicap hurdle, an appealing price considering the away side are returning just a 34% Expected Goals from open play ratio in Ligue 1, the second-worst effort in the division.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Bordeaux -0.50 at 1.930
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.