Bordeaux v Metz – Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux at 19:00
Bordeaux suffered a premature exit from the Europa League last midweek, going out at the third qualifying stage on away goals to Hungarian outfit Videoton. So immediately head coach Jocelyn Gourvennec and his group was under pressure coming into 2017/18.
With Les Girondins falling behind at Angers inside the opening 10 minutes of last Sunday’s Ligue 1 curtain-raiser, supporters feared the worse. But January signing Younousse Sankhare leveled proceedings before the break and summer recruit Alexandre Mendy added a second soon after the interval.
Bordeaux was the better side in the second period but wasn’t able to hold on for maximum points, leaking a late equalizer. Despite having to settle for a share of the spoils, Gourvennec was pleased with his team’s performance and is confident they’ll find their winning grove sooner rather than later.
Back Bordeaux to deliver
Les Girondins have once again targeted European qualification this campaign and the squad appears stronger on the paper. Gourvennec’s strengthened the defense with the addition of French international goalkeeper Benoit Costil particularly eye-catching.
There have been no major departures; the enigmatic Jeremy Menez failed to impress last season so shouldn’t be badly missed at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux whilst Saturday night’s hosts can also lay claim to an excellent record against sides outside of the top-six.
Five of Bordeaux’s nine defeats last season came against the top three with Les Girondins’ only three losses in their final 20 coming against the same three sides. Fourteen draws held the side back but they should be capable of putting Metz to the sword this weekend.
Backing Bordeaux -1 on the Asian Handicap is available at 1.77 and looks our best play. We’ll see our stake returned should the hosts only win by a one-goal margin with victory by two or more goals returning profit.
Metz in a mess
Relegation favorites last season, Metz defied the bookmakers to finish seven points above the drop zone, albeit with the worst goal difference in the league. A superb start including three wins from their opening four games gave the outsiders hope but thereafter Les Grenats struggled for consistency.
On the road, Philippe Hinschberger was particularly unimpressive. Metz concluded the campaign by conceding 32 goals in their final 12 away days, losing six of those contests by a margin of three goals or more.
And the Lorraine-based club often toiled against Ligue 1’s leading lights. Metz was beaten in 10 of their 12 games against the top-six, failing to score on nine occasions and leaking at least three goals in all but one of those 10 losses.
The visitors’ two leading scorers – Mevlut Erinc and Cheick Diabate – are no longer around whilst Hinschberger has also lost two important defensive players in centre-back Guido Milan and Georges Mandjeck defensive midfield during a difficult summer in the transfer market.
An opening day defeat to poor travelers Guingamp was far from encouraging and I’m not expecting last season’s return of seven defeats from 10 trips to the top-half to be improved upon here.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Bordeaux -1 at 1.750
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