Bordeaux v Strasbourg
Bordeaux boss Gus Poyet cuts a frustrated figure as Les Girondins line up for the 2018/19 campaign. The Uruguayan took Les Marine et Blanc from obscurity in 13th after 22 games to a dramatic sixth-placed finish, securing Europa League qualification on the very last day of the season.
The former Brighton and Sunderland head coach won nine of his 16 games in charge with Bordeaux, at times, playing an attractive, attack-minded style. Seven of those 16 outings featured four or more goals with Brazilian playmaker Malcolm particularly coming to the fore.
However, Malcolm’s big-money move away came in the summer and Les Girondins have thus far not reinvested those funds into reinforcements. An ongoing takeover of the club has stalled progress in the transfer market and Poyet has made no secret of his displeasure at the current situation.
It’s not an ideal situation to be in and plenty will now be expected from Francois Kamano and Nicolas de Preville as they look to cover the offensive influence lost from Malcolm’s departure. However, as hosts, I’m happy to support Les Marine et Blanc at current quotes of 1.83 with a -0.50 start on Sunday against Strasbourg.
Bordeaux scored at least three times in six of their nine home wins last term and should be capable of building on an impressive W13-D3-L3 record when welcoming bottom-half dwellers over the past two campaigns here in Ligue 1.
Strasbourg followed back-to-back titles with survival although the famous French club finished just a point above the bottom three as they completed their campaign with just three victories from 20 outings. A dreadful defence and awful away record proved their main downfall.
In the off-season, the Alsace club have lost their two standout stars – defensive midfielder Jean-Eudes Aholou and winger Martin Terrier – and you have to now question where the dynamism and invention will come from. Stephane Bahoken was the team’s top scorer with seven but he’s also departed.
Meanwhile, Bakary Kone, Dimitri Foulquier and Kader Mangane have all moved on to leave the backline looking exposed. Stefan Mitrovic has arrived to plug a gap at centre-half, while Adrien Thomasson and Ludovic Ajorque flesh out the forwardline but it could be another tough term for Strasbourg.
The visitors could only manage W2-D5-L12 when playing away with nine of their 12 defeats arriving by a margin of two goals or more. With that in mind, opposing the guests on Sunday is the most sensible play.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Bordeaux -0.50 at 1.800
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.
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