Caen v Strasbourg – Stade Michel-d’Ornano at 14:00 GMT
There are many reasons why Caen should wish to try and collect top honours against Strasbourg. For starters, the Normandy club are in the midst of a major fight for survival in Ligue 1 having lost each of their last four games, claiming only three league victories over the course of the campaign.
Last weekend the basement battlers were beaten in a crunch clash with fellow strugglers Amiens. SMC dropped to second-bottom in the Ligue 1 standings with pressure mounting on head coach Fabien Mercadal to turn the tide ahead of a crucial pair of games this week.
After welcoming Nantes on Wednesday night, Caen host Strasbourg on Sunday in what’s looking like a particularly trappy encounter. The visitors recently booked their place in the Coupe de la Ligue final and have been flirting with the European qualification positions following an outstanding opening stanza.
Caen’s lack of firepower
Caen scored just 27 goals in 2017/18 – comfortably the lowest in the league – and top scorer Ivan Santini moved on for pastures new in the summer. Nobody else scored more than five goals in the group and incoming forwards Enzo Crivelli and Casimir Ninga could never be described as prolific, nor consistent.
So it’s unsurprising to see SMC toiling in the final-third. No team averages fewer shots from inside the penalty area, generates a worse Expected Goals (xG) figure or creates a lower xG from open play return. The hosts have fired blanks in eight of their last 15 Ligue 1 outings and their only strike in 2019 was a stoppage-time consolation in a 3-1 defeat.
Despite Caen’s dreadful output in the final-third, the relegation-haunted club have at least remained reasonably competitive on home soil, scoring in eight of their 11 outings here and seeing both sides score in seven (64%). And with their goals per-game record at 2.36 here, there’s mileage in supporting goals.
Strasbourg have been one of Ligue 1’s great entertainers in 2018/19 – a huge 16/23 (70%) of their outings have seen both sides score, whilst only three opposition outfits have stopped the Alsace club notching. The visitors’ road trips are averaging 3.09 goals per-game with all bar one producing at least two goals.
With such strong stats in our favour, it’s odd to see Over 1.75 Goals available at odds as big as 1.68 on Sunday. Snap it up!
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 1.75 goals at 1.680
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.