February 23, 2018

Nantes v Amiens Asian Handicap Preview – Saturday 24th February

Nantes v Amiens – La Beaujoire at 19:00

Amiens won promotion to France’s top-flight for the first time in their 116-year history thanks to a thrilling six-game winning streak to conclude their campaign last season. Les Licornes pinched a top-two finish on goal difference on the final day, sparking mass celebrations across the northern city.

Having secured back-to-back promotions, consolidating in Ligue 1 was always going to be a tough gig but their task was made harder during the summer with Fulham nabbing top goalscorer Aboubakar Kamara. For a side already uncomfortable with a free-flow attacking system, Amiens have understandably struggled in the final-third this term.

Only Caen (20) have scored fewer goals (22) than Saturday night’s visitors from the Hauts-de-France. Indeed, six (27%) of those 22 goals have arrived by shots from outside the penalty area or penalties, and Amiens’ average of just 2.69 shots on-target per-game is a divisional low.

Christophe Pelissier’s charges have conceded the most attempts in Ligue 1 and so with an unsustainable attack and a defense that’s allowing opposition far too many opportunities, Les Licornes have regressed after a buoyant start to life in France’s top-tier.

Form and team news

Amiens have now lost eight of 11 league fixtures since December, firing blanks on seven occasions. In only five of their 26 games have the newly-promoted club scored more than a solitary strike and this weekend they’ll be without defensive midfielder Guessouma Fofana through suspension.

Fofana was sent off 15 minutes from time of last weekend’s goalless draw at home to Toulouse. Amiens managed a sole effort on-target in another dreadfully dull and uninspiring performance, a result that saw Pelissier’s men drop into the relegation play-off position.

Nantes dreaming of Europe

Nantes blistering start to life under Claudio Ranieri has slowed since the November international break but Les Canaris have performed better than results suggest in 2018 (W1-D3-L3) during a difficult run of fixtures.

The Brittany boys were only edged out by one goal when welcoming PSG and in-form Bordeaux and have struck nine goals across their other five outings. Last weekend’s well-earned point at Nice keeps Nantes in pole position for fifth.

The hosts will fancy their chances of returning to winning ways on Saturday night having W5-D1-L0 when taking on teams in 10th and below at their La Beaujoire-Louis Fonteneau home and with five clean sheets in 12 home matches, shot-shy Amiens may struggle to make their more illustrious opposition.

Only once at home under Ranieri have Nantes failed to win when scoring so back Les Canaris to secure maximum points with a play on the -0.75 Asian Handicap at 1.90. We’ll enjoy a half-stakes pay-out should the hosts win by exactly one goal and a full-stakes profit should they manage a two-goal victory or better.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Nantes -0.75 at 1.890

By @MarkOHaire

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