Strasbourg v Marseille – Stade de la Meinau at 19:45 GMT+1 live at BT Sport
Strasbourg fell into the liquidation after a rotten few years in the amateur leagues but have enjoyed a rapid rise since. Back-to-back titles brought Le Racing back into Ligue 1 for the first time since 2007/08 and Thierry Laurey’s worked wonders to keep his troops competitive in the top-flight.
Last season, Strasbourg’s first campaign back in Ligue 1 for nearly a decade, was dramatic. Their 2-1 win over PSG at the typically boisterous Stade de la Meinau was the highlight – along with the 3-2 victory over Lyon on the penultimate weekend that secured their league status after a worrying 11-game winless run.
The Alsace club’s remarkable resurrection hit new heights earlier this year when Le Racing clinched Coupe de la Ligue honours on penalties to secure a passage into Europe and their first major piece of silverware since financial oblivion. None of it would have possible without their versatile and intelligent coach.
Laurey has built Strasbourg’s success on vigilance, adaptability and pragmatism. His players are well drilled and organised, yet fluid and capable of achieving results by varying means. He was unapologetic after a stoic, bus-parking goalless draw away at the freewheeling Lille in November.
He adopted a similar tone after wrestling another point from PSG in December and extended his contract with the club soon after. However, for the most part under his stewardship, Le Racing have been one of Ligue 1’s greatest entertainers in 2018/19 and their effervescent approach should be lauded.
Marseille too short to support
Strasbourg have built their solid foundations upon a competitive W13-D13-L10 record at their Stade de la Meinau base since returning to Ligue 1 and the hosts will be no easy meat for Marseille on Friday night. The visitors have claimed only six triumphs on their travels this term and make no appeal at skinny prices.
Downright deserved, Marseille no longer have a shot at playing Champions League football next season. Rudi Garcia’s group are eight points adrift of third-place with only four fixtures to play; yes Les Olympiens still meet Lyon before the campaign concludes but there’s little positivity surrounding the club.
Change is desperately needed around L’OM with a dying project and a patchy squad. The fallen giants are easily opposed here but a smarter selection could be to support goals where Over 2.5 Goals is trading at 1.92.
Collectively, the pair have delivered 22/34 (65%) winners in this market when viewing their respective home/away records, whilst 24/34 (71%) fixtures also returned profit for Both Teams To Score backers. The pair have kept only six clean sheets in that sample and scored in all bar four outings themselves.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 goals at 1.920
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.