Strasbourg v Nice – Stade de la Meina at 19:00 GMT+1
Strasbourg boss Thierry Laurey said his side, “have nothing to be ashamed of” despite sliding to the bottom of the Ligue 1 standings following a spirited effort during a 2-0 defeat at Marseille last time out. The Alsace outfit have now failed to score in all five away games this season, picking up a solitary point on the road.
Le Racing fell behind early on from a deflected attempt but looked for a way back into the contest when Adrien Thomasson forced a smart save from the home goalkeeper. With Alexander Djiku and Stefan Mitrovic suspended, Strasbourg abandoned their habitual five at the back but were struggling to create anything.
Laurey chucked on Lebo Mothiba, Nuno Da Costa and Kevin Zohi in the hope of grabbing an equaliser but Marseille struck a decisive second goal in stoppage-time from the penalty spot. The Strasbourg head coach admitted, “We certainly have difficulties in terms of constructing attacks, but we are fighters, players who give their best, and young people who are making progress.”
Due to Strasbourg’s European commitments, this was Le Racing’s 16th game of the season already since the end of July, although there’s a feeling that fatigue has subsided since the international break and a return to their atmospheric Stade de la Meinau base could prove pivotal when Nice pitch up on Saturday.
Team news favours Strasbourg
Djiku and Mitrovic return to the fold for RCSA and Laurey’s team should be worth chancing at 2.00 to overcome a -0.50 Asian Handicap hurdle as they seek to improve upon their W2-D2-L1 efforts at the de la Meinau this term. After all, the hosts have only lost six times here since the start of last season.
What’s more, visitors Nice have been hit by a barrage of unavailability for the trip north. Both Wylan Cyprien and fit-again Christophe Herelle are banned following red cards against PSG in Les Aiglons’ last outing, whilst Stanley N’Soki, Adam Ounas and Gautier Lloris are all injured or rated major doubts.
Nice’s supremo Patrick Vieira was displeased with his team’s display in their chastening defeat to the champions, criticising his players’ lack of commitment and rhythm. The loss was the Riviera club’s fifth in eight Ligue 1 matches of late and Les Aiglons have also been unimpressive on the underlying data metrics.
Like Strasbourg, Nice are operating below 35% in terms of Expected Goals (xG) from open play ratio, although the visitors are conceding the second-most shots from inside the penalty box in 2019/20 and arrive at this encounter having lost 10 (42%) away days since the beginning of last term. They’re easily opposed.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Strasbourg -0.50 at 2.000
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.