Toulouse v Strasbourg – Stadium de Toulouse at 19:00
Toulouse completed a remarkable escape from relegation in 2015/16 thanks to a run of five wins from their final 10 games under Pascal Dupraz before tabling a fair 13th-placed finish last term.
But with Le Tefece languishing in 19th after only five wins in 22 games, Dupraz’s departure was announced by mutual consent in late January. The former boss’ skill as a motivator and his fiery personality appeared to have run its course and the club was crying out for a new leader.
Assistant coach Mickael Debeve was handed the temporary reigns and guided the group to back-to-back 1-0 victories over Troyes and Nice. However, Toulouse has taken just three points from their following five fixtures (W0-D3-L5) to remain entrenched in the battle against relegation.
Saturday night’s hosts sit a solitary point above the automatic drop-zone and know a positive performance when welcoming Strasbourg to the Stade Municipal is essential to kick-start their survival prospects once more. And Le Tefece appears decent value to do so.
Improving Toulouse represent value
Although black-and-white results don’t suggest Toulouse have dramatically improved under Debeve, Les Pitchouns have registered a number of resolute displays, such as last weekend’s 2-1 reverse at home to high-flying Marseille.
After falling behind early on, Le Tefece bounced back to level proceedings and could easily have led at the interval with Yaya Sanogo and Max-Alain Gradel keeping the visitors’ goalkeeper Steve Mandanda busy.
Toulouse started the second half as they had ended the first: the brighter of the two sides and should have made their pressure pay before their legs began to tire and Marseille pinched the points with a second goal.
As well as Marseille, only table-toppers PSG have beaten Toulouse in their last seven matches and both were by one-goal margins. In fact, the hosts have endured a tough run of games with each of the top-five visiting the Stade Municipal in Les Pitchouns’ last six home matches; neither Monaco nor Nantes were able to leave with maximum points.
Asian Handicap angle
So Toulouse looks well worth our interest at 2.08 to overcome a -0.50 Asian Handicap hurdle against Strasbourg on Saturday. The visitors have lost their last five on the road and been beaten in each of their last three trips to bottom-half rivals.
The newly-promoted guests have dropped into the relegation battle following a W2-D1-L8 run of results and have managed a paltry four clean sheets since their return to Ligue 1. Nine losses in 14 away days leave a lot to be desired and Toulouse should be capable of extending that barren run here.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Toulouse -0.50 at 2.080
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