Bastia made a decent game last round away at Metz, especially considering their away from home performances in 2017. They lost the game (Metz won 1-0), but were more compact in defense and dangerous upfront.
The good news is that nobody got a red card. Bastia is by far the most aggressive side in Ligue1, and got 4 red cards in the last 5 games. The aggressiveness is more visible on home ground, but it is after all the main reason why Bastia are still competitive.
The last 5 home games finished in draws (Monaco, Nice and St Etienne were among the opponents), mostly because Bastia compensated the lack of value with aggressiveness. They do have a few talented players (like winger Saint Maximim or midfielder Oniangue), but it seems it’s not enough.
Hosts will welcome back topscorer Crivelli, defender Djiku, and midfielers Mostefa and Diallo.
Lille were a bit lucky in the last 3 rounds and managed to win 5 points. The first game was away at Toulouse when opponents had the lead for most of the game, but Lille equalized against the run of play in the final 10 minutes. Then the game away at Nancy followed, when Lille were 1-0 down at the break, but somehow managed to win 2-1 without applying constant pressure. And last round they drew 0-0 against Marseille, in a game in which opponents created the most dangerous chances.
Lille may have highly skilled players, but relegation is a real threat at the moment. That is why coach Passi decided to bet on chemistry instead of skills. During the winter break Lille transferred 3 talented players with a bright future (wingers Kishna and El Ghazi, and midfielder Xeka). They were all in the lineup in the first games, but there were no positive results, and the game lacked a normal flow. Now only one of them usually starts in the lineup, while the others wait patiently on the bench.
Winger Bissouma is once again available, but defender Basa will sit out.
Bastia may be in poor form, but Lille don’t deserve such respect. Monaco and Nice struggled to get points away at Bastia when the Corsicans seemed less dangerous than they are now. BASTIA +0.25 at 1.88
Bastia : J-L.Leca, Vincensini, Thébaux – Cioni, Djiku, El Kaoutari, Marange, Rose, Is.Diallo, Bengtsson – Cahuzac, Ab.Keita, Oniangué, L.Coulibaly, Mostefa, Danic, Ngando, S.Diallo – Crivelli, Saint-Maximin, Raspentino, Acheampong
Lille : Enyeama, Maignan, Butez – Corchia, Béria, Soumaoro, Junior Alonso, Palmieri, Gabriel – Amadou, Mavuba, Xeka, Bissouma, Bauthéac, R.Lopes, Sliti, Bahlouli – Eder, Benzia, De Préville, El Ghazi, Kishna