With a bit more courage Bastia could have won last round away at Troyes (finished 1-1). They took the lead early in the game and focused mostly on killing the game afterwards.
The major weakness is definitely in the attacking phase where Bastia struggle to build chances from open play, and also have a hard time converting the few opportunities they create.
Striker Brandao nowadays is just a caricature of his former self, and actually does more harm rather than helping the team. Luckily for Bastia winger Raspentino started to show good form lately (was mostly a bench warmer till a few rounds ago), and added considerable value to Bastia’s offensive phase.
Hosts will welcome back key midfielders Danic and Cahuzac after suspension.
Reims were really lucky to get a draw last week against Nice, especially since opponents scored early and were far more convincing in performance. A late penalty made all the difference and Reims got away with an important point (finished 1-1).
Lately Reims got decent results, but the performances in the field are far from convincing. More problems are foreseen this round as key defender Mandi will be suspended, along with defender Weber and midfielder Peuget.
Captain Mandi is by far the most important player in the squad, but actually it won’t be the first time he’ll miss. He was also injured a while back when Reims recorded 5 consecutive defeats…
Bastia may not be the most spectacular or productive team in Ligue1, but they can get positive results even without dominating and cornering opponents. Mandi’s absence will be a decisive factor, and even toothless Bastia could find their way and score against Reims without their key player. Bastia -0.25 at 2.13
UPDATE: Bastia also welcome back fullback Signorino
Bastia: J-L.Leca, Hansen – Cioni, Jebbour, Peybernes, Modesto, Squillaci, Palmieri – Cahuzac, Mostefa, S.Fofana, Danic, Ngando, L.Coulibaly – Brandao, F.Ayité, Raspentino, Romain
Reims: N.Lemaître, Placide – M.Fofana, Signorino, H.Traoré, Tacalfred, A.Turan – Devaux, O.Fortes, H.Kamara, Kankava, Mfulu, Oniangué, D.Rigonato – Maanane, Ngog, Siebatcheu, De Préville