As expected Bastia lost away at Nice last round (finished 2-0). Besides a few set pieces, Bastia’s offensive phase was simply nonexistent.
Defensively they weren’t any better, seeing that the spaces between defenders were huge. If losing without posing much problems was not bad enough, Bastia also lost captain Cahuzac who got a red card and will be suspended for this game.
Winger Khazri was out injured (will miss this round as well) and coach Hantz decided to start with forward Bruno on the left flank. It proved to be a bad choice as Bruno didn’t feel comfortable on that side and was mostly invisible.
For some weird reason coach Hantz prefers to start with Sable as the midfielder closest to the defense. It is a weird choice not only because Sable is just a mediocre player, but because players like Romaric, Cahuzac or Yatabare have the same profile and could have been much more useful. In these circumstances Bastia’s defensive potential is heavily diminished.
Opponents Reims were very organized last round against Marseille (drew 1-1). Even when they were under heavy pressure, Reims kept calm and rejected all incoming danger with lucidity.
Finally coach Fournier stopped rotating forwards and starts only with De Preville upfront. He is in a great form, scored 3 goals in the last 4 rounds and is very active in every game. This continuity in the offensive department is something Reims really needed. It may be the first time this season when one of Reims’ forwards is confident and has a good rythm.
There are no new injuries for Reims so most probably they will field the same team as last round.
Besides Reims being more confident and in-form, coaches’ decisions are at opposite ends and will certainly affect the outcome of the game. Bastia’s coach Hantz decisions will have a negative impact (especially on the defensive phase) while Fournier’s vision will have a positive influence. Reims +0.25 at 1.95
UPDATE: Bastia welcome back keeper Landreau after injury.
Bastia: J-L.Leca, Landreau – Squilllaci, Modesto, Palmieri, D.Diakité, Djiku, Achili – Romaric, Sablé, Boudebouz, S.Yatabaré – Bruno, Ilan, D.Cissé, Raspentino, J.Correa, Krasic
Reims: Agassa, Placide – Weber, Mandi, Fofana, Turan, Tacalfred, Signorino – Krychowiak, Albaek, Ca, Fortes, Devaux, Ayite – Atar, De Preville, Charbonnier, Courtet