Lorient invented a new game called “let’s see who gets injured the most”.
Striker Aliadiere is topping the table, but breathing down his neck are midfielders Coutadeur and Lautoa. Keeper Audard also wants a piece of the action and got himself injured last round.
I believe there is a reasonable explanation for everything that is why I rule out bad luck when it comes to Lorient’s injuries. It seems the main reason for the often and repeated injuries is none other than the poor physical state of players.
Fitness surely doesn’t play a big part in Lorient’s training. One by one, most important players suffer heavy injuries after normal contacts with opponents.
Once again they will need to shuffle the team and rely only on prodigal Aboubakar upfront, while in the center midfield most likely will be converted wingers.
Only the defense is untouched (except injured keeper Audard) but that doesn’t mean central defenders Kone and Ecuele-Manga are in top form, on the contrary, they seem to be tired of always being in the center of attention every time Lorient plays…
Reims had an offensive epiphany when striker Charbonnier got injured. Coach Fournier started using winger De Preville as a forward and Reims were more confident and dangerous than ever.
The days when wingers were working hard to build actions only for Charbonnier to send the ball outside the stadium with his goal attempts are long gone.
Now De Preville is there, and he can either score or engage in combinations that destabilize the defense.
Reims’ central midfield is simply steel like. Monaco and Marseille are living proof of that. There is no way for Lorient without regular central midfielders and striker Aliadiere to be able to infiltrate Reims’ penalty box. Lorient will only be able to score through long range shots.
And once again bookies are wrong in setting the odds. Reims +0.5 at 1.91 is a very valuable bet.