Boring game between Reims and Nice last round (finished 0-0). Overall Reims were a bit better but in the end the draw was a fair result after a balanced game.
Reims had to do without striker Charbonnier who was suspended and winger Moukandjo (injured). Charbonnier will return from suspension but unfortunately there are no news regarding Moukandjo’s injury at this moment so he is once again considered doubtful.
De Preville took Moukandjo’s place on the wing and he made good game, took part in a couple of actions and eliminated opponents thanks to superior speed.
In defense there were a couple of mistakes coming mainly from central defender Conte who was a bit absent minded. Hopefully he will change attitude and won’t be so superficial this week. If not, he could be replaced by central defender Weber who should return after injury.
After a difficult start of the season it seems that Bastia are slowly improving. Last round against Lyon they adopted a defensive strategy and played with three central defenders who constantly received help from two central midfielders.
In these conditions Bastia’s most active players were the ones doing the defensive phase.
Upfront they relied exclusively on counters carried on by young Kamano. Kamano is an interesting young player, only 18 years old, and judging by his skills it seems there is a bright future ahead of him.
At the moment Bastia are under the helm of interim coach Prinant, so there is no way of predicting if he will continue to use a defensive formation or will switch back to playing with two central defenders.
Even if Bastia improved lately and seem more confident, they still have many deficiencies in all departments. The major issue is the lack of creativity in midfield that prevents Bastia from holding possession. They try to compensate mostly by aggressiveness but this strategy is a double edged sword.
Hosts will easily be able to control the midfield because of a better organization and more coherent tactics. They will constantly be pushing the game forward and eventually this moderate pressure should have consequences on the final outcome. Reims -0.5 at 2.15
UPDATE: Good news for Reims as winger Moukandjo is back in the squad. Bastia will miss defender Squillaci, midfielder Ba and forwards Pino and Tallo
Reims: Agassa, Placide – Conte, Mandi, Mavinga, Roberge, Signorino, Tacalfred – Bourillon, Devaux, Fortes, C.Glombard, Oniangué, Diego – Charbonnier, Courtet, Moukandjo, Ngog
Bastia: Areola, J-L.Leca – D.Diakité, Marange, Modesto, Palmieri, Peybernes, Romaric – Gillet, Cahuzac, Ab.Keita, Boudebouz, F.Koné – Maboulou, Kamano, Ongenda, D.Cissé, Romain