Both Reims and Bastia will enter this game after great performances in the French Cup.
Reims put and end to Monaco’s Cup dreams and Bastia won in the Corsican derby vs Ajaccio.
Both sides were better than their respective opponents and in the end won with the same scoreline, 1-0.
The similarities between Monaco and Bastia are striking, especially with Monaco having played with a couple of reserves. Both use the same playing system 4-2-3-1 with emphasis on the flanks. Monaco’s wingers encountered strong opposition from Reims’ 3 central midfielders and simply could not infiltrate in the penalty box. All incoming danger was successfully rejected from the incipient stage by Krychowiak, Devaux and Oniangue. Danish central midfielder Albaek was only a substitute but that doesn’t mean his attributes are inferior to those just mentioned.
It was like a modern day steel fortress attacked by medieval knights…
This game could have the exact same story line, with Bastia pushing on the wings but never having the power to finalize or at least take their actions in the penalty box.
Krasic and Khazri will be the ones in the center of attention for Bastia. Khazri is a bit too slow and predictable so only Krasic could pose some real threats, just like Monaco relied only on Ocampos for creating chances.
Forward Keseru was rushed to the hospital during the game with Ajaccio as he was suffering from memory loss. It is reported that he is safe now but most likely won’t play.
Striker Bruno and fullback Diakite will be back from suspension for Bastia.
Reims is a very organized and disciplined team, with the midfield being the strongest part. The players in the center are like a shield for the defense and the wingers take care of scoring, especially Fortes seems to be in great form.
This won’t be an easy game, far from it, but in the end I believe Reims will prevail due to the arguments above. At 2.26 the odds on home win are good enough to double the investment (and a bit extra). Most probable scoreline is 1-0 once again, both teams’ favorite.