Reims suffered a lot at St Etienne last round and as a consequence the 3-1 loss is more than fair.
Although the system is the same there are a couple of differences in comparison to last season.
First of all they have more speed upfront now. Winger Moukandjo arrived and improved the offensive phase, and also the other winger Diego is slowly picking up form.
But on the other hand in defense they are looser and especially on the sides there are many open spaces. Left fullback Signorino can be easily outplayed and this can have devastating consequences. Young Mandi on the right side isn’t any better so Reims are very vulnerable on the flanks.
It was mostly a dull game between Caen and Lille last round, but Caen had the best of chances and losing 1-0 in the end was really unfair, especially because of a penalty invented by the referee. Conspiracy theory adepts believe this was all in the benefit of French football as Lille picked up some much needed confidence ahead of their Champions League playoff game against Porto (they still lost 1-0…)
But let’s get back to Caen now who also lost top-scorer Duhamel due to injury. This is quite a blow as replacement Koita is nowhere near the same value.
Caen’s strongest parts are the wings with Nangis and Raspentino very active and central midfielder Feret alternating between them. In this formula Caen can surprise many defenses in Ligue1, but it will be harder now without striker Duhamel.
Fullback Appiah will miss through suspension.
This game could have been a decent choice for betting on goals but with Duhamel out things change drastically. Reims will have most of the possession but it remains to be seen if they have the necessary skills to open up Caen and not be surprised on counters.
UPDATE: Reims welcome back fullback Conte and forward De Preville.
Reims: Agassa, Placide – Bourillon, Conte, M.Fofana, Mandi, Signorino, Tacalfred – Albaek, Ca, Devaux, Oniangué – Atar, Charbonnier, Courtet, De Préville, Moukandjo, Diego
Caen: Perquis, Vercoutre – Appiah, Pierre, Calvé, D.Da Silva – Seube, Saez, Raineau, Adeoti, N.Kanté, Féret, Lemar – Raspentino, Koita, Bazile, Nangis, Musavu-King