Judging only by recent performances Reims is the most disappointing Ligue1 side. They dropped form all of a sudden and last round they recorded a fifth consecutive defeat (lost 3-0 at St Etienne).
Ever since defender Mandi got injured Reims changed attitude, they got soft, lost confidence and are simply unrecognizable in comparison to the first rounds when they were proudly sitting in the upper half of the table.
Mandi resumed training last week so he should be back to the lineup pretty soon.
The attacking phase is also affected as Reims have failed to score in the last four rounds and most of their attempts missed the target by miles.
Ajaccio are sitting on two straight wins and they are flying high at moment. This is the best period for them since the season started and confidence simply skyrocketed.
Last round they made an excellent game against Bordeaux (won 2-0), even if they played in 10 for about half an hour.
Play-maker Larbi scored twice and is now in maximum form after having recovered from injury only a couple of weeks ago.
Ajaccio’s strength lies in the huge efforts made by all players each round. Ajaccio won only one point so far in away games (in the first round) and it’s interesting to see how will they perform now having increased confidence.
Ajaccio will have to do without defenders Filippi and Coeff and midfielder Djokovic, all of them suspended.
Reims are just awful at the moment but all that may change if captain Mandi returns to the lineup. Confidence and form are definitely in favor of Ajaccio but the absences and Reims’ need for points may tilt the balance.
UPDATE: Bad news for Reims as they will miss important central midfielder Oniangue
Reims: Agassa, Placide – Mandi, Bourillon, Signorino, Tacalfred, Ha.Traoré, Weber – Bulot, Devaux, Fortes, Kankava, Peuget, Diego – Charbonnier, De Preville, Kyei, Siebatcheu, Ngog
Gazelec Ajaccio: squad not communicated yet