Not much action last round between Reims and Angers and only a couple of shots on target on both ends (finished 0-0). Reims missed central midfielder Oniangue who is a key player and unfortunately even wingers were affected by this absence.
De Preville and Diego started on the flanks but they were both substituted in 2nd half, as without a proper link in the center they couldn’t make the most of their skills. Charbonnier was the one who took Oniangue’s place in the lineup but he is slow and lacks play-maker qualities.
Reims will once again miss midfielder Oniangue who was joined on the sidelines by captain Mandi.
Small advantage for Lille as they haven’t played in the midweek as opposed to Reims. In the last Ligue1 game Lille left an excellent impression after mildly dominating away at Rennes and playing in 10 for about 20 minutes (finished 1-1).
Play-maker Boufal was Lille’s best player, not because he managed to score but because he was all over the field, initiating actions and trying to make the defensive phase as well.
So far Lille have the poorest attack in the league (only two goals scored but a game in hand) and recently coach Renard decided to leave Guillaume only on the bench and start with Tallo and Benzia upfront. All the mentioned players arrived at Lille this season and they never really impressed at previous clubs. Chemistry is low and skills are questionable when it comes to applying the finishing touch, but in the creating phase Lille constantly improved since the season started.
Sidibe and Corchia / Bautheac on the wings are highly skilled players and can easily push the game forward, especially when Boufal is there to engage in actions with them.
Defensively Lille are very solid (conceded only 2 goals so far this season) and even if keeper Enyeama will be suspended opponents will still face a wall when trying to move forward.
In comparison to last round Lille will have to do without defender Soumaro and keeper Enyeama.
Both sides seem a bit toothless upfront but Lille are the ones more inventive and resourceful when it comes to creating chances. Bookies failed to do their homework and the value is on Lille. Lille DNB at 2.07
UPDATE: Reims welcome back midfielder Oniangue but will miss defender Mandi
Reims: Placide, Garel – M.Fofana, Signorino, Tacalfred, At.Turan, H.Traoré, Weber – Bulot, Devaux, Kankava, Fortes, Mfulu, Rigonato, Oniangué – De Préville, Ngog, Siebatcheu
Lille: Elana, Maignan – Corchia, D.Sidibé, Basa, Civelli, Pavard, Sunzu – S.Meïté, Mavuba, Boufal, Obbadi, Bauthéac – Benzia, Guillaume, Guirassy, Tallo, Nangis