Last round we just had confirmation that Reims are definitely improving (drew 1-1 away at Monaco).
Reims were not afraid to take initiative and even cornered Monaco a couple of times. In defense they stood ground confidently with the help central midfielders who offered constant support.
Reims could look even better but coach Vasseur is too stubborn or is simply interested in increasing the market value of some players. Moukandjo is one of Reims’ best players but he only plays for 20 or 30 minutes. He scored the equalizer last round against Monaco and the winner two rounds ago against Montpellier. Still, Moukandjo is only a bench warmer as coach Vasseur prefers Fortes. It is not a question of stamina as Moukandjo is one of the strongest and resistant players out-there.
The same happens when it comes to the striker position where Vasseur insists on using Charbonnier only because he is tall, leaving fast and talented players like De Preville or Courtet only on the bench.
Once coach Vasseur will address those issues Reims will definitely move in the upper half of the table. Until then at least they have a powerful bench and can surprise opponents in the final quarter of the game.
Lille used the best team possible in the midweek Europa League game away at Everton. In-spite of that Lille lost 3-0 and to be honest they never stood a chance to begin with.
Play-maker Lopes returned from injury about 2 rounds ago but suffered another knock and will miss for 2 or 3 weeks. Creativity will once again be at low levels as play-maker Martin is only a shadow of his former self ever-since arriving at Lille in 2012.
Guests will have to do without fullback Sidibe who is suspended.
Form and confidence are definitely on hosts’ side. Furthermore Reims are fresher and could definitely surprise a tired Lille especially near the end of the game when they could make use of the talented substitutes. Reims +0.25 at 2.13
UPDATE: Reims will miss forward Ngog through injury. Guests will have to do without central defender Kjaer and play-maker Martin, both injured.
Reims: Agassa, Placide – Conte, M.Fofana, Mandi, Mavinga, Roberge, Signorino, Tacalfred – Bourillon, Devaux, Fortes, Oniangué, Diego – Charbonnier, Courtet, De Préville, Moukandjo
Lille: Enyeama, Elana – Corchia, Souaré, Basa, Rozehnal, Béria, Y.Koné – Mavuba, S.Meïté, Balmont, I.Gueye, Ad.Traoré – R.Mendes, Roux, Rodelin, Origi, M.Frey