Few expected Reims to score twice last round away at Monaco (lost 3-2), especially given their offensive problems and the suspension of forward De Preville.
Reims’ fans are used with their goals being scored mostly by wingers and not forwards. Up till last round wingers were Reims’ most dangerous players. But now it seems their game is diversified, as central midfielder are more engaged in the attacking phase. Until now they were mostly preoccupied on preempting opponents from creating dangerous actions.
Central midfielder Oniangue scored two goals last week and attracted worldwide attention. Krychowiak (second central midfielder) was also very active throughout the entire 90 minutes. Devaux (the third central midfielder) will return after being suspended last round.
Hosts will have to do without fullback Mandi who is suspended. On the other hand important winger Diego is finally available again, after being sidelined since May last year.
The good form of the players in the center midfield will assure Reims’ superiority over an opponent who doesn’t excel in anything.
Valenciennes are only a mediocre side, and sadly for them, determination is not enough to compensate for the lack of abilities.
Last round they were equalized by Sochaux in the dying moments (finished 2-2), after pushing the entire game, but in a chaotic manner, without a plan put together first.
Both their central midfielders Ducourtioux and Enza-Yamissi are slow and fail to anticipate opponents’ next move. In-fact they were both booked last round because moving in slow motion.
The battle in central midfield will be the key of winning this game, and there shouldn’t be any doubts that Reims have a clear advantage.
In comparison to last round fullback Mater and central defender Medjani are small doubts for Valenciennes.
Reims have a better organization and hold more value in key areas. With forward De Preville back from suspension they also have a plus in speed.
Reims to win at 2.35 with low to medium stakes.
Reims : Agassa, Placide – Weber, Conte, Turan, Tacalfred, Signorino – Krychowiak, Albaek, Oniangue, Fortes, Devaux, Ayite, Ghisolfi – Atar, Charbonnier, Courtet, De Preville.
Valenciennes : Novaes, Penneteau – Ciss, Kagelmacher, Lala, Masuaku, Medjani, Nery, Traoré – Da Silva, Dossevi, Doumbia, Ducourtioux, Enza-Yamissi, Houri, Melikson – Nguette, Pujol, Waris.
Key stat: Reims have scored 13 of 17 home goals after the break.
Preview is the writer’s own opinion, all team news and stats are provided by clubgowi.com