Best Odds: 2/1
European football is slowly but surely starting to return with a brand new season after an incredibly short absence, and the French Ligue 1 is one of the first really elite leagues within the continent to start back up again. While COVID-19 has ensured that life will continue to feel pretty strange for many months and potentially even years to come, we’re still here to talk about the beautiful game – and today, we’ll be discussing the impending clash between Reims and Lille.
Reims may not be the kind of team that most casual fans tip as top six contenders before every season, but 6th is where they wound up after an impressive campaign prior to lockdown. They returned to action against another heavily fancied side in Monaco last weekend, and while they may not have had everything go their way, they more than held their own and drew 2-2 with the former Champions League finalists – and after being 2-0 up, they’ll be disappointed it wasn’t more than that.
Doumbia didn’t make the trip to face Monaco last weekend and is probably still a doubt here as his recovery from a shoulder injury continues. Donis will also be a doubt after sustaining an ankle injury during training recently.
Lille have been a rising force within the context of French football longer than we can remember, and their 4th place finish last season proves that. Their return to action saw them host an always popular Rennes side, and in a cagey affair, they secured a 1-1 draw. Alas, much likes Reims, they’ll probably rue their missed chances as the 10 vs 10 game saw the visitors grab a 74th minute equaliser to ensure the pair shared the spoils.
Reinildo’s red card will ensure that he is suspended for this one, opening the door for Bradaric to all but surely start. Zeki Celik should be back in time after shaking off an injury, whereas Yilmaz has been tipped to feature.
Factors to Consider
- In their last meeting in September 2019, almost exactly one year ago, Reims beat Lille 2-0.
- Reims have won two, drawn three and lost one of their last six games.
- Lille have won four, drawn one and lost one of their last six games.
- Reims have scored six goals and conceded seven in their last six games.
- Lille have scored nine goals and conceded three in their last six games.
These two sides should both be in the mix when it comes to pushing for Champions League qualification this season, and we think this game is destined to be a ‘feeling each other out’ type of affair. Both sides like to try and keep it tight at the back and neither are particularly known for blowing teams out of the water, especially not as of late. As such, we think it’s going to be a bit of a chess match that ends with the two sharing the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
Best Odds: 2/1