Huge credit to Niort for how they have played over the second half of the season, through which they have already collected 29 points and won 7 of 11, before stepping off the gas a little over their last two starts, through early season they looked shambolic defensively and that will need to be further addressed in the summer. Three of their last six starts have produced five or more goals and I can see this following suit. 15 goal striker Seydou Kone is one of few who has any hope of catching Le Bihan ( see Le Havre preview) in the top L2 goalscorer race, he has ended the season on fire, with three goals in his last four starts and 13 plus four assists in 24. I think his contract was only for one season, so expires next month, at 32 yo , he will be looking to get one last decent contract here or somewhere else and will be looking to continue to impress. Hosts are missing right back Kevin Malcuit and have conceded ten goals in the last five games he has sat out.
Laval are better than 10th place suggests, at least if you listen to them, but they have paid the price for being too timid and 21 draws is too many, an extra 11 points by gambling in half of those and winning just 50% would have seen them top 3 this morning and they have to learn from that, gone are the days when a road point was good enough match after match in this division. They have opened now, last two starts have produced four goals and they have scored five and hopefully they are using the run in to experiment offensively for next season, it certainly looks that way. However, they are without Said, Diallo and Alla, who have 15 goals betweem them and first choice goalkeeper Lionel Cappone , replacement Maxime Hautbois has conceded a goal every 43 minutes in his two road starts.They are far from a lost cause offensively as the midfielders have found a few goals, but the two named strikers are only a combined 40yo and Duckens Nazon will be making his debut if he plays.
Definitely advantage Niort, but odds of 1.83 do not overly appeal and the "over" still makes more appeal.
"over" 2.5 goals 2.02 asian line/Sportmarket.
I will also take -0.5 ball Niort in running, if the line hits 2.10, as long as they are not already leading and we are playing 11 v 11.
Niort : Delecroix, Roche - Lahaye, Sans, Barbet, Bernard, Batisse - Martin, Koukou, Diaw, Roye, Sambia - Dona Ndoh, Ba, Koné, Rocheteau.
Laval : Hautbois, Lesec - Ben Djemia, D.Konaté, Chafik, Monfray, Couturier, Polomat, Mukiélé - Robic, Zeoula, Gonçalves, Boumous, Etinof - Guirassy, Nazon.