LIGUE 1’S midweek card comes to a close o Thursday night as Rennes take on St Etienne. Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) takes a look at the betting.
Rennes v St Etienne | Thursday 19.30 | BT Sport Europe
Who will join PSG and Monaco in Ligue 1’s top-three, thus securing qualification to next season’s Champions League? Yeah, I haven’t a clue either.
Rennes’ home record has damaged their prospects of piercing the positions and last weekend’s 1-0 victory over Angers was just their first success at Roazhon Park for five months.
Les Rouges et Noirs have managed just W1-D5-L3 as hosts and built their campaign upon a thriving road record. However, their 4-0 thumping at Bordeaux on Sunday, their first defeat on their travels since the opening day, has hit the side for six.
Despite boasting a collection of attacking starlets, Rolland Courbis decided to field just Paul-Georges Ntep at the weekend and by the time he introduced Kamil Grosicki, Jérémie Boga and Ousmane Dembélé in the second-half Rennes were chasing the game. They were comfortably picked off on the counter-attack.
Visitors St Etienne put in a decent display against runaway league leaders PSG on Sunday night. Les Verts lost 2-0 but created numerous openings in a spirited performance despite numerous continuing injury problems.
Head coach Christophe Galtier may take a similar approach by repeating the 3-4-3 tactics that worked so well as Sainte look to end their worst winless away run since 2009 (W0-D1-L6) this midweek.
Like Rennes results as hosts, St Etienne’s away form has undermined their attempt to finish in the Champions League qualification spots and only four clubs have returned a worse tally than their eight goals as guests.
Recent head-to-heads have seen plenty of stalemates – five of the last six Ligue 1 meetings have been drawn including each of the previous four (three 0-0s and one 1-1).
Rennes have W4-D5-L0 in their last nine when welcoming Les Verts, keeping six clean sheets but their poor Roazhon Park is off-putting enough. So instead, the low-scoring stats come into play.
A huge 14 of Rennes’ previous 19 on home soil have featured fewer than three goals as well as 20/30 (67%) since the start of last season. It’s been a similar scenario in seven of St Etienne’s last eight and 19/30 (63%) of Les Verts away trips.
With Under 2.5 Goals too short at 4/7, the next option is to take a low-scoring first-half. The half-time draw has proven profitable in 17/30 (57%) games at Roazhon Park and 15/30 (50%) of Sainte’s games as guests, giving us an implied 53.5% chance of a repeat.
But if we drill further down and look at the specific 0-0 first-half correct score, it’s landed in 13/30 (43%) of Rennes’ home fixtures and 12/30 (40%) of Les Verts away matches. That gives us an implied 41.5% probability.
Flip that percentage chance into equivalent betting odds and we’re looking at something around the 7/5 mark. It’s a small edge but with Coral offering 13/8, I’m happy taking a stab at a goalless first 45 minutes at a value price.
Rennes v St Etienne – 0-0 half-time correct score (13/8 Coral)
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