JACK Wright's (@JackWright_BSB) Bet of the Day returns for Sunday as we head to France.
Metz v Clermont Foot | Sunday 17th April 2022, 14:00
There’s a huge relegation battle at the foot of Ligue 1 in France which has my attention this Sunday.
Bottom side Metz know claiming all three points is vital if they are to prolong their three year stay in the French top flight as they welcome Clermont Foot who themselves now occupy the relegation play-off place following St Etienne’s 2-1 victory over Brest on Saturday.
Les Grenats have the worst home record in the division, picking up just one win from 15 attempts although it’s not been dull, with 43 goals scored at an average of 2.87 per game and both teams hitting the back of the net in nine of them – 60% – and that is the angle that interests me most.
After keeping things very tight over a four-game stretch which saw just one goal, Frédéric Antonetti’s side have opened the floodgates in search of points, with their last three games featuring 14 goals with both teams scoring each time – although last week's 3-1 defeat would have been particularly painful coming against Bordeaux, the side that sits between them and their guests here.
It would be a massive shock to see the home side sit back at their Stade Saint-Symphorien home, with the visitors on a run of five straight defeats, conceding six last time out at home to PSG making it 18 goals shipped in that sequence of losses.
Unsurprisingly, no side has let in more goals in the last five games than Les Lanciers – six more than the next leakiest defence during that period, which just so happens to be – Metz!
Pascal Gastien unquestionably sets his side up to be positive, even against one of the best attacks in European football last week he adopted – or at least tried to adopt – a front foot policy, some will see it as brave, others foolhardy or naïve, but I am sure it will be a style he will replicate here.
If key defensive duo Cédric Houtoundji and Vital N'Simba remain absent, as they were against Paris, it is even more likely the visitors will have a “we will score more than you” mentality – possibly a philosophy shared by their hosts.
All of which leads me to think it would be a massive surprise to see either of these sides keep a clean sheet in what both will view as “must win” and with the last five meetings between the two seeing both teams score (2-2, 2-1, 2-3, 1-2) including the reverse fixture in August 2-2, I expect this to follow the same trend and at a very attractive price.
Metz vs Clermont – Both Teams To Score (97/100 SBK)