Reims host Strasbourg at the Stade Auguste Delaune for the lunch time kick-off this Sunday. A win for the visitors would put them just outside of the relegation zone whereas Reims want to put pressure on those European places.
It has been an impressive season for Reims as they look to finish in the top half of the table and hope to match their best-ever finish in Ligue 1 for over 40 years, finishing fifth in 1975/76 season.
The Les Rouges et Blancs (The red and whites) have been inconsistent as of late, with two wins, two defeats and a draw in their last five games. In their last two matches in March, they picked up three points, beating a decent Monaco side 1-0, Their top goal scorer with 18 and on loan from Arsenal Folarin Balogun scored the only goal in that match.
William Still side’s famous unbeaten run game to an end as they lost 2-1 at home, Balogun managed to get on the score sheet early on but, a brace from Alexis Sanchez secured Marseille the three points. They did bounce back from that defeat a week later beating Nantes 3-0 away from home. Two goals from Flips and an early goal in the second half from Munetsi sealed the deal for Reims.
Despite dominating the game in terms of shots and possession Reims had to settle with a point against Brest with a last-minute penalty scored by Balogun. And most recently Reims were outclassed by a very impressive Rennes who scored three best them. Reims hope to bounce back with a win against Strasbourg this Sunday.
It’s been a fall from grace this season for Strasbourg. They finished sixth last season which got them into the Conference League and only three points off a Champions League place.
However, the Europa Conference League may be one competition too many for the French side as they currently sit 17th and two points adrift of safety. From 14th to 17th the teams are separated by just three points, this means there is still everything to play for.
Antonetti’s men's form has been pretty decent considering where they are in the table, two wins, two losses and a draw in their last five games. Their draw was against Marseille, with two late goals in the 88th and 89th minutes, scored by Aholou, which clinched Strasbourg a vital point against Marseille in the relegation battle.
Strasbourg's wins have been against their rivals in the relegation battle, A 2-0 win against Auxerre. Goals from Nyamsi and their top goal scorer Diallo, who scored late on to seal the win. Much more recently they beat AC Ajaccio at home 3-1. Goals from Gameiro, Mouhamadou and Suzuki gave Strasbourg the belief they can stay up this season.
Their defeats, however, came against tough opposition losing 2-1 against Lens who are flying at the moment. After being 2-0 down their striker Kevin Gameiro grabbed himself a consolation goal in the 84th minute, but, sadly for Strasbourg, it was too little too late. Their other defeat was against Monaco losing 4-3 away from home which left Antonetti’s men frustrated at the final whistle.
In their last 12 meetings, Reims have won four times and Strasbourg have won two times which means six of their 12 meetings have ended in a draw.
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