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Oct 25, 2020 at 2pm UK
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Preview: Brest vs. Strasbourg - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Brest vs. Strasbourg - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's match between Brest and Strasbourg, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Brest host Strasbourg in the 2020-21 Ligue 1 campaign on Sunday, with the visitors languishing in the relegation zone after only taking three points from their opening seven matches.

The hosts, meanwhile, should be the more confident of the two sides having won two of their three matches at Stade Francis-Le Ble this season, helping them to sit in a respectable 13th position.

Match preview

After gaining promotion to France's top flight in the 2018-19 season, Brest are cementing themselves rather nicely in Ligue 1 having found themselves in 14th place - and a healthy seven points clear of the relegation zone - prior to last season being curtailed due to the coronavirus crisis.

Last weekend's 3-1 defeat at Nantes would have been disappointing, however, given they are still above Nantes in the table despite defeat. Romain Faivre's third goal of the season looked to have given Brest hope of recovering a 2-0 deficit, but Kader Bamba's 79th minute goal effectively ended the match as a contest.

Olivier Dall'Oglio will be urging his side to put that loss right against a Strasbourg side who have lost six of their seven league games this season, then, and may target improving his side's defensive record as the best way of doing so. Indeed, only Strasbourg have conceded more goals than Brest in Ligue 1 so far this campaign, so it will be interesting to see which of the two struggling defences comes out on top.

Striker Steve Mounie has been in very good form after signing from Huddersfield Town in the summer, scoring twice in five league appearances for his new side. The 26-year-old struggled to ever really get going in his three-year spell in Yorkshire, but as his 14 goals for Montpellier in this division in 2016-17 showed, he is certainly capable of helping guide Brest to another lower mid-table finish at the very least.

As already touched upon, Strasbourg share Brest's defensive vulnerabilities - conceding a league worst of 16 goals in seven matches - but are not as capable as their forthcoming opponents offensively, scoring less than a goal per game on average.

Thierry Laurey has work to do at both ends, then, in order to steer his side out of the relegation zone. Having only been three points behind fifth-placed Nice when last season was curtailed, not many would have expected his side to be in their current predicament.

However, while their defensive naivety remained in last weekend's 3-2 defeat to recent Champions League semi-finalists Lyon, there were signs of improvement given the narrow margin of defeat.

After finding themselves 3-0 down after 42 minutes, there was plenty of courage on display with Habib Diallo and Jean-Eudes Aholou sparking a fightback which ultimately fell narrowly short. However, this can be built upon as they look to secure a positive result on Sunday for only the second time this season.

Brest Ligue 1 form: LWWLWL

Strasbourg Ligue 1 form: LLWLLL

Team News

Denys Bain will remain out for the hosts for some time having ruptured his cruciate ligament, with Christophe Herelle likely to continue to deputise in central defence.

Dall'Oglio may decide to mix things up in an attempt to fix a leaky defensive line, though, with Brendan Chardonnet an option to come into the defence.

Former Newcastle United goalkeeper Matz Sels remains out for the visitors after rupturing his Achilles tendon, while Lebo Mothiba's knee injury continues to keep him on the sidelines.

Laurey is unlikely to deviate from the side which showed excellent spirit against a Lyon side who will be expected to challenge at the top of the league.

Brest possible starting lineup:
Larsonneur; Baal, Herelle, Duverne, Perraud; Magnetti, Belkebia; Faivre, Charbonnier, Philippoteaux; Mounie

Strasbourg possible starting lineup:
Kamara; Lala, Kone, Mitrovic, Carole; Bellegarde, Simakan, Thommasson, Aholou, Lienard; Ajorque

We say: Brest 2-1 Strasbourg

With two of the leakiest defences in the league on display, we can see goals in this match, with Brest's strong home form and increased confidence perhaps giving them the edge between two sides who will arguably be satisfied with avoiding relegation this season.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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