Bastia are under pressure near the foot of the table. Their 2-1 defeat at relegation rivals Montpellier at the weekend will have done nothing to improve the mood ahead of this latest relegation six-pointer. They are unlikely to dominate the game because they’re technically not good enough to do so. Striking during periods where they’re on top could be crucial in what, on paper, looks to be a close game. Defence is their weakness. Experienced centre-back Squillaci has been sidelined for months and influential left-back Bengtsson is out as well. Bastia are clearly more vulnerable in defence without the pair. If the game is level going into the closing stages expect nerves and possibly cautious football from both teams. There’s a lot at stakes so avoiding defeat may become the priority.
Nantes were aggrieved by their 2-0 home defeat to Nancy at the weekend and may use anger at that outcome to fuel their performance here. Manager Conceicao felt some of Nancy’s tactics were too rough. As always, expect Nantes to be solid and defend well as a team. They’ve done so in all 10 matches against Ligue 1 opposition in all competitions since Conceicao took over as manager in December. They’re far from prolific in front of goal, however, and the absence of Harit, their most inventive attacking player, is a blow. Without him Nantes’ attacking play will be more one-dimensional, meaning work rate and tactical discipline may be the keys to getting a result.
Verdict & Prediction
The mood in the Bastia camp will be flat after their 2-1 defeat at Montpellier last Saturday. That was a relegation clash and they will be disappointed to come away with nothing, but this match is another relegation clash and Bastia will be intent on avoiding defeat above all else. Some nerves in the home side would be no surprise given how tight the bottom of the table is. I recommend a low stake bet on home team with draw no bet option.
Prediction: Bastia +0.00 Asian Handicap (same as draw no bet, stake refunded if match ends in a draw)
Odds: 2.16 Pinnacle, SBOBET (no bet under 2.00)