The only first-choice player that’s absent for Toulouse is Gradel. The Ivory Coast winger missed their 0-0 draw at Troyes last weekend as well. Toulouse will be a bit weaker in attack without him. In other positions manager Dupraz may make changes as the side produced a very disappointing performance at Troyes last Saturday. Toulouse have a +0.25 handicap. That looks about right. If you exclude their defeats to last season’s top two sides Monaco (0-1) and PSG (2-6) they’re unbeaten in three matches this season (v Montpellier, Rennes and Troyes). Bordeaux are also unbeaten, however, so Toulouse may have to improve on previous performances to avoid defeat this weekend. The goal line is set at 2.25. That’s a fair reflection of the fact that no clear goals pattern has emerged in Toulouse’s games far. They beat Rennes 3-2, yet could only draw 0-0 at Troyes last weekend. Such inconsistency makes the Total Goals market difficult to read.
For the second week running Bordeaux have a full squad to pick from. After an encouraging performance at 10-man Lille last weekend (0-0) it would be no surprise if manager Gourvennec named an unchanged side. The visitors are almost certain to line-up in their usual 4-3-3 formation. Bordeaux’s handicap is -0.25. On paper, they’re undoubtedly a slightly stronger team than Toulouse so that price makes sense. But there’s still a risk to backing Bordeaux with a -0.25 start given they’ve drawn 3/3 away games to date: 2-2 at Angers, 3-3 at Lyon and 0-0 at Lille. The goal line is set at 2.25. That also seems fair. In most of Bordeaux’s games, their build-up play has been better than their finishing. The deadline-day signing of striker de Preville from Lille (£9.2m) may address this issue in the long-term. Yet the striker’s still finding his feet at the club so it would be optimistic to expect him to immediately resolve the team’s scoring inconsistencies.
Verdict & Prediction
Toulouse have made a fairly average start to the season (W2-D1-L2). Their two defeats came against last season’s top two sides Monaco and PSG, however, so they ought to be confident to a certain extent heading into this weekend’s fixture. Toulouse’s other three games have been close. Their two victories were both by a single goal, and last week they were a touch fortunate to get a point at Troyes (0-0). So they’ll be aware they may need to improve to beat a good Bordeaux side. This is a derby of sorts in south-west France. A considerable distance separates the cities of Toulouse and Bordeaux but there are no other professional sides in the region so this is seen as a derby.
Prediction: Toulouse +0.00 Asian Handicap (same as Draw no bet)
Odds: 2.18 Pinnacle