Racing Club Lens vs Dijon FCO


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Today’s free tip is in the French Ligue 1 encounter between Racing Club Lens and Dijon FCO.

Dijon FCO have really let themselves down this season. They’re now playing like they’ve already been relegated, and for such a capable squad, it’s really sad to see. I thought they were far too hasty to get rid of Jobard in 2020, given who the club lost, and his replacement Linares has not managed to improve on anything either, so I think the club can be held accountable for their present fate.

I mean, this is not the worst team in Ligue 1; not by a long chalk. Some of the problems they’ve had have been bad luck (e.g. new signing Assale has been injured a lot) but the change of manager really didn’t help improve anything. They have lacked a goal threat though, and that’s the issue. When you let Tavares, Aguerd, Runarsson, and Amalfitano all leave in the same window, you’re going to have problems. Laugh all you want, but Aguerd was always a threat from set pieces, and Tavares was simply a threat at all times; a very underrated striker. Amalfitano had injury problems but was a very composed, clever creative threat when utilised.

Now, I think that bringing in Celina, Boey, Ebimbe, Diop, and Panzo were brilliant buys for Dijon FCO, honestly. Really good, young, hungry players with different qualities to bring to the table. I can’t fault the signings of Dijon FCO other than to say that they didn’t quite do enough with their attacking recruits. I think Assale was a great signing, not that it’s panned out yet, but they still needed an actual goal-scorer and there simply isn’t one in this squad. Even bringing Kamara in from Fulham reeks of desperation, given his serious attitude problems. For me, if it’s not Balde or Celina, then nobody is going to save this team. 

As if the above wasn’t damning enough, but Dijon FCO now have injury problems too. Assale is out (shocker, I know!), lethal dribbler Balde is out, experienced defender Chafik is out, veteran midfielder Sammaritano is out, his fellow midfield regular Ebimbe is out, and of course Benzia is still injured – when is he not? I wouldn’t fancy Dijon FCO’s chances without the afore-mentioned in a good run, let alone in the middle of the worst run they’ve had in years. In short, if they escape Lens without defeat tonight, they should thank their lucky stars.

Even without Cameroonian live wire Ganago up front, Lens don’t look very charitable to me. I think they’ve been one of the major success stories of Ligue 1 this season. They’ve returned from the division below with all the assurance and preparation of the Ligue 1 team that they used to be, going back many moons. They made the right signings for the right positions, and filled other gaps with experienced fighters to balance the squad out, and it’s worked like a charm. Sure, they got pumped if they’re missing too many stars at once but in general, they’ve hit the nail of balance on the head perfectly this season.

Ex-Chelsea playmaker Kakuta takes a lot of the plaudits, and so he should – he’s a phenomenal talent when he feels loved like he does at Lens. He’s by no means the only match-winner at this club though. Argentinian centre-back Medina has become absolutely integral to this team; a real rising star in Ligue 1. Additionally, it may have taken Fofana a while to get fit this season, but since he has, they’ve seen what a terrific holding midfielder he can be. The attacking partnership of Jean and Ganago is just lethal too. Jean is far too rash in front of goal but everything else he does is superb, and Ganago’s fast enough to let his lack of consistent finishing slip under the radar. Everybody is a hero in this setup because boss Haise has set them up perfectly, basically.

They look thoroughly prepared for every test this season, Lens, and nothing seems to faze them. They’re as good mentally as they are physically, never far away from scoring in any situation, and they’re more than capable of both controlling games and containing teams. Sure, there’s a touch of fatigue beginning to creep in after a long campaign but this is still a very impressive Lens side, and one that does not look charitable enough to let three points slip through their grasp today.

For me, backing Lens to beat the -1 Asian Handicap at 9/10 is a must.

Verdict: Racing Club Lens to beat the -1 Asian Handicap at 9/10..

Sunday’s Thoughts

As ever, if there are any explanations required then please feel free to post a comment! For the remainder of my thoughts on today’s games, see below, although I feel compelled to write that the below are not necessarily my tips but merely my thoughts. For confidence ratings, you’ll need to go to the members section here.

Australian A-League:

Melbourne Victory vs Newcastle Jets
Wellington Phoenix vs Western Sydney Wanderers 

Austrian Bundesliga:

Sturm Graz vs Wolfsberger AC 
Admira Wacker vs LASK Linz 
Salzburg vs Rapid Vienna

Belgian Eerste Klasse:

RSC Anderlecht vs Kortrijk
Zulte-Waregem vs Standard de Liege
Racing Genk vs Germinal Beerschot
Antwerp vs Sint-Truiden

Brazilian Serie A:

Corinthians vs Vasco da Gama 
Flamengo vs Internacional 
Sport Recife vs Atletico Mineiro
Gremio vs Athletico Paranaense
Santos vs Fluminense 
Goias vs RB Bragantino 

Bulgarian A PFG:

Beroe vs Slavia Sofia
Etar vs Levski Sofia

Croatian Prva Liga:

NK Osijek vs Rijeka 
Hajduk Split vs Dinamo Zagreb 

Czechia Liga 1:

Ceske Budejovice vs Opava
Karvina vs Slovan Liberec
Viktoria Plzen vs Bohemians 1905
Teplice vs Slavia Prague 

Danish Superligaen:

Randers vs FC Nordsjaelland
AC Horsens vs OB
AGF vs SonderjyskE 
Brondby vs Vejle 

English Premier League:

West Ham United vs Tottenham Hotspur
Aston Villa vs Leicester City
Arsenal vs Manchester City
Manchester United vs Newcastle United

Finnish Suomen Cup:

IFK Mariehamn vs FC Honka Espoo 

French Ligue 1:

Montpellier HSC vs Stade Rennais
Racing Club Lens vs Dijon FCO
OGC Nice vs Metz
Nimes Olympique vs Girondins de Bordeaux 
Racing Club Strasbourg vs Angers SCO 
Lorient vs Lille OSC
Paris Saint-Germain vs AS Monaco

German Bundesliga:

Augsburg vs Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Hertha Berlin vs RB Leipzig
TSG Hoffenheim vs Werder Bremen 

German Bundesliga 2:

Fortuna Dusseldorf vs Hannover 96
Karlsruher SC vs Nurnberg
Würzburger Kickers vs Hamburger SV 

Hungarian Liga 1:

Budafoki MTE vs Puskas FC 
Paksi SE vs Varda SE

Israeli State Cup:

Hapoel Acre vs Beitar Jerusalem
Hapoel Be’er Sheva vs Maccabi Tel-Aviv

Italian Serie A:

Parma vs Udinese
AC Milan vs Internazionale 
Atalanta Bergamo vs SSC Napoli
Benevento vs AS Roma 

Italian Serie B:

Reggina vs Pordenone
Lecce vs Cosenza 

Dutch Eredivisie:

FC Twente Enschede vs Feyenoord Rotterdam
RKC Waalwijk vs Heracles Almelo
SC Heerenveen vs FC Groningen
PSV Eindhoven vs Vitesse Arnhem
AFC Ajax Amsterdam vs Sparta Rotterdam 

Portuguese Liga 1:

Rio Ave vs Famalicao
Pacos de Ferreira vs Vitoria Guimaraes
Sporting Braga vs Tondela
Farense vs SL Benfica 

Portuguese Liga 2:

Leixoes Matosinhos vs Estoril
Penafiel vs FC Porto II
Academico Viseu vs Arouca 

Spanish Primera Liga:

Barcelona vs Cadiz
Real Sociedad vs Deportivo Alaves
Huesca vs Granada 
Athletic Club vs Villarreal

Swedish Svenska Cupen:

Kalmar FF vs Umea FC 
Malmo FF vs Vasteras SK 
Halmstad vs GAIS 
Mjallby Solvesborg vs Akropolis
BK Hacken Goteborg vs Dalkurd
Gauthiod vs Helsingborg 
Djurgarden vs Brage
Landskrona BoIS vs Ostersunds FK 

Swiss Super League:

Lugano vs Luzern
Young Boys Bern vs Servette
FC Zurich vs FC Sion 

Turkish Super Lig:

BB Erzurumspor vs Hatayspor
Sivasspor vs Kayserispor
Gazisehir Gaziantep vs Antalyaspor
Fenerbahce vs Goztepe 

Enjoy your free betting tips!

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