Nantes vs Reims
The Reims story has truly been an enthralling one. 30 year old manager Will Still has made all the headlines this campaign, with his club having to pay €22,000 a week due to him not having a Uefa Pro License.
Despite that, Reims’ loss to Marseille last week was their first since Will Still took on the role of manager. They were unbeaten in 19, scoring 26 and conceding just 12 in that period of time.
In fact, only Lens and Nice are able to boast a better defensive record in Ligue 1, with Reims’ 28 goals conceded rivaling the defensive stability of PSG. They’ve kept 3 consecutive away clean sheets, and one more would make for a club record. Prior to their loss to Marseille, it was a staggering 6 clean sheets on the bounce as well.
An xG of 1.70 P/90 is relatively impressive as well, suggesting that Still’s side are creating quality chances regularly. They’re putting them away as well, with Arsenal loanee Folarin Balgoun having netted on 17 occasions this season.
As for opponents Nantes, things are looking a tad rough. They’ve been unable to build on their last campaign, one that saw them qualify for the Europa League, and have won just 1 of their last 6 league games. They’ve conceded 12 in that time, and an xGA of 1.66 P/90 suggests they’re struggling to keep opponents at bay.
Not only that, but Nantes are having to deal with a lot of off-field noise right now. Cardiff have recently started new legal proceedings surrounding the death of former Nantes forward Emiliano Sala, whilst national protests have seen high levels of unrest in the streets. This can’t be a great situation for players and staff.
Reims should be comfortable here. Nantes have won just once against a side in the top half all season, and I don’t see that changing here.
Werder Bremen vs Hoffenheim
Over 2.5 goals in the Bundesliga game between Werder Bremen and Hoffenheim is the only goals selection in my Sunday Boosted Treble.
Werder Bremen are averaging 3.48 goals per game this season, giving them the second-best match goals average in the Bundesliga. Bayern Munich are the only club who can better that.
On home turf, Bremen are averaging 3.31 goals per match and they’ve had over 2.5 goals scored in a high 69% of their outings at the Weserstadion.
Hoffenheim are averaging 3.12 goals per match this season and they’ve had over 2.5 goals scored in 64% of the 25 league matches that they’ve played.
Over 2.5 goals is a selection that has landed in 10 of Bremen’s last 13 matches in the Bundesliga, including their last four in succession. At home, it has landed in six of their last seven.
Weirdly, over 2.5 goals has also landed in 10 of the last 13 league matches for Hoffenheim. Away from home, they’ve had three or more goals scored in four out of their last six.
Roma vs Sampdoria
Jose Mourinho’s Roma host relegation threatened Sampdoria knowing that taking all three points will take them into the top four of Serie A, at least until Milan take on Napoli late on Sunday evening. But even then, it’s very unlikely that Milan win in Naples so Roma would likely keep their spot.
Roma have experienced a wobble in form lately, but a game against Sampdoria represents the perfect opportunity to turn it around. Sampdoria are second bottom, have just 15 points to their name after 27 matches, and they have the league’s worst attack having score just 16 times so far.
Sampdoria won their last match but you can’t read a great deal into that. One, it was against Verona, another side in the bottom three of Serie A. And two, it was a win that put an end to a run of ten matches with one, and they’d lost seven matches during that spell.
Sampdoria have won just three of their last 28 matches in the league, and that is quite the depressing statistic. It’s saddening to see a club of their stature on their way to playing football in Italy’s second tier.
Roma were beaten 4-3 in their last home match which was an outlier of a result. Prior to that, they’d won five home matches in succession without conceding a goal. Roma have won eight of their last 11 home matches against Sampdoria since 2014, and I think they’ll do the same again.