This Sunday, Reims will play Ajaccio at the Stade Auguste-Delaune in a Ligue 1 match. Despite their 10th-place finish, Reims is enjoying a truly remarkable unbeaten streak. Since September 18, they have not lost a Ligue 1 game and have won games against Paris St. Germain, Lille, and other teams.
Even though they aren’t at the top of the table right now, Reims is one of the best teams in Ligue 1 with 11 points out of a possible 15. Ajaccio, on the other hand, is currently in the relegation zone, but only because their goal differential is the same as that of 16th-placed Auxerre.
They beat Troyes last weekend, ending a three-game losing streak.
That should give them a leg up on struggling Ajaccio, but the visitors’ thrilling victory over Troyes last weekend will also give them a boost of confidence. Despite this, it is difficult to imagine them breaking through Reims’ tight defense,
especially given that they have only scored 20 goals all season, which is the lowest total in Ligue 1. Given that Reims is still unbeaten, we anticipate a victory at home.
Prediction: Reims 2-0 Ajaccio
Since March 2017, Reims has defeated Ajaccio in four of their last five meetings, including a 0-1 victory in January. The appointment of manager William Still has largely coincided with Reims’ lengthy streak of 17 games without defeat.
Amazingly, Reims is fined approximately €25,000 for each game Still manages because he hasn’t finished his coaching certification yet! Folarin Balogun, an Arsenal loanee playing for Reims, has scored 15 goals this season. However, since Reims’ 4-0 victory over Troyes on February 12, he has not scored.
Despite Ajaccio’s victory over Troyes last weekend, their 2023 form has not been particularly convincing. They have scored 22 goals while losing seven of their nine games so far this season. On the other hand, Reims has not conceded a goal in their last four games and has only given up four goals since the beginning of the year.
Marshall Munetsi is expected to return to a more advanced midfield position after scoring with winger Junya Ito in last week’s dominant performance. Reims should start the game on Sunday with the same starting XI. Folarin Balogun, an Arsenal loanee, will once again lead the attack.
This season, he has scored 15 Ligue 1 goals, more than Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain. Azor Matusiwa and Dion Lopy will line up at the base of the midfield behind Munetsi, while Cheick Keita should once more join key player Yunis Abdelhamid in the middle of a back four.
Mounaim El Idrissy, who scored his fifth league goal of the season in Ajaccio’s victory over Troyes, should also remain unchanged from their victory over Troyes. Romain Hamouma will join him at the top, and Cyrille Bayala and Youcef Belaili will try to cause more problems from the wings.
The latter is leading their scoring charts with six goals in 13 games this season in the French top flight. Mathieu Coutadeur and Vincent Marchetti will continue to work together in the engine room, while Oumar Gonzalez and Cedric Avinel will be tested in the middle of the defense.
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