Similarities with Brest make Reims overpriced to finish bottom of Ligue 1

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Stade De Reims clearly exceeded expectations to finish 14th in Ligue 1 last season, but the upcoming campaign promises to be even tougher and they look the value pick at 15/2 to prop up the French top flight.

Key to the relatively high finish of Reims was home victories against three of the final top four, but it should not come to be expected that they will see off PSG, Lyon and Nice at the Stade Auguste Delaune for the second campaign in succession.

One of their bigger problems last season was a lack of goals, as their overall tally of 33 goals in 38 fixtures was a figure that only Brest failed to better and they finished bottom.

In the season previous, Brest also converted fewer chances than any other club in the French top tier so it should have come as no surprise that they struggled in the last campaign.

The same fate may now await Reims and their troubles will be heightened if their defence fails to be as stingy as in the last campaign, when conceding just 42 goals, which was fewer than all of the other clubs to finish outside of the top seven.

Togolese goalkeeper Kossi Agassa was a key factor in this with a string of top-drawer performances, while defensive pair Anthony Weber and Mickael Tacalfred proved colossal at times. If the standards of any of this trio slip, more defeats are almost certain to follow.

Their home form is something else that cannot afford to slip after collecting just 12 of their 43 points on the road last season, with both of their away wins coming against relegated pair Brest and Nancy.

Of the three teams to come up from Ligue 2, Monaco’s big spending and acquisitions including Radamel Falcao and Joao Moutinho mean they are title challengers and not relegation candidates, but fellow newbies Guingamp and Nantes will be nearer bottom than top.

Guingamp are favourites to finish bottom at 2/1, but three of the last four teams to occupy this spot were in Ligue 1 in the previous season.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.