Tours vs Niort by Lucien
Tours comes from an important 3:2 victory over Auxerre away from home last weekend, where the visiting side managed to score two goals in first twenty minutes to take the double lead thanks to Ketkeophomphone who scored both. They surprised the hosts with the double lead, while they still reduced their lead before the halftime whistle to 2:1.
Kouakou re-installed two goals lead for the guests, while the hosts sealed the final result ten minutes before the final whistle. It was obvious that the players of Tours approached that game much more enthusiasm that could be the key in their next matches in a relegating battle. After run of three undefeated matches, they are now tied up with safely placed Orleans. In any way, atmosphere inside the locker room is now much better, as their young players have grabbed the opportunity they got from their coach. Offensive Ketkeophomphone (29/7) will miss today and represents a huge blow, but the team doesn't miss any other player except this extra-valuable one.
Niort is also coming from a very interesting game, as the team won at home over Nimes with a 3:2 result with all goals coming in the second halftime. Niort have never lost the lead and were one step closer to victory always, even though the players of Nimes followed them accordingly when speaking about the development of the result.
It has to be said that the final results seems to be fair, as the hosts never lost control over the game. With this victory, Niort stands ten points above the relegation zone and won't have any further problems, while the team also has ten points less than third placed side, but it's not real to see them climbing up so much in next weeks. Atmosphere is excellent, however it remains to be seen if their lack of motive will hurt their results in next weeks. Visiting side has no fresh problem regarding injuries nor suspensions, as the team was preparing under the best possible conditions.
Tours have plenty of motives for this one, but betting on their victory seems a bit risky for me as their defense was nowhere reliable in this season. Instead of it, goals and both teams scoring will be my first choice, as players of Niort can easily do much harm to fragile hosts.