These sides have a history of serving up uninspiring encounters, and Al Hain-Cole expects the defences to be on top yet again in the West African heat on Saturday
The former France boss won this trophy twice during his time at the Stade Chaban Delmas, and Paddy Power are offering odds of 8/15 (1.53) on him collecting a third at his old team’s expense.
Les Girondins have not beaten the champions in any of their last four encounters, but are available at 11/2 (6.50) to break that record with a victory in Gabon.
Three of the last four encounters between the sides have resulted in draws, and you can get odds of 11/4 (3.75) on another stalemate forcing this showpiece match straight to penalties for the sixth time in 10 years.
While the French Football Association’s ploy of staging this match in a different location every year is designed to attract a global audience to Ligue 1, this edition may not prove to be the best advert for the league.
Recent meetings between these opponents have been edgy affairs, with neither side managing to score more than one goal in any of the last five encounters, and the hot, humid conditions in West Africa make it all the more unlikely that this trend will be broken on Saturday.
With the teams gearing up for the new season, this match should be played at a relaxed tempo, and odds of 4/5 (1.80) are not to be missed on no more than 2.5 goals going in.
Only four sides were less prolific than Francis Gillot’s men in the league last season, and they failed to hit the back of the net in either game against Saturday’s opponents, who conceded nine fewer goals than the division’s next best defence.
They are unlikely to have much joy up front without last season’s injured joint top scorer Cheick Diabate, while the absence of fellow attackers David Bellion and Diego Rolan make odds of 6/4 (2.50) even more appealing on Blanc’s men winning to nil.
|Under 2.5 goals at 4/5 (1.80) with Paddy Power
||PSG to win to nil at 6/4 (2.50) with Paddy Power|
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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.