France Ligue 2 – GFC Ajaccio v Brest Preview (29/7/16)

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GFC Ajaccio preview

Only fullback Boris Mahon De Monaghan & midfielder Jerome Lemoigne are injured. The latter is an important midfield influence but his absence was expected because he’s missed all of preseason. GFC gave a very good account of themselves last season in Ligue 1 but ultimately fell short of survival. As mentioned in the season preview, I think they have a decent chance of going back up at the first attempt. They have however added 12 new players, which is quite a lot, plus a brand new coach. Most of them have had decent enough time to settle in but when this sort of big changeover happens there'll always be question marks. GFC have looked solid enough in preseason and looked especially sharp against their city rivals AC Ajaccio last week (3-1 win). I wouldn't expect them to lose many home games this campaign. Corsica will always be a fortress for all of its clubs.

Brest preview

For a long time Brest were quiet in this transfer window but have done a lot of business in the last seven days. A total of 8 new players have arrived, most of whom officially signed recently. It all feels like a bit of a rush and it might take some time for certain players to settle in. Brest have a new manager this season in Jean Marc Furlan. He’s going to completely change the typical Brest approach into a more attack minded side this season. Many people will think of the Brittany outfit and imagine a boring tactical team but it could be the opposite now. He said in a recent interview that ‘football should be a show’ Of course, it might take some time for Furlan to get his message across and he won't probably know what his best XI is right now. It also doesn’t help that two centre backs (Castan & Coeff ) might not be registered in time for this game. Brest don’t have any injuries. Any players not included in the squad will either depart soon, or aren’t part of Furlan’s masterplan.

Conclusion & Betting analysis

This is an interesting opening day match between a couple of teams who could finish in the top six this season. Both head into the campaign having undergone a lot of changes so there are understandable question marks on either side. My feeling is that home advantage will be important here. Corsica is a really difficult place to go and GFCA have a formidable record here in recent years. Even in Ligue 1, certain sides struggled visiting Le Stade Ange Casanova. I think the islanders on a -0.25 handicap @ 1.84 looks like a good bet. There is some security here in case of a draw and I think it’s worth a two unit stake. I’m also going to take over 2 goals @1.91. I’m maybe being a bit aggressive here but I think both sides are priced up on past reputation, especially Brest. Furlan will have them playing more attack minded this season and we might not get such juicy odds on them again if this match ends a decent scorer. With a full refund if exactly two goals are scored I’ll have a small punt on the overs as well.

Prediction: 2-1
Recommended bet 2 units: GFC Ajaccio -0.25 @ 1.84 (minimum odds acceptable 1.70)
Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 2 goals @ 1.91 (minimum odds acceptable 1.75)

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