The hosts were excellent last week as they dominated Niort in a friendly to win 2-0. They look really well set for the season and had a buzz & energy about them. The squad is in good condition with only midfielder Haris Belkebla missing due to international duty. Tours were often seen as boring under the management of Marco Simone last season, but new man at the helm Fabien Mercadal from National side Dunkerque has promised a more attacking style. Tours look to have some good pace on the wings with Ibrahima Tandia & the newly acquired Denis Bouanga set to cause some problems. Overall though, there haven't been too many changes at Tours during the summer and this is a fairly tight knit group where everyone knows each other pretty well.
It’s been a fairly turbulent off season for ACA. They were only granted ligue status from the financial watchdogs on July 13th, so constantly had a black cloud surrounding them. As such, player recruitment hasn’t really taken hold too much, and they've lost more than they've gained. On the field they have had some nice friendly results, winning 5-0 and 4-0 on occasion. However, in their most recent fixture last week they lost against city rivals GFCA 3-1. This Ajaccio squad looks a bit lightweight in all areas, especially upfront where they lack quality and many options. I’d imagine the coach will be pretty negative here against one of his old clubs. A draw would be seen as a good result. At the time of writing I’m sure entirely sure if they are going to be missing any players, the squad list hasn't been released.
Conclusion & Betting analysis
I think Tours on a -0.25 handicap is a fairly obvious pick here. Ajaccio have never been a good away team, in any ligue or in any season that I can remember! They only won a solitary road match in the 2015/16 campaign, so to get a nice juicy handicap like this on any team against them is a no brainer decision. Tours seem in a good place right now anyway. Their pre season preparations have been pretty smooth and they can take plenty of confidence out of their performance last week. Ajaccio haven't looked too bad but their usual road issues can’t be ignored, neither can their lack of firepower upfront. The visitors are probably going to rely on a set piece to score, otherwise I think Tours will keep a fairly easy clean sheet. I’m expecting a 1-0 or 2-0 sort of outcome and to get 2.05 on a -0.25 handicap is too big to refuse, even if this is the opening day of the season when betting is traditionally dangerous.
Recommended bet 2 units: Tours -0.25 @ 2.05 (minimum odds acceptable 1.80)