ACA were surprisingly good last week in their 0-0 draw at Tours. They should've won the match and only some poor finishing cost them. But overall they looked really sharp, had good chemistry and looked well prepared for the season. All that was required was the finishing touch. I’m sure coach Olivier Pantaloni was really encouraged by their performance because on the road Ajaccio are usually pretty terrible. Here on their island home they always need to be given plenty of respect though. Most of their best performances come at Le Stade Francois Coty and everyone will hope to build on last week's result. The squad seems really settled at the moment and the same bunch of players will be used again. The one new addition is striker Ilyes Chaibi who has recently come on loan from Monaco. He’s going to try and solve their biggest problem - scoring goals.
It wasn't a surprise to see Troyes fall to defeat in their opening match. Everything surrounding this club seems so negative at the moment and they are clearly in a downward spiral. The atrocious ligue 1 campaign has hit them hard and some fans are already worrying about relegation to the National division. I don't think it’ll come to that but new coach Jean Louis Garcia has a difficult job on his hands. Right now, his tactics aren’t working and th 4-5-1 isn’t suiting this bunch of players. Of course, it’d help if he didn't have so many injuries to deal with. Already as per usual, a number of guys are on the sidelines and fitness levels of certain individuals questionable. Troyes are really going to have to pick themselves up quickly because the overall atmosphere is really poor right now.
Conclusion & betting analysis
I have to admit I got Ajaccio all wrong last week. They were much better than I expected and despite their off season turmoils, the coach seems to have prepared them pretty well for this campaign. Pantaloni has always been a great motivator and I guess it just goes to show you can't underestimate the value of team spirit, togetherness and a nice atmosphere. The exact opposite can be said about Troyes right now. Things just aren’t working at the moment and Jean Louis Garcia has a major rebuilding project on his hands. I think Ajaccio will win today. They are always really strong in front of their own fans and this is a great chance to take on Troyes. Sadly, the bookies aren't giving much away and the -0.25 handicap which I really wanted is priced as low as 1.70. This is just too low, even if there’s a risk Ajaccio fire blanks again and draw 0-0. So I’ll take the risk and back them on a full -0.5 handicap. I hate this line with a passion in France because it’s completely ‘all or nothing’. But sometimes you have to put your money where your mouth is and I’m confident Ajaccio will win. This isn’t a great value bet and by kick off ACA might be an unbackable price. In betting it’s winning that matters first and foremost though.
Recommended bet 1 unit: Ajaccio -0.5 @ 2.04 (minimum odds acceptable 1.95)