France Ligue 2 – Amiens v Niort Preview (12/8/16)

AM-NIORT

Amiens preview

The newly promoted underdogs haven’t won any matches yet this season but have generally given a good account of themselves. They perhaps should’ve beaten Reims on the opening day, but a point was a good outcome. Last week they lost by the most slender of margins at Strasbourg (0-1), again in a match which there was little between the teams. On Tuesday night Amiens were extremely unlucky to get KOd of the cup in Clermont. They were the better team on the night but succumbed to a 93rd minute goal. One thing Amiens don’t do well enough is convert chances, but at least they are getting into some good positions. Sooner or later you’d think something will click in front of goal. Winger, Georges Gope Fenepej is still injured, as is defender Mathieu Fontaine. Striker Aboubakar Kamara is suspended, but might not have started anyway.

Niort preview

Les Chamois have drawn both of their games so far, and this was almost to be expected. Their coach Denis Renaud was involved in a large number of drawn games when in charge of Paris FC last season. Certain clubs and coaches have that knack of picking up draws. It’s not a bad trait to have in some places, but on other occasions the lack of intent and negativity can be costly. Niort don’t look like a particularly good side to me and on paper they have one of the weakest squads in the ligue. Maybe things will improve now that new midfielder Laurent Agouazi is fit again. He should add some much needed fight and security into that area of the field. I’d imagine the main priority for Niort will just be to avoid defeat and they are unlikely to take many risks as ever.

Conclusion & betting analysis

I expect quite a nervous game here between two sides who know they have a good chance of winning. In time, this could prove to be what they call a ‘relegation six pointer’ but right now at this stage of the campaign nobody will really want to lose it. For Amiens, they know this is their best chance of opening their account for the campaign in terms of a victory. They are facing one of the worst sides in Ligue 2 and have home advantage. Niort don’t score many, so it might only take a single goal to collect all three points. I guess the big question here is who do you trust more to get you a goal? Most people would probably answer neither, which is fair enough! I personally have a sneaky suspicion Amiens will take a small 1-0 win tonight. Their price on a -0.25 handicap isn't that bad either. But this game will probably be decided on one set piece and it’s capable of going either way. I won't bet on the game, but from what I've seen so far this season, Amiens are heading into the fixture in better form.

Prediction: 1-0
Recommended bet: None

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