France Ligue 2 – Auxerre v Clermont Preview (19/8/16)

AJA-CF

Auxerre preview

The hosts won for the first time last week, beating Bourg-en-Bresse 4-2 away from home. The Auxerre attack came to life in a big way and they constantly caused problems for the opposition. New coach Viorel Moldovan promised a more attacking style this season and for the first time he delivered on those words. For Auxerre, it was a highly encouraging display and one which they’ll hope to build upon. Moldovan lost his first home match in charge, going down 1-2 against GFC Ajaccio. But this looks set to be an easier fixture and the squad is again unchanged. AJA have a lot of young players in their team who are homegrown at the club. I actually think this is a really good thing and it's clear to see a lot of them really care about Auxerre. There’s some promising talent too with many good technically gifted players.

Clermont preview

Things have been more difficult for Corrine Diacre’s Clermont who are still searching for their first win this season. I think it’s fair to say the Auvergne outfit have been one of the worst in the ligue so far. A lot of things have been going wrong, not least in the discipline department. Clermont currently have more red cards to their name than goals! On two occasions, first half dismissals have cost them dearly, so Diacre needs to sort this issue out quickly. The visiting outfit just don’t look the same right now. Last season they were extremely positive and lively, but at the moment seem pretty flat. For this match left back Karim Djellabi is suspended. The midfield duo of Boulaya & Espinosa are injured. Clermont have never had the greatest away record under their current coach and her tactics on the road can often be naive.

Conclusion & betting analysis

I have a feeling that Auxerre could be quite an ‘enigma’ team this season and be fairly inconsistent. But I am still willing to side with them here because I think Clermont are there for the taking right now. There’s a positive feel around Auxerre with the new manager and a more entertaining style of football. Clermont meanwhile, seem stuck in a rut and have shown little signs of life so far. Le Stade L’Abbe Deschamps isn’t a great fortress and sometimes matches can be a little flat here. But overall I see a home win if both teams play as they have done recently. Clermont need to improve but I’m not sure they have the confidence for that at the moment. Auxerre look generously priced on a -0.25 handicap @ around 1.90. This is far too big to ignore and an obvious pick in my opinion. I think this will end over 2.5 but Clermont have struggled to score goals this season so I’m willing to leave that market alone.

Prediction: 2-1
Recommended bet 1 unit: Auxerre -0.25 @ 1.90 (minimum odds acceptable 1.70)

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