France Ligue 2 – Sochaux v Brest Preview (29/8/16)

SOX-BREST

Sochaux preview

The hosts remain unbeaten but both of their victories have been on the road. In front of their own fans they’ve been frustrated by a couple of 0-0 draws against teams who have parked the bus well. Maybe it’ll be different tonight but Les Lionceaux need to find more imagination in certain situations. Last week was a bitter blow for them because they lost starting keeper Olivier Werner to a serious double leg break and he’ll probably miss the remainder of the season. Midfielder Florian Berenguer also misses out because of injury tonight. Sochaux are a really well organised side with particular strengths in defence and midfield. Goal scoring is still a bit of a concern and they miss too many opportunities. Le Stade Bonal has never been a massive fortress and isn’t the most intimidating place to visit. Sochaux might be one of those sides who actually prefer being on the road.

Brest preview

Somewhat surprisingly, Brest have hit the ground running straight away. It appeared to me like they might need some time to settle down and adapt to new coach Jean Marc Furlan, but they’ve arguably been the most impressive Ligue 2 outfit thus far. Furlan has an amazing track record at this level and has obtained numerous promotions up to the top flight. He isn’t very effective in Ligue 1 but he sure as hell can do a job here. Furlan is well known for his attacking tactics and they head into this contest having scored 8 goals in their last 3 games. It will be a much more difficult test facing a robust Sochaux backline though. Brest have had an extremely settled team all season, but they will have to make one change tonight because centre back Zakaria Diallo is suspended.

Conclusion & betting analysis

There’s two fairly good teams on show tonight and already I think it’s fair to say this is a battle between a couple of promotion contenders. The style of each team is different. Sochaux are a more compact side who first and foremost will try and keep things tight. They are arguably more effective away from home where they can counter attack dangerously. Brest meanwhile, are always going to be attack minded under Jean Marc Furlan. All of their last three games have ended over 2.5, including fixtures facing Red Star & Valenciennes who are renowned for their solid defences. Both of Sochaux’s home games have ended 0-0 but they haven't been for lack of chances. They will probably enjoy facing a side who won't actually park the bus and I have a feeling this match will yield goals. The bookies have set a goal line between 1.75 and 2 which seems on the low side. By backing over 1.75, only two goals will need to be scored to win something. I’ve got an overall feeling Sochaux will take the game in what might be a more exciting affair to what most expect.

Prediction: 2-1
Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 1.75 goals @ 1.76 (minimum odds acceptable 1.65)