Albert Cartier’s side beat Clermont 2-1 away from home last week and sit on seven points after three games. Sochaux have looked pretty good so far and would have a maximum haul of 3/3 wins were it not for some stout Valenciennes defending who held them to a 0-0 draw here a couple of weeks ago. Striker Moussa Sao is injured for this match, apart from that they should be unchanged. Sochaux look set to lose young promising defender Jerome Onguene to Norwich City but should pocket a decent free for him. Onguene actually hasn’t played a single minute in the ligue for them yet this season so his loss won’t impact them much. Sochaux just seem in a really good rhythm at the moment and Cartier sets them up in a strong way, hard to beat. I expected them to be one of the top teams this season, and from what I’ve seen so far that prediction seems fairly accurate.
The newly promoted team won for the first time last week, beating Ajaccio 2-0. It’s hard to know exactly what to make of Orleans right now. They seem ok, without being anything special. They have played two good teams (Le Havre & Brest) and came up short just losing on each occasion. The victory against Ajaccio was almost to be expected due to the poor nature of their opponents away from home. This will be another tough test which they might fail simply because they are facing a good side. On a positive note, new signing Karim Ziani returns from injury here. Despite his age, Ziani is expected to be a class above most players in this ligue in terms of technique and he should add to their creativity. I personally think Orleans are one of the more difficult sides to rate at the moment and I need to see more of them before I can make up my mind properly.
Conclusion & betting analysis
I think Sochaux will win the match but I’m not confident enough to back them @ 1.75. Les Lionceaux sometimes have issues at home and Le Stade Bonal has never really been much of a fortress. They were frustrated by Valenciennes here a couple of weeks ago, failing to break down a good defence and held 0-0. I don’t think Orleans will pose as much of a challenge but I always worry Sochaux will lack goals at times. Matters aren’t helped by the injury to striker Moussa Sao who has started the season in fairly good form. I see something like a 1-0 or 2-0 win but there's enough of a risk of the draw to put me off. If Sochaux were a bigger price, closer to the 2.0 mark then I would probably back them. Ultimately, there has to be enough of a temptation to back someone and @ 1.75 they just don’t seem appealing enough to me. I’m unsure how good or bad Orleans actually are so I’ll leave this match alone. I do expect Sochaux to get the three points but it might be closer than many expect.
Recommended bet: None