Monthly Archives: December 2016

France Ligue 1 – St Etienne v Nancy Preview (21/12/16)

St Etienne preview

  • Sainte have been very inconsistent recently and they are very much the definition of a midtable team right now. For the most part, I think their performances have been below par.
  • Third choice keeper Anthony Maisonnial will be starting the game. Stephane Ruffier is injured and Jessy Moulin suspended.
  • Les Verts really missed their star custodian at the weekend and they also missed highly influential defender Loic Perrin. He will once again be injured here which is a big blow, joining Florentin Pogba on the sidelines.
  • Sainte have only lost once home game this season, although at times haven’t been very convincing, fluking their way to some results.

Nancy preview

  • An improved run of form, just 2 losses in 9 games has seen Nancy climb up to 20 points and for now they have a decent cushion clear of the relegation zone.
  • I’m not quite sure what has sparked their revival. They don't have any star individuals and the starting XI regular changes. There is no real logical explanation for their improvement but they've become tough to beat. Only the top sides have blown them out this season.
  • Nancy have only won a single road match this season but should’ve collected all three points against Toulouse on Saturday, succumbing to a late goal (1-1).

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Sainte are -0.25 favourites which is about fair. The bookies have adjusted accordingly due to the recent form of both teams, and the two key injuries Les Verts have at the back.
  • I think this is a 0-0 contender but I actually have a feeling Nancy might sneak a 1-0 win. Maybe one individual error from the third choice keeper or a blown coverage will cost St Etienne at some stage.
  • The hosts haven’t looked good offensively for a while and Nancy have shown they can keep things tight. They in a good phase at the moment and confidence high.
  • I personally don’t want to risk anything on this match which is likely to be close and tight throughout. But I certainly wouldn't be backing St Etienne the way things are going for them at the moment.

Prediction: 0-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 1 – Bastia v Marseille Preview (21/12/16)

Bastia preview

  • After going through a long winless run, Bastia have responded by taking back to back victories against Metz and Rennes.
  • This will come as a relief to coach Francois Ciccolini. Despite their improved form, I’m sure everyone is welcoming the winter break due to a poor injury situation.
  • More than half a dozen players are ruled out tonight, including key midfielder Yannick Cahuzac and striker Enzo Crivelli. The latter has been in good form and is a powerful unit upfront for them.
  • Bastia are never the prettiest of sides to watch but can be hard to beat at this stadium. Only twice have they suffered defeat on Corsica this season, and one of those was on the opening day against PSG.

Marseille preview

  • OM have now won three games in a row and are up to sixth in the table. These are dizzy heights for a club which has struggled in the last couple of years.
  • New coach Rudi Garcia has done a good job so far, getting the most out of his mediocre squad. OM have kept 6 out of 9 clean sheets in Ligue 1. At times they’ve been boring under Garcia but he has definitely got them defending better.
  • Squad condition is good with only left back Henri Bedimo a major absentee.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • These two sides have quite a strong rivalry so I’m expecting a feisty atmosphere at Le Stade Furiani. Marseille haven’t won on any of their last four visits to Corsica, including the 1-1 draw at GFC Ajaccio last year.
  • This is a tough place to come but Marseille could be in the right sort of form to do well tonight. Their defence is strong and I could see them keeping a clean sheet, especially as Enzo Crivelli is injured for Bastia.
  • Bastia aren’t known for playing particularly well in midweek games. Their squad is small, injury ravaged and they often struggle with the quick turnaround of games.
  • Marseille are -0.25 favourites which is fair enough. I think they’ll edge a tight victory but the high risk of a draw makes this game unbettable.

Prediction: 0-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 1 – Metz v Guingamp Preview (21/12/16)

Metz preview

  • Les Grenats have lost 7 of their last 10 games and are now hovering just one place above the relegation zone.
  • Their last three defeats have all been on the road. The last time they played at home the game ended in abandonment against Lyon due to the firecracker incident. One of the stands is closed tonight so there could be a reduced attendance.
  • Metz have injuries to five regular starters, the most notable being striker Mevlut Erding and playmakers Yann Jouffre & Kevin Lejeune. First choice keeper Thomas Didillon is also a casualty.

Guingamp preview

  • Antoine Kombouare’s men obtained a magnificent victory at home to PSG on Saturday. They put in a great performance and everyone should be on a massive high heading into this game.
  • Guingamp can be an inconsistent side though, literally capable of anything. Their road form is average, capable of good or bad.
  • Squad condition is pretty good, although central defender Jeremy Sorbon is ruled out injured. The ex Caen player has started all 18 Ligue 1 games for them this season, featuring in every single minute!

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Guingamp are the better team and really should be winning this sort of match. But I wonder if they’ll be overconfident after beating PSG? Everyone is singing their praises right now and there’s a good chance they could treat Metz too lightly.
  • The visitors are on a -0.25 handicap so even the bookies are overrating them too much as well. Guingamp are the better side but they should only be on a NDB handicap here, these odds look too short.
  • In the match which was abandoned against Lyon, Metz actually played really well and were leading 1-0. I was lucky that game was called off because I’d backed Lyon -1 that day. I personally think the pick would’ve lost. Metz can be dangerous opposition at home if they get ahead.
  • This probably has a good chance of ending over 2.5. Metz games tend to be high scoring and Guingamp do occasionally get sucked into shootouts.
  • However, Guingamp are one of the bigger under sides in Ligue 1. Their match against PSG at the weekend was one of the few times any of their games have gone over 2.5 this season.
  • If the goal line was 2.0 at a decent price, I’d back it. But only over 2.25 is available at around the 1.85 mark. This isn’t tempting enough, so I’ll leave the match alone.

Prediction: 1-2

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 1 – Lille v Rennes Preview (21/12/16)

Lille preview

  • Patrick Collot’s unbeaten start as Lille interim coach came to an end on Sunday as Marseille beat them 2-0. They weren’t too bad in that match but seemed to have no Plan B once they fell behind.
  • Of course, injuries haven't helped them recently and once again a number of players are going to be missing, especially from attacking areas.
  • A couple of defenders are also doubtful with both Marko Basa and Franck Beria gametime decisions.

Rennes preview

  • The Breton outfit have lost 3 of their last 4 games and seem to be ending the year in negative fashion. Too many misses chances have cost them recently, they simply aren’t clinical enough in front of goal.
  • Squad condition isn’t too bad but they do have a sprinkling of injuries across the board.
  • Rennes’ away record is pretty poor with 6 out of 8 defeats. They’ve only scored four times on the road, a couple of which were at Nantes who were in terrible form at the time.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Lille are -0.25 favourites which is about right. They are the better team, but not by that much.
  • If their squad was in better condition aid if they hadn’t played on Sunday then I might have backed them. In general, Les Dogues have looked much better under interim coach Patrick Collot. However, I sense they are looking forward to the winter break.
  • Rennes could also do with a break and aren’t in great form. I think we’ll see a fairly low key match with relatively few goals.
  • I just don’t see a viable bet here. Lille -0.25 maybe wouldn’t be a bad option but the risk of a draw is quite high. The goal line is set at 2.0 and this seems about right.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 1 – Bordeaux v Nice Preview (21/12/16)

Bordeaux preview

  • Les Girondins were unbeaten in seven matches not so long ago. However, they’ve now lost three games in a row. They head into this game on the back of successive 0-4 defeats.
  • It seems like Jocelyn Gourvennec’s men desperately need the winter break to come quickly. They have been punished by some clinical sides recently and Nice are sadly a similar sort of opponent.,
  • The 0-4 defeat at Bordeaux on Saturday was harsh on them. Had Bordeaux taken their chances then it might've been a different game. Having to play the last 55 mins with just 1o men wasn’t ideal though and physical freshness could be an issue here.
  • To counteract that, the coach might have to start some lesser known players. Some of this is by default anyway due to their terrible injury situation. Bordeaux have 9 players injured and 2 suspended.

Nice preview

  • Whatever happens tonight, Nice will be top of the table during the winter break. A victory here would ensure they have at least a four point cushion.
  • New coach Lucien Favre has done a tremendous job so far and they are remarkably still up there with the pace. There’s certainly an element of ‘Leicester’ about them and we all have to realistically consider Les Aiglons as a major contender now.
  • Nice have only lost one game all season which was away against Caen. They are a strong all round until with strong defensive and attacking abilities.
  • The visitors have injury problems in defence. Three of their four regular starters will all miss out tonight - Dante, Ricardo & Dalbert. The two fullbacks also missed the Dijon match at the weekend and they looked vulnerable. Without Dante who has been excellent this season, Bordeaux could take advantage.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • I personally see this match being an open contest. Bordeaux simply can’t defend at the moment and I don’t think there’s enough time to rectify this before the winter break.
  • Both sides are missing players from defence. Of course, that doesn’t automatically mean more goals will be scored but logically you’d think more chances will be created. Nice have some good quality attackers and Bordeaux have some decent technical options.
  • Therefore, over 2.25 goals is my pick for the game. The price is around the 1.80 mark which is generous enough. Nice matches often have too many undeserved high goal lines but in this instance I think there’s some value.
  • I’m surprised Bordeaux are slight favourites on a DNB line. Nice should be at least a -0.25 handicap tonight so there is definitely a spot of value on the visitors. However, without Dante and a weakened backline I’m not willing to risk them.

Prediction: 1-2

Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 2.25 goals @ 1.80

France Ligue 1 – Dijon v Toulouse Preview (21/12/16)

Dijon preview

  • Les Rouges’ winless streak now stretches to eight games and puts them back inside the relegation zone. This is a difficult period for Olivier Dall'Oglio’s men but they remain competitive.
  • We have to consider the fact they’ve faced some difficult opponents recently. The likes of OM, Monaco & Nice have been on their fixture card of late and Dijon have been credible in most games. I feel like their performances have deserved better results.
  • Veteran defender Cedric Varrault is suspended tonight. This might not be a bad thing because two games in a week could’ve been tricky for him physically, especially facing fast strikers.
  • Playmaker Frederic Sammaritano also misses out for DFCO, who have only lost once at home since the opening day of the season. They have always been strong in front of their own fans.

Toulouse preview

  • Results haven’t been too bad recently, albeit with unconvincing performances. They could easily have lost all of their last six games but managed to grab a couple of home wins during this period.
  • Despite being outplayed by struggling Nancy in front of their own fans on Saturday, a late Christophe Julien equaliser earned them a point. Julien will now attempt to score against his old club. He’s so big and dangerous in the air from attacking set pieces.
  • Toulouse are affected by injuries. At the back Moubandje & Diop are both ruled out and the latest casualty is winger Jimmy Durmaz. A number of other players will possibly be playing hurt and carrying niggling injuries. The squad isn’t particularly healthy right now.
  • TFC have only won one away game this season, which was way back in September against Lille. They’ve never been that great on the road since Pascal Dupraz took charge in March.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Dijon are set as slight favourites, in between a DNB and -0.25 handicap line. They haven’t won for eight games but I think there’s a good chance they can get three points tonight.
  • In terms of actual performances, they’ve actually been much the better of the two teams recently. Toulouse have fluked a couple of results facing poor opponents, whereas Dijon haven't always gotten what they deserve.
  • Les Rouges are hard to beat at home and have put in some decent displays at Le Stade Gaston Gerard. Toulouse are injury ravaged a bit and I feel this is a good matchup for them.
  • Backing Dijon DNB @ around the 1.75 is a pick I’m willing to take. I don’t think they’ll lose tonight and the line is generous. Toulouse just haven’t done enough recently  that suggests to me they’ll get the job done.
  • I could see this match ending over 2.5 and the goal line of 2.0 is slightly tempting as well. However, a number of TFC away games tend to be low scoring so I’ll leave that market alone.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet 1 unit: Dijon DNB @ 1.77

France Ligue 1 – Lyon v Angers Preview (21/12/16)

Lyon preview

  • OL surprised everyone by beating Monaco 3-1 away from home on Sunday night. They’ve now won 6 of their last 7 Ligue 1 fixtures and are ending 2016 strongly.
  • Bruno Genesio’s men have actually lost three home games this season and been unconvincing in a few others. They aren't totally reliable in front of their own fans but most people will expect them to beat Angers fairly easily.
  • Starting right back Rafael is injured tonight. He’s joined on the sidelines by midfielder Corentin Tolisso who has been enjoying a stellar season so far and highly rated by a number of big clubs.
  • A couple of other players such as Maxime Gonalons are rated doubtful too. Lyon have had less time to prepare for this fixture and put a lot of physical and mental energy into Sunday night, so there’s a chance they could be a little flat here.

Angers preview

  • Stephane Moulin’s men have failed to win any of their last six games, with four of those ending in defeat. They are starting to slide towards the relegation zone.
  • Angers have lost yet another player to a season ending cruciate ligament injury. Left back Yoann Andreu joins goalkeeper Letellier and winger Billy Ketkeo on the sidelines until the summer.
  • The current no2 goalkeeper Mathieu Michel is rated doubtful tonight because of a bruised hand. If he’s not deemed fit enough then the often unreliable Denis Petric will take over in between the sticks.
  • The visitors are no mugs on the road but recent away performances at Guingamp and Nancy were quite poor. They just seem out out of form a bit.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Angers shockingly won this fixture 2-0 last season but on current form it’ll be difficult for them to repeat it here. They’ve lost a lot of recent games, whilst Lyon are flying.
  • Therefore, it’s no surprise to see the hosts priced up on a -1.25 handicap line. The public expectation is that OL will claim a comfortable victory tonight.
  • However, I do think there are some factors which help Angers here The first is that they’ve had two extra days to prepare . Lyon could be physically and mentally fatigued after an important emotional win against Monaco.
  • Angers will also make themselves difficult to break down which could spell trouble for Lyon. They tend to get frustrated by teams who park the bus.
  • With this sort of gameplan and a bit of luck, especially if Lyon are sloppy, then it’s not out of the question Angers could get something. They could certainly  at least cover a +1.25/+1.5 handicap and they aren’t the sort of side who get blown out easily.
  • Angers are one of the big under sides in Ligue 1 so a goal line of 2.75 looks too high here. I’d say a tight Lyon win is the most likely outcome and I don't expect this to be much of a classic.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 1 – Nantes v Montpellier Preview (21/12/16)

Nantes preview

  • New coach Sergio Conceicao has started with two victories. Their 2-0 success at Angers on Friday was a really hard fought success and they dug in hard. It was more like the sort of performance many expected from Nantes this season.
  • One of the main positives about the squad are their big physically powerful defenders. As a whole, most of the players are big units. Angers coach Stephane Moulin admitted that Nantes physically bullied them.
  • I’d expect a similar sort of display here. Nantes will probably be very hard to break down but should retain plenty of threat on the break with the likes of Iloki and Sala.
  • Les Canaris have a terrible home record but all past results need to be completely forgotten. They look like a different side under their new manager with much more belief.

Montpellier preview

  • The visitors obtained a huge 4-0 win against Bordeaux at the weekend. This scoreline was flattering though. They were second best for most of the first half and then played against 10 men for more than 50 mins.
  • MHSC have yet to win away from home this season, although have drawn 4 out of 9 contests. Their performances haven’t been too bad but the 24 goals conceded is a pretty shocking statistic.
  • Key playmaker Ryad Boudebouz is injured and misses out tonight. They managed to score four goals without him against Bordeaux, but in a much tighter fixture like this one his presence would be more important. He has the ability to unlock a defence with one really classy moment.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • These two teams met just last week in the Coupe de la Ligue. Nantes prevailed 3-1 on that occasion, although Montpellier didn’t play a full strength team.
  • It will be interesting to see if they’ve learnt their lessons from that game. Nantes look a much better side under Conceicao and are pretty well drilled at the moment. Crucially, confidence has returned too.
  • Nantes fans have been restless this season but the atmosphere should be improved tonight. Les Stade Beaujoire can be a formidable place if the supporters actually get behind them.
  • The hosts are priced up on a -0.25 handicap line around the 1.90 mark. These are big enough odds to tempt me in. Montpellier have yet to win away from home and I don’t see this being a great matchup for them.
  • Once again, Nantes could beat up a side physically here and are unlikely to give Montpellier the sort of space that Bordeaux allowed them at the weekend. The fact that Nantes have had an extra day to prepare could be important too. And although it was only a cup match, last week’s win against them surely has to be a positive.
  • The goal line is set between 2 and 2.25 which looks about fair. I think it’s really 50/50 if this game ends over or under so I’m happy just to stick with the -0.25 pick.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet 1 unit: Nantes -0.25 @ 1.91

France Ligue 1 – PSG v Lorient Preview (21/12/16)

PSG preview

  • Their last three Ligue 1 fixtures have yielded just one point. The champions have had a very poor December overall and they desperately need the winter break to arrive in order to recover.
  • Something hasn’t been right with them all season but the recent slump has just highlighted that fact even more. It really is difficult to say what’s gone wrong, there are a number of reasons.
  • Key playmaker Angel Di Maria is injured and ruled out of this match. However, the Argentinian has been in poor form this season and might not even be missed that much.
  • PSG have kept 7 out of 9 clean sheets at home and nobody has managed to beat them at Le Parc des Princes.

Lorient preview

  • Les Merlus remain bottom of the table but have been in much better form recently. They’ve only lost 1 of their last 5 games and the prospect of avoiding relegation is now much more realistic.
  • New coach Bernard Casoni seems to have instilled some extra belief into the side. His tactics have also been positive and allowed the players to express themselves. They’ll come here to Paris with no pressure on their shoulders and this is a pure bonus fixture.
  • Their away record is pretty awful, losing 7 out of 9 fixtures. However, the two draws obtained were both under Casoni and an improvement has been noted.
  • Squad condition is fine with no new injuries or suspensions to worry about. Nobody of major significance is ruled out.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Failure to win this game really would be a disaster for PSG., They are in somewhat of a crisis right now and a poor result tonight would seriously deepen it.
  • They aren’t however expected to have any problems. Lorient aren’t much of a side and are unlikely to have much resistance. PSG are -2 asian handicap favourites and most people expect them to win comfortably.
  • I just don’t see how they can be trusted though. Teams like Montpellier and Guingamp have both beaten them recently. Ok, those losses were on the road but it’s still very worrying.
  • I think they’ll claim a fairly comfortable victory but there’s no guarantee PSG will prevail by a three goal margin, or even by two. So I’m quite happy to leave this market alone.
  • The goal line is set at 3.5 which is way too high for French football. This may or may not cover but you’d have to be mad to back this line, especially when you consider PSG concede few goals at home.

Prediction: 2-0

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 1 – Round 19 (21/12/16)

Wednesday 21st December

  • Bastia v Marseille [otw_shortcode_button href="" size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]FREE Preview[/otw_shortcode_button]
  • Bordeaux v Nice [otw_shortcode_button href="" size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]FREE Preview[/otw_shortcode_button]
  • Dijon v Toulouse [otw_shortcode_button href="" size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]FREE Preview[/otw_shortcode_button]
  • Lille v Rennes [otw_shortcode_button href="" size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]FREE Preview[/otw_shortcode_button]
  • Lyon v Angers [otw_shortcode_button href="" size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]FREE Preview[/otw_shortcode_button]
  • Metz v Guingamp [otw_shortcode_button href="" size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]FREE Preview[/otw_shortcode_button]
  • Monaco v Caen [otw_shortcode_button href="" size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]FREE Preview[/otw_shortcode_button]
  • Nantes v Montpellier [otw_shortcode_button href="" size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]FREE Preview[/otw_shortcode_button]
  • PSG v Lorient [otw_shortcode_button href="" size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]FREE Preview[/otw_shortcode_button]
  • St Etienne v Nancy [otw_shortcode_button href="" size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]FREE Preview[/otw_shortcode_button]