France Ligue 2 – Auxerre v Valenciennes Preview (16/12/16)

Auxerre preview

  • AJA have actually only lost 1 of their last 5 games. They still remain far from convincing and luck has been on their side recently. However, an improvement has definitely been shown and Cedric Daury’s men have been willing to fight more.
  • Auxerre have scored at least one goal in all of their last four games which marks a significant improvement upon their dire performance for the most part of the season. Striker Gaetan Courtet finally managing to find some form is one of the main reasons for this.
  • Three defenders are ruled out here. However, Auxerre have arguably looked better without Baba Traore & Remi Fournier recently. The loss of right back Romain Aguilar to suspension could affect them negatively though.
  • Auxerre have the second worst home record in Ligue 2, but did win last time here against Nimes 2-0 in what was a relatively convincing performance.

Valenciennes preview

  • After coming from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 away at Red Star last week, VA are now unbeaten in four games. However, they’ve only won 1 of their last 7 fixtures and their performances have been a bit up and down.
  • A number of midfielders miss out for them tonight. The quartet of Kabore, Azbague, Fulgini & Tameze won't feature because of injuries and tactical reasons respectively. The way the squad is made up tonight suggests a fairly defensive formation with five at the back could be employed.
  • Valenciennes have a reasonable enough away record (2-4-3). They have to be respected on the road but are nothing special.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • The bookies really can’t separate either team here and it’s 1.95 a piece on the DNB handicap. Auxerre actually look a fairly big price, but I personally can’t trust them.
  • Their recent results have been much better but only one performance during the 2-0 win against Nimes convinced me much.
  • No outcome would surprise me here. Valenciennes can turn it on at any given moment but I doubt Auxerre will give them much space tonight.
  • It really is a proper ‘pick ‘em’ game and you can make arguments for either side. Gun to my head I’d back Auxerre because they are home but I’m happy to stay clear of this market.
  • Likewise, the over/under market looks tricky. The line is set between 2 and 2.25. This match is a toss of a coin of it goes over or under, I’m simply not sure. This looks like a clear no bet contest.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None