France Ligue 2 – Sochaux v Red Star Preview (16/12/16)

Sochaux preview

  • Les Lionceaux have won 3 of their last 4 games in the league and should also be buoyed by their midweek cup win against Marseille on penalties. Their prize in the quarter finals is a fixture against high flying Monaco.
  • The mood around the club is much better now. They are up to fifth in the table and their promotion aspirations are back on track. This is a good period for Sochaux.
  • Squad condition is excellent with only winger Florian Martin still ruled out injured. He’s been missing for a while though so they are used to life without him.
  • Sochaux have only lost once at home all season but their high amount of draws (5) has been a big hinderance.

Red Star preview

  • The Parisian outfit have had a pretty poor season so far, although do sit four points clear of the relegation zone. They haven’t been able to grind out as many good results this year or keep things as tight defensively.
  • Red Star were very good on the road last season but this campaign their 1-3-4 record is one of the worst in Ligue 2. Recent defeats at Bourg-en-Bresse & GFCA were quite convincing and this will be an even tougher test.
  • There is a big question mark in goal. First choice Arnaud Balijon has missed the whole season so far and now Pierrick Cros is injured too. Number three custodian Geoffrey Lembet will take the gloves tonight. He’s not that bad but could be a weak link in the team.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Sochaux are a 1.80 favourite which is fair enough. They are the better team and should be winning this sort of match.
  • But the hosts have a knack of drawing games and dropping points. Even when they win, it’s usually just by a one goal margin, so anyone considering the -0.75 handicap needs to bear that in mind.
  • Red Star don’t convince me but they've had a full week of rest, whereas Sochaux played on Tuesday night against a Ligue 1 team. Both mentally and physically they could be affected.
  • Overall, I just don’t see any value. I wouldn't be surprised if Sochaux won the game but I see this as a 0-0 contender. It could be a low key encounter containing few chances. I’m happy to leave it alone.

Prediction: 0-0

Recommended bet: None