France Ligue 2 – Ajaccio v Orleans Preview (20/1/17)

Ajaccio preview

  • ACA surprised everyone by beating Troyes 2-1 away from home last week. This was their first road win of the season but followed on from a plucky performance at Monaco in the cup earlier in the month.
  • The Corsican outfit appear to have started 2017 with some strong momentum and it’s been apparent how much dangerous they’ve looked going forwards.
  • Fullback Anthony Lippini is still suspended and fellow defender Pape Ciss is injured. Everyone else should be available, including right winger Risd Nouri who missed out due to injury last week.
  • Ajaccio do have the fifth best home record in the league but have suffered three defeats here to surprising opponents. They tend to struggle in fixtures like this when everyone expects them to win.

Orleans preview

  • New coach Didier Olle Nicolle got off to a losing start last week against Brest. Orleans looked fairly solid defensively but one crucial error at the back cost them defeat.
  • They aren’t a side who threaten too much offensively, and when they do chances are often missed. Orleans have only scored four road goals all season and have the worst away record out of anyone (0-2-7).
  • The club has financial problems off the field and are currently under a transfer embargo. They hope to get it lifted before the end of the month but this really isn’t an ideal situation.
  • They’ve been forced to sell key midfielder Jean Eudes Aholou to Strasbourg and his presence will be badly missed in the middle of the park. USO have a few other absentees but nobody else of massive significance.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • It was hoped that a change of manager would improve Orlean’s results. Not much can be taken out of one match at the helm, but on first glance not an awful lot seems to have changed for the club.
  • If anything, things seem to have gotten worse with their off the field issues and the transfer of Ahoulou out of the club. Ajaccio have to fancy their chances tonight facing a club in such turmoil.
  • I’m surprised the hosts can be grabbed on a -0.25 handicap around the 1.90 mark. Ajaccio are one of the strongest home sides in the division facing statistically the worst road team.
  • The one concern is that ACA have struggled to beat poor opponents at home this year. Losing to Laval,. Red Star and a depleted Nimes was a real shock and all of them in situations they were expected to win.
  • But despite this worry I simply have to back them on a -0.25 line. The price and line is way off and Ajaccio probably should be odds-on to win this game outright. Unless new manager syndrome starts to kick in for Orleans they look like a lost hope at the moment.

Prediction: 2-0

Recommended bet 1 unit: Ajaccio -0.25 @ 1.91 (minimum odds acceptable 1.70)