France Ligue 2 – GFC Ajaccio v Laval Preview (27/1/17)

GFC Ajaccio preview

  • Started the new year with back to back victories. Their success at Le Havre last week (2-1) was their first on the road for a while which should give them a confidence boost.
  • Things have been going well at home for them in recent times, winning 4 of their last 5 at this stadium. This is no real surprise because Le Stade Ange Casanova is an historic fortress.
  • Experienced defender Francois Clerc is injured, but he’s been benched the first two games of 2017 so they’ve managed alright without him so far this year.
  • GFCA’s only other absentees are midfielder Remi Mulumba (CAN) & attacker Sekou Ciss (susp). Both would be potential starters but not massively important players.

Laval preview

  • Won their first match in six attempts by beating Troyes 1-0 last week. This was more like the performance we all expected of them under defensive manager Marco Simone as they grinded their way to three points.
  • Les Tangos are now unbeaten in four games, although the couple of 2-2 draws obtained during this period were surprisingly open encounters. I think we’ll see them revert to being a solid & ‘hard to break down’ sort of side again now though.
  • Key defender Aaron Appindangoye still hasn’t returned from African Nations duty and playmaker Romain Bayard is injured. Everyone else of significance is available though.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • This looks set to be a tight tussle between a couple of teams who generally struggle to score goals. I don’t expect a classic and chances could be few and far between.
  • Laval are highly likely to set out their stall to defend and frustrate GFC as much as possible. Les Tangos can be dangerous on the counter though and will open up if sucked into a shootout.
  • GFCA have an interesting H2H advantage here, winning the last five meetings between the two sides. This is never an easy place to visit and they are understandable favourites.
  • However, around the 2.0 mark I’m not interested in backing them. A -0.25 handicap around the 1.70 mark was something I considered but Laval aren't easy to beat and a draw wouldn't surprise me here.
  • The goal line is set pretty fair too, in between 1.75 and 2.0. I think a 1-0 home win could be on the cards, but a low scoring draw wouldn't surprise me. I’ll leave this one alone.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None