France Ligue 2 – Laval v Troyes Preview (20/1/17)

Laval preview

  • Les Tangos have surprisingly drawn their last couple of games 2-2. Both have been open and high scoring encounters, not what you’d expect from a Marco Simone led team.
  • Simone is a naturally defensive minded manager who often sets up his teams to be hard to break down. I would expect him to return to this sort of tactic again soon.
  • Key centre back Aaron Appindangoye is on African Nations duty with Gabon. Playmaker Romain Bayard is injured. They have a few other players on the treatment table but nobody else significant.
  • New signings Christopher Glombard (RB) and Sacha Petshi (CM) are in the squad for the first time and could be in line to make debuts.

Troyes preview

  • After a great run of form during the autumn, Troyes have now lost 3 of their last 4 games and have slid down to seventh spot.
  • Three defenders are again ruled out, Martial (inj), Obiang (CAN) & Charles Traore (CAN). Joining them is midfielder Karim Azamoum who is still injured.
  • Defensive midfielder Thiago Xavier does at least return to the side and he will give them a much needed shield in this area of the park.
  • ESTAC only have an average away record and even during their great run of form, road performances weren't massively convincing.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Laval are favourites on a DNB line around the 1.80 mark. This seems about fair to me. Troyes are the better team, but with home advantage Laval deserve some extra respect.
  • If Laval keep playing as they have done recently then we should expect an open game of football. However, I just can’t believe coach Marco Simone will be happy about the number of goals they've been conceding. This leads me to think they’ll operate defensively again.
  • If the game does open up then a goal line of 2.0 looks pretty generous. My gut feeling is that this will at least push but I’m not willing to risk taking it with Laval involved.
  • With uncertainty surrounding the type of tactics the home team will employ, I think the best thing to do is avoid the game. A home win or a draw is my prediction, Troyes just don't seem in great form right now.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None