France Ligue 2 – Niort v Amiens Preview (20/1/17)

Niort preview

  • After their great run of autumn results, Niort have now gone five games without a win. However, they've played quite well during and probably should’ve won at least a couple of games during this period.
  • Les Chamois are unbeaten at home in seven matches and have turned Le Stade Rene Gaillard back into a fortress again, producing some excellent performances here.
  • Key playmaker Jimmy Roye returns from suspension. Perhaps if he was available then they’d have beaten Laval last week instead of having to settle for a 2-2 draw.
  • Everyone else is available apart from long term absentees. No regular starters will miss this match and the squad looks to be in good condition.

Amiens preview

  • The newly promoted outfit were involved in a stunning 4-3 win against Strasbourg last week, which was one of the games of the season so far. Quite how they won I’m not sure because for large periods of the game they were outplayed.
  • Amiens are a very plucky side and currently sit fourth in the table. They have massively overachieved so far and everyone expects them to fade in the second half of the season. But this is a team enjoying it's football with no pressure on their shoulders.
  • Two regular starters return from suspension, left winger Richard Soumar and right back El Hajam. It looks like their only real injury concern is to playmaker Emmanuel Bourgaud who probably won’t be fit in time.
  • Amiens have only lost twice on the road all year which is highly respectable. However, it’s been a while since they won away from home (mid October) and have drawn their last three consecutive road games.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Both teams have performed better than expected this season and I’m expecting quite a lively encounter. Niort have been surprisingly proactive since the early part of the campaign, scoring plenty of goals and been involved in some higher scoring contests.
  • Amiens themselves are no strangers to high scoring games, as last week proved! They are also capable of keeping things tight, but if sucked into a shootout type of match then they’ll always open up.
  • The first bet I like for this match is over 2 goals. Very few Niort games have ended with less than two goals in them since the earlier stages of the season. It’s also been noticeable how goals have increased in Amiens’ fixtures since last November.
  • I also think Niort are worth backing on a DNB handicap. The simple fact is I rate them as the better team, yet they can be grabbed as big as 1.87 on this line! To me, this doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. A fairer line here would be Niort -0.25 around the 1.85 mark, so we are getting a whole clear line of value.
  • Taking a DNB handicap offers plenty of security, it’s been a while since Les Chamois last lost at home. The return of key playmaker Jimmy Roye will massively aid both bets I’ve taken in the fixture and he could be the difference maker.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 2 goals @ 1.86 (minimum odds acceptable 1.70)

Recommended bet 1 unit: Niort DNB @ 1.87 (minimum odds acceptable 1.65)