France Ligue 2 – Troyes v Ajaccio Preview (13/1/16)

Troyes preview

  • ESTAC have been one of the pleasant surprises of the season, but did end 2016 with a slight whimper, only picking up one point from their last three games.
  • The winter break probably came at a good time for them and they’ll try and regroup here.  However, their first fixture of 2017 resulted in a cup loss against Auxerre (2-4 AET).
  • Troyes are missing three players from defence with the fullback duo Johann Obiang & Charles Traore on African Nations Cup duty. Centre back Johan Martial is injured.
  • To make matters worse, Jean Louis Garcia’s men have two injuries in midfield to regular starters as well. Thiago Xavier is their best holding midfielder, whilst Karim Azamoum will be missed from a creative sense.
  • ESTAC are unbeaten at home in nine games and have won six of those contests. Their defensive record here in front of their own fans has especially been impressive.

Ajaccio preview

  • The Corsicans have only won 1 of their last 8 games and started to slide down the table a bit. They have the second worst away record in the league and have yet to win on the road. This isn't much of a surprise, they are routinely awful on their travels year after year.
  • Having said that, I have to say ACA put up a very plucky display away against Monaco in the cup last weekend, only losing 1-2. They rode their luck at times but I was impressed with how dangerous they looked going forwards.
  • Olivier Pantaloni’s men will be at full strength apart from in defence where fullback Anthony Lippini is suspended (yet again!). Centre half Pape Cisse is injured and his loss is a blow considering he’s yet to miss a single minute of action in the league so far this season.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • If this match was being played a couple of months ago then Troyes would be really strong favourites. However, their form has dipped a bit and player absences could be a factor to consider here.
  • Both teams are missing players from defensive areas which could potentially lead to goals. I strongly considered the overs here, either the over 2 or 2.25 line. But in the end have decided to refrain from betting due to a couple of nagging doubts.
  • Troyes have cost me a number of times this year with overs, party due to an annoying desire to try and ‘pass the ball’ into the back of the net too much. Adama Niane has scored a lot of goals for them but he also wastes chances. They’ll hope the recent signing of Jonathan Tinhan from Amiens will increase their goals tally.
  • The weather forecast isn't very good either. Some snow/sleet is possible along with high winds. The temperature is also going to be pretty cold and it could ‘feel’ close to -10 degrees celsius which the players certainly won't enjoy.
  • I’ve got a feeling Ajaccio might get something, so I’m going to predict a 1-1 draw. But they are unbettable away from home and rarely ever win on the road.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None