France Ligue 2 – Valenciennes v Le Havre Preview (6/2/17)

Valenciennes preview

  • VA haven’t looked very good since the turn of the year. They’ve drawn a couple of games 0-0, but been largely outplayed in all contests. It’s especially worrying how little threat they’ve possessed going forwards.
  • Of course, Valenciennes haven’t been helped by the recent injury and transfer speculation regarding key striker Nuno Da Costa. Without him upfront they look pretty toothless, and once again he looks set to miss out.
  • Team news is otherwise favourable with no other major casualties to worry about. Playmaker Sebastien Roudet returns after missing the game at Laval on Friday. This is a boost but it’s fairly uncertain what sort of condition he’ll be in.
  • Valenciennes have the highest number of draws in the league (11/23) and this has been a trend in recent years. They are a massive draw outfit.

Le Havre preview

  • HAC’s miserable run of games without a win has now stretched to nine matches. They have gone from a promotion contender to looking over their shoulder at teams below them.
  • I keep routinely saying I’m not entirely sure what the problem is. Nobody can doubt their talent level and this squad should be performing much better.
  • HAC played better on Friday night against Red Star but as soon as they conceded an equaliser, heads dropped and confidence was clearly low. They look like such a fragile team mentally.
  • The strike duo of Duhamel (inj) and Gimbert (family reasons) are both ruled out. When in form, these two are fantastic player but neither have been great recently. It might not be a bad thing they actually miss out.
  • Le Havre have a few other injury concerns to Dennis Bain (CB) and Thomas Ayasse (CM). But as aforementioned, someone different taking sport in the team might have a positive affect.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Both teams are really out of form and haven't looked very good recently. Le Havre are especially in a real crisis and desperately need to get a win under their belt soon.
  • It could possibly come here because Valenciennes have yet to even score a goal in 2017 and haven't really threatened to do so either. Their offense is misfiring and lacking confidence.
  • I’m not expecting many chances to be created and this match has the feel of a low scoring contest. It will probably suit Le Havre being the away side and they can use some of their fast younger players to counter attack.
  • The bookies have priced this up with both teams on a DNB handicap. Valenciennes are slight favourites but they should really be shorter. Le Havre have no business being so overrated anymore and the value is with the hosts.
  • But I don’t trust Valenciennes either so I prefer to leave this game alone. Under 2.25 doesn’t look like a bad option for those who like to take that sort of bet. I’d be surprised if this fixture came into life much and I‘m expecting a dull and lifeless affair between two teams lacking confidence.

Prediction: 0-0

Recommended bet: None