Monthly Archives: March 2017

MLS – Seattle Sounders v Atlanta United Preview (31/3/17)

 

Match preview

If you’d asked me a week ago, I’d have had this nailed on as a banker over 2.5 match and potentially one of the best games of the season so far. However, it comes at a bad time for both outfits. Each team will be affected by the international break, some more than others. Key Atlanta striker Josef Martinez is out of action for up to six weeks with an injury picked up, and it looks like playmaker Miguel Almiron will sit this one out too. Seattle have the likes of Dempsey, Lodeiro, Jones, plus a few others who have been travelling or been in action a lot. There’s a chance this will be a flat match and both teams off colour, however the natural instinct for both outfits is too attack. I think Seattle will win, but in this instance there’s enough doubts surrounding both teams for me to be conservative and no bet.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: None

Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player

MLS – Toronto FC v Sporting Kansas City Preview (31/3/17)

 

Match preview

I think there’s a bit of value on Toronto FC & the unders here, but this isn’t a match I really want to get involved in. Both teams have had players heavily involved in the recent international break, so there could be an element of fatigue to deal with, leading to some surprising XI choices. Toronto are the better team and SKC’s lack of goals is a major concern. But the visitors can defined quite well and are capable of keeping things tight. The weather forecast isn't very good and I sense this could be a tight game, I’m certainly not ruling out a 0-0 draw. However, maybe one moment of magic from Giovinco could possibly give TFC a slight edge? I think they’ll sneak a victory but I’m quite happy to leave this match alone.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None

 

Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player

France Ligue 2 – Laval v Ajaccio Preview (31/3/17)

 

Match preview

Laval are in desperate need of a win tonight, otherwise they are at risk of getting cast adrift at the bottom of the table. They are winless in nine matches, but maybe they have a decent chance against an Ajaccio side who have the second worst away record in Ligue 2. Laval haven’t actually been playing that badly, but they lack goals and regularly miss chances. I don't expect this to be a classic and I think the bookies have their lines set pretty fair. My feeling is that Laval will finally claim a victory, maybe something like 1-0 or 2-0. But they are an untrustworthy side and their price is nothing special, so this looks like a good match to leave alone.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None



Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player

France Ligue 2 – Tours v Red Star Preview (31/3/17)

 

Match preview

Red Star have lost their last three games and come up against a Tours side who are suddenly resurgent. In fact, a victory for Tours tonight would put them ahead of Red Star in the table. A lot of things seem to be favouring the hosts, including team news. However, @ around the 1.75 mark, I don’t want to back them and feel there is very poor value on TFC. Red Star aren’t that bad in my opinion and in these sort of relegation battles where both teams are just above danger, literally anything can happen. I think Tours will win (just) and this is also probably an over 2.5 match, but I’m happy to leave it alone.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: None


Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player

France Ligue 2 – GFC Ajaccio v Bourg-en-Bresse Preview (31/3/17)

 

Match preview

GFCA are a team who have caught my eye recently. They are playing quite well, even away from home which is unusual for them. Here on their own island some performances have been excellent, such as the 3-1 win against Troyes. Key playmaker Yoann Court is in really good form right now and creating a lot of chances with wicked crosses and set pieces. Bourg-en-Bresse meanwhile, look to have slipped off the pace a bit, losing three straight games. They are also missing a lot of players tonight to suspension, with a number of others not at peak fitness carrying knocks. The visitors are especially lightweight in defence and GFCA should be good to score 2 or 3 goals. But the hosts rarely keep clean sheets these days so I’m happy to take over 2.25 goals along with backing GFCA -0.5. I like this combination of picks in what is likely to be a pretty open game.

Prediction: 3-1

Recommended bet 1 unit: GFC Ajaccio -0.5 @1.80 (minimum odds acceptable 1.67)

Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 2.25 goals @1.88 (minimum odds acceptable 1.78)

 

Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player

France Ligue 2 – Troyes v Orleans Preview (31/3/17)

 

Match preview

I said I wouldn't go back to taking overs in Troyes’ matches again, but after recent results I simply can’t resist. They won 4-0 at home to Amiens, lost 1-3 at GFCA and then won a crazy 4-2 at Bourg-en-Bresse last time out. I think this will be a more open game than some might expect because Orleans have shown signs of attacking more in recent matches and are in need of points. This is a fixture between the second best home team in the league vs the worst away side, so Troyes on a -0.25 handicap close to the 1.70 mark is simply too big to ignore. I make them strong value on a -0.5 or -0.75 line as well. They are the better team and I expect them to prevail. One final thing, I would personally  like to say congratulations to Troyes midfielder Benjamin Nivet who will likely play in his 600th career professional match tonight. At 40 years old, he’s still one of the best technical players in the division.

Prediction: 3-1

Recommended bet 1 unit: Troyes -0.25 @1.69 (minimum odds acceptable 1.60)

Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 2 goals @ 1.69 (minimum odds acceptable 1.60)



Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player

France Ligue 2 – Niort v Auxerre Preview (31/3/17)

 

Match Preview

I can’t make my mind up here. Niort are in a nice safe comfortable position, maybe even with an outside chance of launching a late promotion bid if they end the season really strongly. However, there’s a chance they could be too relaxed which might either be a positive or negative. Auxerre are fighting for their lives and could be hard to break down. With Niort missing two important defensive type players to suspension then it certainly gives the visitors a better chance. Niort are strong at home so I’m happy to leave this one alone, possibly with a draw the most likely outcome.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

 

Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player

France Ligue 2 – Nimes v Valenciennes Preview (31/3/17)

 

Match preview

Nimes suffered a surprising setback away at Sochaux just before the international break. They are a bit further back of the promotion places now but this might not be a bad thing with less pressure on their shoulders. To me, this looks like a very good chance of a home win. Valenciennes have been in freefall for quite some time and their form has been horrible ever since Christmas. Lack of goals are of particular concern and they haven't been helped by injuries in this regard. At the back, their usual pairing of Kantari & Nestor are both ruled out so they won't be able to rely on defence as much tonight either. I think Nimes will have enough to prevail and one goal would probably secure all three points. Their price is decent enough for now, and although short priced favourites don’t have a great record in Ligue 2, I’m willing to strike here in this instance.

Prediction: 2-0

Recommended bet 1 unit: Nimes -0.5 @1.81 (minimum odds acceptable 1.67)



Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player

France Ligue 2 – Le Havre v Reims Preview (31/3/17)

 

Match preview

Le Havre have flattered to deceive all season, but haven't been playing that badly in recent weeks now that the pressure is off. Key captain and centre back Steven Fortes suffered a bad season ending injury and they managed to keep a clean sheet without him in Ajaccio (0-0), but this will be a tougher test against a Reims side massively in the promotion hunt. Will the pressure get to the visitors though? It looked like it did against Lens prior to the international break, and with high expectations I can’t personally trust them. A lack of goals is also still a major concern for the visitors and I think this will be a tight affair.

Prediction: 0-0

Recommended bet: None

 

Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player

France Ligue 2 – Amiens v Clermont Preview (31/3/17)

 

Match preview

This is a tricky game to predict. Amiens continue to be this season’s surprise package, but similar to Red Star last year I think they will ultimately fall just short. Back to back recent wins have been a little bit fortunate and I couldn't trust them right now considering the position they are in. Clermont are a very weird side with which anything is possible. They recently won at Strasbourg and Le Havre so can’t be underestimated. I personally think there is slight value on Amiens and also good value on the unders. However, with this being such a difficult match to call, I’m more than happy to leave it alone.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None


Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player