Monthly Archives: October 2019

France Ligue 2 – Niort v Sochaux Preview (2/4/19)

Match Preview

Both teams suffered a setback last week. Niort lost 0-1 away at Le Mans when goalkeeper Saturnin Allagbe made a horrendous error to gift the opposition a goal. It is now 6 winless games for Niort who are maybe starting to show their limitations again. They’ve done well to rack up 14 points so far but it will be a long campaign battling against relegation considering what they have on paper. Sochaux are up as high as 5th in the table but lost to Ajaccio at home last week. A crucial missed penalty when the scoreline was 0-0 proved to be the big difference. I would expect Le Lionceaux to be able to bounce back here in what is likely to be a low scoring affair. Niort played in the midweek cup and lost vs Toulouse 1-2. The hosts have absences at the back where Sans, Lapis, Paro and the long term Ibrahima Conte all miss out. In terms of odds, it surprises me that Sochaux are favourites. They are priced in between a DNB and -0.25 Asian Handicap and I would personally have it the other way around. Niort are nothing special but they don’t deserve to be a home underdog vs a team like Sochaux. Having said that, I think this will be a draw or an away win. 0-0 or something like 0-1 0-2 are the most likely outcomes. Goals will be in short supply but with a line as low as 1.75 I’m comfortable not getting involved.

Prediction: 0-1

Recommended bet: None

 

France Ligue 2 – Lens v Lorient Preview (2/4/19)

Match Preview

These were the top two teams in the league heading into the round but Ajaccio and Troyes victories on Friday night have moved them down to 4th and 3rd respectively. From a Lens point of view things are looking quite good, even if they have drawn their last two games 0-0. Unbeaten in seven matches and having conceded just twice in this period is a marked improvement to some of their early season struggles. Lorient have failed to win any of their last three games and succumbed late at home to Troyes last week (0-1). I suspect this particular encounter will be a game of cat and mouse with neither team really wanting to lose. I would look at some sort of under bet but there is plenty of decent attacking talent on both sides should the match develop into a shootout. I have strong suspicions of a draw either 0-0 or 1-1 though. I’m quite happy not to get involved here.

Prediction: 0-0

Recommended bet: None

 

France Ligue 2 – Grenoble v Paris FC Preview (2/4/19)

Match Preview

The big question is how Paris FC will bounce back from their midweek 8-0 drubbing in the Coupe de la Ligue vs Nantes. It was a horrible display and followed on from a disappointing 2-4 home loss to Caen last week in the Ligue. They seem to be in a bit of a mess and have been all season really. Some thought PFC had turned the corner by obtaining ugly back to back 1-0 victories vs Troyes and Chateauroux. Something hasn’t been right at this club all season and they aren’t bottom of the table by sheer chance. It’s going to be the end of a tough 8 days for Paris FC and Grenoble definitely carry the edge here. The Alpine side are unbeaten in 7 games and have kept clean sheets in all of their last four contests. Suddenly, this backline looks rock solid again. They’ve been aided by consistent team selection and improved the cohesion of the team since the opening rounds where they played like a bunch of individuals. I’m surprised Grenoble can be backed at an odds-against price. I would personally have them as a -0.75 favourite, or even closer to a -1 Asian line. The danger scoreline is of course 0-0 but Paris FC are going to have to produce a massive improvement to keep things tight. How can you trust a team that has conceded 12 goals in their last 180 mins of action? Grenoble take all the points here in my opinion.

Prediction: 2-0

Recommended bet: Grenoble -0.5 @2.02

 

France Ligue 2 – Clermont v Le Mans Preview (2/4/19)

Match Preview

Clermont roared back into form by beating Guingamp 2-1 away from home last week. It was much more like the sort of performance we come to expect from Pascal Gastien’s men after some poorer results. They will hope to build upon that momentum here and win at home for the first time since the opening day. For some strange reason it’s been a struggle in front of their own fans. Le Mans travel here with a 100% losing away record. P5 L5 conceding 13 goals in the process and only scoring three times. However, I don’t think they are as bad as their results might suggest. Le Mans have also had a nice little run of late, winning 2 out of 3 in the league and also beating Ligue 1 side Nice in the midweek cup. I sense they will have some momentum and could be dangerous. I initially liked the idea of backing over 2.5 goals and Clermont here but the hosts are without key striker Adrien Grbic who has scored 8 of their 14 goals this term. He’s a big loss and the prices have to be factored in accordingly. I still think something like a 2-1 result is likely but I will err on the side of caution here.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: None

 

France Ligue 2 – Troyes v Valenciennes Preview (1/11/19)

Match Preview

I keep mentioning how Troyes are an ‘all or nothing’ team and they continued that trend last week by beating Lorient 1-0 away. It really should’ve been a 0-0 draw but what did surprise me is how strong ESTAC looked defensively. They are deserved favourites to beat Valenciennes tonight but the price looks a little bit short. A -1 handicap seems short facing a side which has a good defensive record. Per match, VA fixtures only average 1.3 goals per game which is the lowest of any team in Ligue 2. You know what you’re going to get. The visitors do have a couple of defensive absences which might affect their gameplan with Brassier & Ntim suspended. It might just be enough to give Troyes the edge and the way VA are struggling in front of goal hitting the back of the net just once could be enough to secure victory. 

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None

 

France Ligue 2 – Chateauroux v Auxerre Preview (1/11/19)

Match Preview

Just when you think Auxerre are getting something going they lay an egg and suffer a surprising defeat. The 0-1 loss to Grenoble at home last week was really poor in a match which they offered little. It was a typical sort of sloppy Auxerre performance which new coach Jean Marc Furlan has yet to properly iron out. They remain a work in progress and inconsistent. The positive in recent weeks is how improved they’ve seemed defensively. AJA have only conceded one goal in three games which is in contrast to the opening 9 fixtures when clean sheets were a rarity. Tonight they face a Chateauroux side who have a problem scoring goals. They have netted just 4 all season although things have slightly improved of late. Their lack of profligacy in front of goal is a major concern and leads me to suspect Auxerre will win tonight. They are an unreliable beast though and aren’t a great price. They deserve to be favourites, but only just in my opinion. So I’m happy to leave this match fully alone.

Prediction: 0-1

Recommended bet: None

 

France Ligue 2 – Chambly v Guingamp Preview (1/11/19)

Match Preview

I personally fear for Chambly. They had such a great start to the season keeping 6 consecutive clean sheets but ever since they got hammered 1-4 by Auxerre at home things have gone pear shaped. The problem was Chambly couldn’t sustain those remarkable defensive stats, it was unrealistic. Their backline actually isn’t too bad and they will make life difficult for anyone to penetrate them. However, a bigger issue is definitely going forward. If you take out their 3-0 win at Paris FC, just 3 goals have been scored in their other 11 matches which is obviously nowhere near good enough. Chambly have failed to score a goal in 8 of their last 10 games and offer very little threat in attack. Really, Guingamp should have too much for them here. In many ways this is a similar type of game which they had at Niort a couple of weeks ago. On that occasion the Bretons could only draw 0-0 and that scoreline is of course the big danger tonight. But it will probably only take one goal to pick up all three points which makes them an attractive proposition. Taking some draw cover on a -0.25 is probably a sensible choice but the odds are surprisingly big. I would personally have Guingamp close to an odds-on price just to win outright. This might not be pretty but they have enough to get the 3 points against a very limited Chambly.

Prediction: 0-1

Recommended bet: Guingamp -0.25 @2.02

 

France Ligue 2 – Caen v Orleans Preview (1/11/19)

Match Preview

Caen finally registered another win last week by beating Paris FC 4-2 away from home. It was the first for new coach Pascal Dupraz since taking charge and he is yet to suffer defeat at the helm of Caen. Some might say beating Paris FC is nothing to write home about, this is a side that after all just got beat 8-0 by Nantes in the midweek cup. But I was impressed with how dominant the Normandy outfit were and it’s clear Dupraz is starting to get to work on a squad which was devoid of confidence and not enjoying the negative tactical system. This is another good chance tonight facing an Orleans outfit which has only won once all year. Orleans aren’t as bad as their position suggests and they have drawn quite a lot of fixtures. But the squad is limited and they have a number of absences and injuries to contend with. Defensive duo Pinaud & Mutombo are both out along with midfield D'Arpino. A few others are rated doubtful but make the trip. Caen have issues in attack where they are lacking numbers right now but it didn’t stop them from being a strong attacking threat last week. I’m surprised Caen are an odds-against price because I consider them in a much better place heading into tonight and of higher class. I’ll take them straight on the nose to win.

Prediction: 2-0

Recommended bet: Caen -0.5 @2.18

 

France Ligue 2 – Ajaccio v Rodez Preview (1/11/19)

Match Preview

Ajaccio are one of the real surprises this season but I said a few weeks ago that they look legitimately good and it wouldn’t be wise to bet against them right now. Olivier Pantaloni led this team to third place just a couple of seasons ago and has a history of both over and under achieving. It looks like this season it’s the turn of the former. However, somewhat against what you’d expect it’s been their away form which has been more impressive. ACA only have a 2-3-1 home record which is average at best. Whether the very poor pitch at Le Stade Francois Coty is impacting them negatively I’m not sure but they haven’t been as good in front of their own fans. I think Rodez will come here tonight and make life difficult. They had a good gameplan at Clermont a couple of weeks ago and left with 1-0 victory. I suspect this will be a tight encounter containing few goals. The last four fixtures at this venue have ended 1-0 0-0 2-0 and 0-0 so under would probably be the best bet if you were after something. The bookies are giving nothing away with really tight lines though so I’ll leave it alone.

Prediction: 0-0

Recommended bet: None

 

Norway Eliteserien – Tromsø v Ranheim Preview (27/10/19)

Match Preview

These two teams met on the opening day of the season and on that occasion Tromsø produced a come from behind 2-1 victory. Now both are embroiled in a tense relegation battle with what looks like a very congested lower half of the table. The term’ 6 pointer’ is thrown around all too often in these relegation tussles but this really is one of those. Victory for either team would be absolutely massive. Ranheim shocked everyone by beating Odd 4-1 at home last week. There was no way in a million years I saw that coming but RIL are a team that fights right to the death and so so extremely difficult to shake off. Ranheim have an upcoming Norwegian Cup semi final to look forward to in midweek away at Viking. I don’t know if they will have an eye on that clash or not but it could maybe have a slight effect. In terms of squad condition everything is fine apart from the long term injury to winger Eirik Tonne.

A trip to Tromsø is never easily, especially this time of year when it’s expected to be very cold and the chance of snow falling is much higher. Nobody wants to travel that far north in conditions like these and we saw an example of that in Tromsø’s most recent home match when they beat Kristiansund 5-0. I have always maintained the opinion that TIL won’t go down under the management of Simo Valakari but they could've done with picking something up at Viking last week. Instead, they are piling on the pressure in all of these home matches. Key defender and captain Simen Wangberg is suspended which isn’t ideal. Tromsø usually are usually far too leaky defensively and celebrated their half century of conceded goals last week. The 50 they’ve let in is by far the most in the league and their matches are usually quite open containing plenty of chances. Over 2.5 stands out as the best bet here in my opinion but I’m also going to nibble Tromsø -0.25. I am less confident about this pick but they should be odds-on favourites in my opinion. They like playing Ranheim and won both fixtures last season and the aforementioned opening day clash in 2019. The encounter at this stadium last season ended 4-0 and I see them prevailing again something like 2-1 or 3-1.

Prediction: 3-1

Recommended bet: Tromso -0.25 @1.98

Recommended bet: Over 2.5 goals @1.84