Monthly Archives: October 2019

Norway Eliteserien – Stabaek v Odd Preview (27/10/19)

Match Preview

Stabaek had been gradually inching themselves towards safety and then picked up a massive 3 points away at Valerenga last week by beating their local rivals 2-0. Jan Jonsson has done a good job here since taking over mid season, under a lot of coaches Stabe probably would be relegation fodder with the squad they have on paper. He has made them difficult to beat though and the defence has especially impressed under his stewardship. Stabaek have kept three consecutive clean sheets but will have to work hard against an Odd side who carry the threat of Borven upfront. The big achilies heel for Odd all year has been their away form which only reads a mediocre 3-3-6. I thought they were over their funk after beating Godset 3-2 a few weeks ago but it was back to normal last weekend as they went down 4-1 at Ranheim! That result clearly proved they aren’t to be trusted on the road but equally I’d be reluctant to bet against them. Despite an upcoming Norwegian Cup semi final I expect some sort of an Odd reaction so it wouldn’t surprise me if they were much better.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

 

Norway Eliteserien – Kristiansund v Viking Preview (27/10/19)

Match Preview

Viking are on a great run of 9 unbeaten games but I have to think sooner or later this will end. Today may well be the day for a few reasons. The first is that a trip to Kristiansund is of course never easy. The home side can be inconsistent and are notoriously hard to predict but save for that shock 0-5 loss at Tromso they have for the most part been playing some pretty good football. When you look at this Viking run in detail it is noticeable that 6 of the 9 fixtures have been at home, whilst the 3 road games have all been at struggling opposition (Sarpsborg, VIF & Stabaek). I don’t want to take anything away from them but I’m not altogether convinced they’ve been tested too much on the road. The biggest game for Viking this week is surely the Norwegian Cup semi final against Ranheim on Wednesday. Probably some sort of rotation will take place ahead of that fixture and players would be forgiven if they have their minds focused more on that contest. I think KBK can grab the win today and look an attractive price on a -0.25 handicap. It just feels like a good time to be betting against Viking.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: Kristiansund -0.25 @2.01

 

France Ligue 2 – Lorient v Troyes Preview (26/10/19)

Match Preview

Here we have a battle between 1st and 5th in the table and a victory for Troyes would put them just a couple of points behind Lorient. Conversely, a win for the home team would see them extend their lead at the top. FCL have only lost one match all season and have an overall 7-3-1 record. A couple of recent draws have slightly stalled their progress and they would’ve been disappointed to blow a 2-0 lead at Le Havre last week. Undoubtedly, Lorient are much better coached this season under the guidance of Christophe Pellisier. He is probably overachieving with this current squad although still possesses a number of powerful weapons. Defence is where the issues are with Jerome Hegault still out with a broken arm and Julien Laporte doubtful with injury here, along with other longer term casualties at the back. Lorient have a consistent midfield and attack which is purring nicely at the moment.

Travelling here are a Troyes team who tend to be ‘all or nothing’ with their 6-1-4 record. They either win or lose with not much in between. A few weeks ago they surprised Auxerre on the road and took an impressive 2-1 victory. ESTAC won't be afraid to go toe-to-toe with Lorient and hopefully this will be a decent very watchable game. I think Lorient are a fairly big price today but I am slightly concerned about a potentially leaky defence. Troyes have only failed to score once since Laurent Battles took over as head coach and generally carry quite an attacking threat. I sense if Lorient do get the 3 points they will need to score a couple of goals. Therefore, over 2 is going to be my selection. There is enough to suggest that both sides will be confident of getting victory and try to play the game on the front foot. Something like a 2-1 win either way is what I’m predicting.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: Over 2 goals @1.90

 

Norway Eliteserien – Lillestrøm v Vålerenga Preview (26/10/19)

Match Preview

Here we have one of the big heated ‘derbies’ in Norwegian football between two teams who absolutely hate each other. Lillestrøm continue to hover just above water and a collection of recent draws have managed to give them a degree of comfort from the relegation zone. They could do with a win again soon just to ease the pressure even more but I sense that LSK are difficult to beat right now. Their record against teams in the bottom half of the table is good and they’ll have very fond memories of the reverse fixture earlier in the season when they stunned everyone by winning 3-0 at the Intility Arena. Results between these two teams seem to ebb and flow. Nobody has really held a definitive edge in recent years. Right now, only one point separates the two sides and a victory would be worth its weight in gold. For the hosts there are doubts surrounding the fitness of both Arnor Smarason & Daniel Pedersen but there’s a chance both still might suit up in time.

Travelling here are a Vålerenga side who are winless in 11 matches! It’s been a horrible run for Ronny Deila’s men and if they don’t sort themselves out there’s a chance that VIF could become shock relegation candidates. I thought they were unlucky to only draw 1-1 against Ranheim and Odd and to some extent there was also misfortune during the 0-2 home defeat to Stabaek last week. Something just isn't right here though and hasn’t been right for a while. Coach Ronny Deila feels like a spent force in Oslo and has lost his grip on the team. This match will be fiercely fought and will be a highly intense battle. I just don’t see LSK losing it though so taking the hosts on a DNB handicap makes a lot of sense to me. The bookies can’t split either team but I think Lillestrøm should be given favouritism considering VIF’s terrible run. I think they have more mental and physical strength which is sometimes what you need in these sort of contests at this stage of the season.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: Lillestrom DNB @1.98

 

France Ligue 2 – Paris FC v Caen Preview (25/10/19)

Match Preview

Paris FC have rebounded well in the last couple of weeks by claiming back to back 1-0 victories. It was just what they needed after a torrid start and their ‘back to basics’ approach seems to have worked well. I am still far from convinced by this team but the two wins would’ve done them the world of good. Caen are also a team that has somewhat improved of late. They have yet to win under new coach Pascal Dupraz but have picked up a couple of solid draws. The ex Evian & Toulouse manager has moved Caen away from what was a horrible 5-3-2 system into a flat back four. This will take some time to develop and I definitely sense this is a team still lacking offensive firepower and confidence. I am not expecting a classic here tonight and defences should be on top. The goal line of between 1.75 and 1.5 totally reflects that as well. 0-0 and 1-1 draws are obvious contenders along with either side nicking a 1-0 win.

Prediction: 0-0

Recommended bet: None

 

France Ligue 2 – Sochaux v Ajaccio Preview (25/10/19)

Match Preview

One word to describe both teams would be ‘solid’ and certainly effective. Sochaux have conceded just 5 goals all season (just one at home), while Ajaccio only let in 9. These are two of the best defensive records in the division. Sochaux have been really impressive at home this campaign winning 4 out of 6 games and beating the likes of Nancy, Clermont, Auxerre and Guingamp along the way. These are all decent sides and strong technically, Omar Daf has done really well to tactically shut them down. This will be more of a challenge though because Ajaccio will just sit in deep and for once force Sochaux to set the pace. I personally don't think this will suit the hosts. Sochaux aren’t the most naturally of creative sides and could struggle to unlock a tight backline. ACA have kept 3 out of 5 clean sheets on the road this season and even a team like Lorient failed to score against them a few weeks ago. Sochaux for their part are also likely to be very stingy and this is a huge 0-0 contender. The bookmakers are giving absolutely nothing away with a goal line in between 1.75 and 1.5 though. I am reluctant to take an under on such a low line but at the same time I’m struggling to see how a goal is scored.

Prediction: 0-0

Recommended bet: None

 

France Ligue 2 – Rodez v Chambly Preview (25/10/19)

Match Preview

Rodez ended their three game losing streak by surprisingly beating Clermont 1-0 away from home last week. It was perhaps an opportunistic victory but they defended well for the most part and looked pretty solid. Clearly, some defensive work had been carried out over the international break because just prior to it RAF had looked quite shaky. So far they’ve generally equipped themselves well at Ligue 2 level following promotion and the same could be said about Chambly, at least for the first 6 rounds anyway. Since then, FCC have lost 4 out of 5 games and only managed to stop the rot vs Sochaux last week (0-0). The problem is now they are looking extremely limited at this level. Chambly have failed to score in 7/11 matches this season and going forwards appear to offer no threat at all. I think the best they can achieve tonight is a 0-0 draw and they will do their best to park the bus and graft out a result. In recent times they lost to a fellow promotion contender Le Mans 1-0. Failure to score against such a porous defence is in itself a worry and I’m happy to take Rodez -0.25 tonight. The hosts are still playing at a neutral venue whilst their own stadium is being renovated but in general their record at Stade Toulouse isn’t bad. Something like 1-0 or 2-0 is what I expect and the only danger scoreline as I mentioned is likely to be 0-0.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: Rodez -0.25 @1.88

 

France Ligue 2 – Orleans v Chateauroux Preview (25/10/19)

Match Preview

Both teams remain in trouble inside the bottom five positions after a poor start to the season. Things have been looking slightly better of late on each side but the fact remains there’s just two wins between them both all season! This match is somewhat of a derby between a couple of local rivals so there will be plenty of added spice to the encounter. Orleans won both meetings last season and prior to that the last four were all draws. My suspicion is that this will be a fairly tight clash containing few goals. Chateauroux have only netted 3 times all year whilst Orleans have largely been fairly goal-shy as well. They have the worst home record in Ligue 2 and lost 3 of their 5 contests here 0-1. Something isn’t quite right with them although on paper I think they are the better team with a bit more quality. The cupboard is largely bare with Chateauroux, save for playmaker Romain Grange who is their one player of true class. Under 2 or 2.25 goals definitely tempted me but with this being a derby match I’m a bit more wary about the fixture potentially exploding. I don’t have high hopes for much of a spectacle though.

Prediction: 0-0

Recommended bet: None

 

France Ligue 2 – Nancy v Lens Preview (25/10/19)

Match Preview

Nancy have only lost one match all season but racked up a staggering 7 out of 11 draws! They do like an all square match although encouragingly their last two home affairs have both resulted in a victory. To make it three on the spin at Le Stade Marcel Picot will be a challenge due to strong opposition in Lens. The pre season favourites to win Ligue 2 had a stuttering period but have since bounced back into form by going unbeaten in 6 games. Their run of four consecutive victories was ended by a 0-0 at home to Auxerre on Monday night, a match which pretty much did what it said on the tin. Lens have looked improved defensively of late conceding just two goals in their last five. I think they will be challenged by the likes of Amine Bassi and Wagner here though. Nancy themselves were involved in a 0-0 last week which is fairly rare for them. Most of their matches usually contain a couple of goals at least and I expect the same to occur here. It has been fraught with danger backing overs in Ligue 2 recently, a whopping 6/10 fixtures ended 0-0 in the previous round! But over 2 goals appeals to me in this game. Every single one of Lens’ away fixtures this campaign have contained at least two goals so at worst I see a push out of this bet.

Prediction: 2-2

Recommended bet: Over 2 goals @1.84

 

France Ligue 2 – Guingamp v Clermont Preview (25/10/19)

Match Preview

Guingamp remain unbeaten and have looked quite good under the management of Sylvain Didot. They convincingly weon both home matches vs Le Mans & Rodez and then held to a 0-0 draw at Niort last week. That can be a tricky and uninspiring place to play football so wasn’t perhaps the worst outcome for EAG. Didot has a good squad at his disposal full of high class players. On paper they probably have the second best squad in the entire league so it wasn’t a surprise to me that they suddenly started performing once Patrice Lair was sacked. Their opponents here are Clermont who appear to have lost their way somewhat. After a solid start to the season Pascal Gastien’s men have now lost 4 out of 6 games with their line victory in this period away at Paris FC, who at that stage were desperately struggling.

Clermont ended last season very poorly and I thought they had gotten over their funk at the start of this new campaign. But the same old habits are starting to rear their ugly heads, such as missed chances and an inability to keep clean sheets. Since the opening day Clermont have only had a couple of shutouts which were vs Orleans and Paris FC. In their most recent away match a staggering four goals were shipped in at Sochaux of all places. I like Gastien as a manager but I’m starting to worry Clermont are becoming a team of hot air and no substance. Guingamp look like a massive price to me in this match. How can they be as big as they are? I would personally make EAG strong odds on favourites. I don’t think people fully realise how good this squad is. Sylvain Didot has got them playing some nice stuff and a repeat of those recent displays at home will see them pick up another 3 points in my opinion.

Prediction: 2-0

Recommended bet: Guingamp -0.25 @1.93