Monthly Archives: January 2020

France Ligue 2 – Soxhaux v Lorient Preview (1/2/20)

Match Preview

Friday was a good night for Lorient without even kicking a ball. None of the three teams directly behind them in the table won. Victory here and they would move a massive 9 points clear of third place and they would be in a great position to land automatic promotion. FCL are in good form and have won 7 of their last 8 games. They haven’t always been convincing during this period and away from home, it's not like they’ve beaten much in the form of Chateauroux or Orleans. But this might just be the sort of time to be facing Sochaux who are in poor form. Les Lionceaux are winless in 7 games and just not been performing very well of late. Injuries have played their part and the squad is in better health but until they find a victory again it’s quite hard to have much faith. One thing Omar Daf will do is make his side difficult to break down. Lorient will have to battle hard to get the goal or goals they need. The positive in favour of FCL is they have plenty of canny creative players who can produce that one moment of magic. The odds look set quite fair and I will leave this alone, but a tight away victory 0-1 or 0-2 would be my prediction.

Prediction: 0-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Troyes v Grenoble Preview (31/1/20)

Match Preview

Troyes have lost their last two matches and not started 2020 very well. They are still situated 4th in the table but need to rebound soon if they are to stay in the automatic promotion race. In their defence, two away games at Clermont and Le Havre were never going to be easy, but neither will this clash vs Grenoble. It may not be a vintage year for the visitors, they are stuck in midtable mediocrity. But this is still quite a hard side to beat, only four teams have managed it all season. One significant piece of injury news ahead of this clash is regarding Troyes defender Kiki Kouyate. As well as being a rock at the back, he is incredibly dangerous from attacking set pieces so they will be losing a massive weapon with him out tonight. I have a feeling for a draw in this game. In terms of betting I was looking at potentially under 2.25 goals but there’s probably enough danger in both sides for the potential of an open game. Something like 1-1 is my prediction but if either side sneaked it 2-1 I wouldn’t be surprised.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Niort v Paris FC Preview (31/1/20)

Match Preview

Here we have a key battle down towards the bottom of the table between two teams who have recently changed their managers. Franck Passi vs Rene Girard is quite a high profile sort of clash but their respective teams are 18th and 19th! I think it’s always best to be wary whenever a team has just changed coaches so when a fixture like this pops up it’s best to be even more cautious. I really have no idea what is going to happen and predicting this clash is very tough. Sometimes in these sort of matches both teams are quite desperate to win and kind of fancy their chances, leading to a more open match than expected. Paris FC are missing two playmakers in Jeremy Menez & Florian Martin which could limit their creativity. Had they featured then I might have been tempted to back over 1.75 goals. That said, if this was a damp squib and ended 0-0 then I wouldn’t be surprised either. Ultimately, with so much uncertainty the obvious solution is not to bet and just watch to see how both teams are progressing under their new managers.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Rodez v Valenciennes Preview (31/1/20)

Match Preview

Rodez picked up a point last week 0-0 away to Paris FC. This was an improvement considering a lot of their recent results have ended in losses. RAF started the season well and had a promotion sort of ‘bounce’ in their step. But have since come down to earth. In total, 7 of their last 9 games have ended in defeat. I just don’t have too much confidence in them right now and I suspect this will be a difficult clash vs Valenciennes. The visitors aren’t the greatest side on the eye but are effective. Olivier Guegan has done a great job since taking over in the summer and they are doing very well in 7th position. To be honest, I think the bookies are underrating Valenciennes tonight and they deserve to be a shorter price. But the value pick for me is under 2.25 goals. If you look at VA away games this year a staggering 9 out of 10 have ended under 2.5 with tons of low scoring encounters. In total, just 2 of their 21 fixtures have yielded more than 2 goals so why is this goal line set at 2.25? Yes, Rodez do tend to get involved in some more exciting games but I just don’t see how VA will let this game get open. They are strong defensively and I could see the visitors keeping a clean sheet and nicking a tight 1-0 win or something.

Prediction: 0-1

Recommended bet: Under 2.25 goals @1.90

France Ligue 2 – Le Mans v Nancy Preview (31/1/20)

Match Preview

Nancy ended 2019 strongly but have got off to a poor start in the new year, losing both of their matches 0-1. They haven’t played badly but simply haven’t taken their chances at crucial times. In some ways, this kind of sums up their season. Le Mans offer plenty of promise and are one of the highest scoring teams in the bottom half of the table. But when the goals dry up you know they are in trouble because the defence doesn’t keep enough clean sheets. I like some of the signings Le Mans have made this January. They have reinforced in all areas of the field with Jeremy Choplin, Lorenzo Rajot & Yanis Merdji. Nancy are situated 8th in the table and only lost three games all season. The Lorraine outfit draw far too many encounters although in recent times we’ve seen more wins and losses in their column. An interesting statistic is that Nancy are the only team in Ligue 2 yet to pick up an away victory (drawn 7/10 on the road). I was really really tempted by Le Mans DNB here but ultimately Nancy are the better tactical team and will probably have a gameplan to stifle them tonight. Le Mans make too many individual errors and find ways to cock up games so I just can’t trust them. But the price on the hosts isn’t too bad and would offer a bit of value IMO.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Le Havre v Lens Preview (31/1/20)

Match Preview

Lens have drawn both of their matches so far in 2020, vs Guingamp and Clermont respectively. Neither of those are bad sides and again they look set to be challenged by a decent Le Havre outfit. We saw on Monday night that HAC are capable of grinding out a result vs one of the top teams when they beat Troyes 1-0. They certainly did Lens a favour on Monday but will be aiming to put a dent in their ambitions here. Le Havre have only lost once match in front of their own fans but have drawn five times and it is an Achilles heel. This should suit them facing a side who won’t just sit here and defend though. The previous meeting between the two sides ended in a 3-1 Le Havre win. HAC were brilliant on the counter attack in that fixture and should be dangerous once again tonight. If Lens can keep Tino Kadewere quiet then they will go a long way towards obtaining a favourable result, but can they keep him on a leash? The odds look set fair in all areas and a draw is probably the most likely outcome. I actually like Le Havre as the perceived underdog but Lens are a good side and don’t lose many matches.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Guingamp v Auxerre Preview (31/1/20)

Match Preview

Auxerre had a poor end to 2019 but have started the new year really well by winning 2/2 matches. AJA haven’t necessarily been at their best but managed to grind out victories vs Le Mans & Sochaux. It looks like this will be a season of rebuilding under new manager Jean Marc Furlan considering they currently sit comfortably in midtable. If either of these sides want to obtain promotion this season it’s going to be via the playoffs and will require quite a strong ending to the campaign. Guingamp are a side very hard to work out and can blow very hot or cold. There was no real excuse to lose so badly 0-2 at bottom side Orleans last week and it was a surprise because away form has been their strength this year. Guingamp have a very mediocre 3-5-2 home record and have struggled in front of their own fans. Auxerre have only won a couple of games on their travels and this match feels quite drawish to me. Both sides have lost a player in the transfer window recently. Nolan Roux signed for Nimes whilst Auxerre have lost highly rated young defender Jean Marcelin to Monaco for £6m. Centre back Christophe Kerbrat is injured for the hosts. Nothing really stands out from a betting point of view in what is a difficult fixture to predict.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Clermont v Orleans Preview (31/1/20)

Match Preview

Clermont are in some decent form and currently find themselves in sixth position just outside a playoff spot. They are unbeaten in 8 games and have won their last 3 at home. Tonight they face bottom side Orleans and are a healthy -0.75 Asian favourite to prevail. A few weeks ago I’d have said this will be an easy victory for Clermont but Orleans suddenly have a bit more going for them now. For a start, they’ve picked up 2 wins in their last 3 and also signed really well in the January transfer window. USO have reinforced in areas they needed to, especially in the final third where the likes of Nakoulma, Mollo & Butin should make a big difference. Left sided player Arial Mendy made a good debut last week. I think this will be an open game of football and the bet I considered was over 2 or 2.25 goals. But the price is fairly average at best and in this league there’s no need to push the boat out with overs. Clermont should win, but again the price is nothing remarkable and I’m slightly wary of Orleans who should have a spring in their step after a good victory last week.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Chambly v Caen Preview (31/1/20)

Match Preview

Caen have had a major problem with red cards so far in 2020. In their three fixtures, both league and cup combined they’ve been reduced to 10 men before half time in every contest. Obviously, you are fighting a losing battle if you continue to do this sort of thing so they must improve their discipline. Here they face a Chambly side who seem to have gotten over their autumn funk and are back collecting points again. The promoted outfit can be very awkward to face due to their 5-4-1 system that’s really hard to break down. Chambly usually defend extremely strongly and don’t give much away. This match will be played in Beauvais as a neutral venue. Chambly played home matches here until November but have recently been spoiled by the better surroundings of Le Stade Charlety in Paris. I don’t think this will be a great game of football. As of yet I’m not sure of the exact composition of the Caen squad for tonight but striker Benjamin Jeannot is suspended. I looked at under 2 goals here because I think 0-0 is a major contender. But the goal line between 2 and 1.75 is about fair.

Prediction: 0-0

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Ajaccio v Chateauroux Preview (31/1/20)

Match Preview

Ajaccio sit in third place and continue to massively overachieve considering the resources at their disposal. A late winner at Caen last week summed up their fighting spirit. It certainly feels like a lot of things have fallen their way this year and they have momentum. One negative for ACA has been home form which is only 10th best in the league with a 4-4-2 record. Things just haven’t worked out so well for Ajaccio in front of their own fans and I’m not sure exactly why. This is a match that Olivier Pantaloni will expect to win but Chateauroux can be annoying opposition and will likely make themselves hard to break down. Maybe the difference could be from a set piece or something. Both sides are at full strength with hardly any injuries to report. I’m going to predict a home win but the odds looks about right and I don’t want to get involved here. I always prefer Ajaccio more as an underdog and I tend to find when expectations are higher it isn’t always a given they deliver.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None