Monthly Archives: September 2020

France Ligue 2 – Troyes v Clermont Preview (28/9/20)

Match Preview


Troyes are a club that’s been in the news a lot the last few weeks, mostly due to the City group taking them over. On the actual field they’ve started the season with 2 wins and 2 losses. They’ve looked decent though and we shouldn’t downgrade them too much for losing to Sochaux and Auxerre away from home. It will be interesting to see if any new weapons are added before the end of the transfer window but it looks like this is a long term project at Troyes and they will probably identify suitable targets before the next transfer window. Ahead of this match their most notable injury is to playmaker Maxime Barthelme who remains on the sidelines. They could miss his ability to unlock a packed looking opposition defence. New centre back Gabriel Mutombo is another injury but has only been on the bench so far anyway. Head coach Laurent Battles has been employing a 4-4-3 wide system this season and I’d expect that to continue.


If we are talking tactics then we know exactly how Clermont will set up. Pascal Gastien is a religious employer of a 4-2-3-1 but his small squad will be tested tonight. First choice keeper Arthur Desmas is ruled out due to suspension so Ouparine Djoco will take his place in between the sticks. He played the whole of the second half last week and looked ok but we need to see more of this keeper before we know exactly how much of a downgrade he is. Versatile impact sub Jodel Dossou is injured along with main striker Jordan Tell. Clermont have looked very solid so far this season and the back four can take a lot of credit for that. Cedric Houndondji and Florent Ogier have especially looked formidable. Clermont have only conceded two goals this season. One was a penalty vs Dunkerque and the other was a late deflection vs Toulouse last week after holding on grimly to a 1-0 lead for the whole of the 2nd half.

Conclusion & Betting analysis

This is a battle between two good teams and should be an intriguing contest. 5,000 fans will be allowed inside the stadium and I expect there to be a pretty good atmosphere. Pascal Gastien is a fantastic coach but I go back to what I said in my season preview that he doesn’t have enough weapons to work with at Clermont. The squad is so small that just missing the players listed above could be crucial for them here. The main problem for Clermont is lack of goals and it’s hard to trust them for that reason. Troyes look a big price on a DNB handicap tonight. They have won both home games so far and generally played fairly well. This match could easily end a draw but their better offense might just prove to be the difference tonight. I see something like 1-0 or 2-0 and this price is too generous to ignore.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: Troyes DNB @ 1.89

France Ligue 2 – Ajaccio v Sochaux Preview (26/9/20)

Match Preview


This hasn’t been the start to the season that ACA wanted. They’ve lost all 3 games, yet to score a goal and had a lot of things go against them. ACA have been hit by some guys getting COVID-19 and even had a match postponed vs Dunkerque for that reason. That fixture has been rescheduled for midweek so they have two home games in the space of a few days to try and get some points on the board. The squad is now in better condition with nobody of significance ruled out.


Les Lionceaux travel here unbeaten and they have 8 points on the board. Sochaux can be a difficult side to predict and you never really know which way their games are going to go. They can range from a 0-0 draw at Toulouse by following it up with a wild 2-2 at home to Rodez last week. New signing upfront Adama Niane is included in the squad for the first time today. He totally tore up Ligue 2 with Troyes a few years ago and could potentially become a massive weapon.

Conclusion & Betting analysis

I think Ajaccio can end their losing run and pick up at least a point here. They didn’t play that badly last week at Grenoble and probably deserved something. The signs are that the new signings are starting to settle down and now that they have a squad in better condition I’m expecting some points returns. Sochaux won’t be an easy nut to crack though and could dig their heels. The goal line for this game is really low at 1.75 and something like a 1-1 wouldn’t surprise me. I don’t think you could trust Ajaccio on a -0.25 handicap until they’ve won a game.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Rodez v Dunkerque Preview (26/9/20)

Match Preview


RAF have 5 points on the board but maybe should have more. Twice they have blown leads this season and last week would’ve been disappointed to only pick up a point after being 2-0 up at Sochaux. Midfielder Remy Boissier looks to be an excellent signing from Le Mans and he struck with a couple of beauties in that match. Rodez are a difficult team to predict and you never quite know what you’re going to get with this team. One bonus for RAF is that they will be well supported by fans inside Le Stade Paul Lignon, which is quite tight and enclosed. Left wing back Jordan Obiang is injured today and that is a blow because it’s one of the key positions in this side.


The newly promoted side have to be delighted with their start. They’ve only played 3 games but already have 7 points on the board. Last week, despite missing SEVEN players to COVID-19 isolation they managed to sneak a 1-0 victory vs Valenciennes. This really surprised me but shows the togetherness at the club. Head coach Fabien Mercadal is quite strong tactically and managed to find a way to get them the result. Team news is much more favourable this week with only Randi Goteni and Dimitri Boudaud still ruled out for this season. Dunkerque haven’t played on the road since the first round of the season when they shocked Toulouse 1-0.

Conclusion & Betting analysis

To be honest, Rodez aren’t a bad price on a DNB handicap here. This is a tricky location for any side to visit and I expected the home team to be a shorter price. Dunkerque are still unbeaten but let’s not forget they are a newly promoted team who have had to deal with a lot of other issues recently, such as the COVID mass isolation. They have a midweek match away at Ajaccio which was rescheduled so it’s going to be a crucial upcoming seven days. I will respect the visitors’ unbeaten start by not betting but honestly Rodez DNB is a very tempting price. I see them winning something like 2-1 or 1-0 and at worst managing to pick up a draw.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Valenciennes v Caen Preview (26/9/20)

Match Preview


The northern outfit have won 2 and lost 2 games so far this season. Both victories have come at home and I was surprised they fell to a 0-1 defeat at severely depleted Dunkerque last week. Manager Olivier Guegan said they were below their best and sloppy so he will be demanding a reaction here. Valenciennes have been a very low scoring side under his stewardship but conversely also don’t concede many goals. They are an under magnet and tend to focus on keeping things tight more than anything else. It won’t help their cause going forwards that one of their few creative men, Baptiste Guillaume is suspended.


The visitors also have a suspension in attack with Yacine Bammou sitting out following his red card last week. Caen are unbeaten with 8 points on the board and yet to concede a goal this season. They seem very solid under Pascal Dupraz right now but did lack a cutting edge last week when being held by Chambly (0-0). The signing of Yoann Court from Brest should help them unlock defences and he makes his first appearance in the squad today.

Conclusion & Betting analysis

This is a clear under match to me and I have no hesitation in striking with an under 2 goals bet. Both sides are strong defensively but struggle to score goals and I think this is a huge 0-0 candidate. I am surprised under 2 goals can be backed as big as 1.93 because this line should be 1.75 around the same price. Valenciennes have been solid as a rock for well over a year now, whilst Caen have a steely resolve about them right now. A draw wouldn’t be a bad result for either side and I don’t see anyone really pushing the boat out with an attacking mindset.

Prediction: 0-0

Recommended bet: Under 2 goals @1.93

France Ligue 2 – Niort v Paris FC Preview (26/9/20)

Match Preview


Huge credit must go to Niort head coach Sebastian Desabre for leading the team to ten points from four matches. This is not a very talented squad but he has gotten the absolute maximum out of what is possible here so far. The most noticeable thing is how well organised and disciplined Les Chamois have been. Three 1-0 victories kind of sum up the type of gritty performances they’ve delivered. The back four has looked surprisingly solid but must do without left back Darlin Yongwa who is suspended today. It looks like new signing Lenny Vallier might be given a debut in this position. New signing upfront Pape Ibnou Ba is one to keep an eye on due to him starting the season hot.

Paris FC

The capital club won all of their first three games but came back down to earth last week by losing at home to Nancy 0-2. This was a surprise result and I’m not entirely sure what went wrong. Paris FC should've really had too much in that fixture but they didn’t take their chances. This is a loaded squad and in my personal opinion one of the favourites for promotion this season. In Rene Girard they have a very good manager and have added some strong reinforcements this summer. Ex Nice man Lamine Diaby Fadiga is injured along with midfielder Cyril Mandouki.

Conclusion & Betting analysis

I suspect Paris FC will have enough quality to get them over the line here and I was very tempted to back them DNB. I think the results of Niort have to be respected though. Clearly, the home team have something good going on right now and might be hard to break down. I doubt this will be a match containing many chances but usually the side with extra class finds a way to win such a contest. I won’t bet on the game but logically at some point Niort will lose a game soon and something like a 0-1 or 0-2 seems likely in my opinion.

Prediction: 0-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Nancy v Le Havre Preview (26/9/20)

Match Preview


Nancy picked up their first win of the season away at Paris FC last week (2-0). This surprised me because they hadn’t really looked like going there and winning based on what I saw of the first few rounds. Nancy are a strange team, capable of pretty much anything on the day and can ride hot or cold. Last season they drew a lot of matches but maybe they will revert more back to the norm this year statistically. The biggest problem for Nancy ahead of this game is in the goalkeeping department. #1 GK Baptise Valette is injured which means backup Martin Sourzac will play here. Their number three custodian Hugo Constant is also injured so youngster Marco Giagnori will be on the bench. The rest of the squad is pretty much unchanged. New attacker Mickael Biron has started the season well by scoring a few goals and is one to watch.

Le Havre

HAC have two wins and two losses so far and I’m not really sure what to think of them. It seems like a red card always seems to mask their games and there could be a discipline problem. Nolan Mbemba is the latest guy to be suspended and they are also weakened in defensive midfield by Victor Lekhal not included in the squad, possibly due to him leaving the club soon. Centre back Fernand Mayembo has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be in self isolation. For the most part Le Havre have been quite defensive this season and manager Paul Le Guen looks a bit stuck for ideas. They lack a potent threat upfront now that they no longer have Tino Kadwere. Jamal Thiare isn’t a bad option upfront and had a steller game in Guingamp (3-1) but isn’t someone you can rely on to score consistent goals.

Concussion & Betting analysis

This is a tough game to predict and is capable of going either way. I suspect it will be a relatively tight affair but there’s enough ability on the field for some goals to be scored. Something like a 1-1 draw is my best guess as both teams cancel each other out. Both teams tend to be quite dangerous from set pieces, so some sort of free kick or header from a corner wouldn’t surprise me. From a betting point of view nothing stands out as an attractive option and this game seems better off left alone.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Guingamp v Grenoble Preview (26/9/20)

Match Preview


New coach Mecha Bazdarevic struck with his first win in charge last week as Guingamp beat Pau 1-0 away from home. They should’ve won by a bigger margin but they will be relieved to get 3 points on the board. The Brittany outfit have a great looking squad on paper and it’s up to Bazdarevic to get the most out of it now. Realistically, they should be up there challenging for promotion. The history of this manager is sometimes too defensive and negative but right now it’s too early to tell how he will approach things at Guingamp. The squad is in good condition with no new injuries and key playmaker Bryan Pele returns after injury.


The Alpine visitors started with a loss 0-1 away at Rodez but have since hit back with three consecutive victories. Grenoble look much more dangerous in the final third so far this season, maybe as a result of more squad competition upfront. It is a shame that playmaker Jessy Benet is injured for this clash though. It has surprised me how well they have started but credit to coach Philippe Hinschberger who has got the players in a good rhythm. Moussa Djitte will probably regain his place upfront due to the injury Achile Anani picked up last week. Anani should be fit enough to at least make the bench though.

Conclusion & Betting analysis

This should be a decent game between a couple of good teams. Bazdarevic isn’t historically the most offensive minded coach but he has a lot of weapons to work with here at Guingamp. I suspect this will be an open game of football. Grenoble are in a confident mood and clearly capable of scoring goals at the moment. I could see this ending over 2.5 with both teams scoring. I think backing over 2.25 goals is a good bet. Even with two goals scored this still gives the option of a half loss. Something like a 2-2 final score wouldn't surprise me and it just feels like a good type of matchup where both teams can play fairly entertaining football.

Prediction: 2-2

Recommended bet: Over 2.25 goals @2.09

France Ligue 2 – Chambly v Chateauroux Preview (26/9/20)

Match Preview


It has been a struggling start to the season for Chambly but they at least have a couple of points on the board. Last week they just parked the bus in Caen and put in a strong and dominant defensive performance. This is typical of the Chambly of last season when they were hard to break down and frustrated the opposition. This is still a very limited squad that lacks quality and who will almost certainly be in the relegation dogfight. Chambly have a new injury to striker Mehdy Guezoui but the rest of the team should be relatively unchanged. As a reminder, they play their home matches in Beauvais, which is a neutral venue about 40 miles away. The expected attendance for this match will be less than 3,000 and there’s no doubt that Chambly have lost an edge by having to play here in the last 18 months.


La Berrichonne travel here with four points on the board and did well to grind out a 0-0 with Amiens last week. They had to play with ten men for the majority of that encounter. As a result, winger Ilyas Chouaref is suspended for this match today. The club recently announced the first positive case of COVID-19 at the club. The player’s name hasn’t been revealed but it's likely to be Razak Boukari because he hasn’t been included in the squad today. Chateauroux are a dogged sort of grafting side under the management of Nicolas Usai and he generally has a good record away from home.

Conclusion & Betting analysis

Thus fixture ended 0-0 last season and I could see the exact same result again here. Neither team is particularly good and this is likely to be a low tempo, low scoring sort of encounter with few chances. Both sides have scored just twice all season and aren’t usually very attack minded. Perhaps there’s a chance both will ‘fancy’ winning the game but I suspect the main priority for both will be not to lose. I took under 2 goals in the reverse fixture last season which ended 0-3 to Chambly and sadly a last minute goal cost me a loser. But I’m going to take under 2 again and think at worst this will end a push. Even if there is a goal, whoever scores will just park the bus and try to hold on. But this is a huge 0-0 contender in my opinion and a clear under candidate.

Prediction: 0-0

Recommended bet: Under 2 goals @2.04

France Ligue 2 – Amiens v Pau Preview (26/9/20)

Match Preview


In a similar way to Toulouse, Amiens have also struggled to adapt back to life in Ligue 2 following their relegation. They have 4 points on the board but have produced a few lacklustre performances and only scored two goals in those matches. Lack of creativity, a spark and end product is definitely a weakness right now. Amiens as a whole seem in a state of unsettlement. Players have been coming and going all summer, with the latest departure key man Samman Ghoddos to English Championship side Brentford. It has already been hard for the manager to string together a consistent XI and there have also been question marks about whether certain players are motivated and want to be at the club. Ultimately, I think it will be a season of transition for Amiens. At the time of writing an official squad list for this match hasn’t been announced. Maybe new centre back Molla Wague could be in line to make his debut which would be a boost.

Pau FC

It hasn’t been a great start to life in Ligue 2 for the newly promoted outfit. They have just one point on the board and have scored only one goal. It is never easy to move up a league though and to be fair they have faced some tough teams - Valenciennes, Troyes & Guingamp. I do worry for Pau this season because on paper they probably have the worst squad in the league. The addition of defensive midfielder Xavier Kouassi could be a smart move but an injury to creative man Romain Bayard is a blow. The rest of the squad is available however.

Conclusion & Betting analysis

Amiens should be good enough to win this game but whether you trust them is a different matter. If this game happened in a few weeks time I’d probably back the home team but right now they aren’t in the greatest place both on or off the field. Pau are fighting for their lives and will be desperate to get their first win at Ligue 2 level. I actually think both teams will fancy their chances of getting a result which might lead to an open and watchable game. Amiens are priced at around the 1.95 mark which is tempting, but ultimately not tempting enough, 5,000 fans will be allowed in the stadium which helps their cause.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Toulouse v Auxerre Preview (26/9/20)

Match Preview


TFC are still winless and have actually gone nearly 11 MONTHS without a league victory which is a staggering statistic! They have at least stopped the rot after picking up a couple of draws in their last two games. A late equaliser at Clermont last week should give them some sort of momentum heading into this game. It is never easy for any side that’s just got relegated. New signings are still bedding into the team but on paper TFC definitely have some quality all over the field. Key man Ibrahim Sangare is once again not included in the squad, almost certain to move before the end of the transfer window. Attacking midfielder Amine Adli is suspended but at least fullback Steven Moreira is included in the matchday squad for the first time this season. New coach Patrice Garande is currently working on a 3-5-2 system which in fairness has looked quite solid in the last two fixtures. Unfortunately this match will be played behind closed doors with no fans due to some local restrictions.


It’s 2 wins and 2 losses so far for AJA. They picked up a vitally important 2-1 success on Monday night at home to Troyes though which will have really lifted spirits. In my opinion they are one of the favourites for promotion and have one of the best squads in the league. In Jean Marc Furlan they have a coach who knows how to get teams promoted out of this league. Furlan is also an excellent away manager and has a knack of getting results on the road. No new injuries in the squad and the most notable absence is defensive midfielder Birama Toure who remains out with Covid-19 and a period of self isolation.

Conclusion & Betting analysis

It’s a blow for Toulouse that they won’t have any fans to cheer them on here. These are difficult times to be a supporter of TFC and they somehow need to grind and get that first win of the season. Unfortunately, this is a really tough fixture though and Auxerre will be a difficult nut to crack. I actually think this will end up as an away win and taking AJA +0.25 looks like the best bet. They are a quality side who will be suited nicely to counter attacking football here. The visitors are the more united and gelled squad who have more momentum and I just think they’ll have the edge.

Prediction: 1-2

Recommended bet: Auxerre +0.25 Asian Handicap @1.83