Monthly Archives: April 2021

France Ligue 2 – Clermont v Chateauroux Preview (26/4/21)

Match Preview

Clermont

  • Crucial victory 1-0 away to Paris FC last Tuesday keeps them strongly in the promotion race
  • With Toulouse out of action due to COVID this is a good chance to keep the pressure on
  • Excellent 11-5-1 home record this season
  • Alidu Seidu suspended and Yohann Magnin done for the season with an ACL injury

Chateauroux

  • Already confirmed as relegated and will likely finish bottom
  • Improved since Marco Simeone took over as manager, drawing 4 out of 6 games
  • 1-6-10 away record is unsurprisingly the worst in the league
  • A number of players injured and four ruled out due to COVID

Conclusion & Betting analysis

With Toulouse out of action due to COVID measures all that Clermont can really do is keep piling the pressure on in their absence by winning. You have to think this is going to end up as a home victory, the question is by exactly how many goals. With goal difference potentially proving crucial then I could see Clermont trying to rack up the score if they get into a good position so perhaps there is some attraction in backing them on a handicap. The visitors have nothing left to play for except pride and are missing quite a lot of players due to injury or COVID. I do wonder what is left in their tank against a Clermont side who are likely to go at them hard and be highly motivated. Over 2.5 goals isn’t a bad price here but I prefer to take the Clermont -1.5 Handicap. That way, the 2-0 scoreline is in your favour and that has every possibility. 

Prediction: 3-0

Recommended bet: Clermont -1.5 Asian Handicap @ 1.85

France Ligue 2 – Valenciennes v Niort Preview (24/4/21)

Match Preview

Valenciennes

  • Safely in midtable on 43 points 
  • Lost 4 of last 6 games and not been in great form of late
  • Mixed 7-5-5 home record hasn’t been too bad this season

Niort

  • 5 defeats in last 7 games has left Niort precariously only 2 point above the relegation playoff spot
  • Not won away in any of last 12 games
  • Goal scoring has dried up, only netted 5 times in last 10 fixtures

Conclusion 

Niort are only favourites because they ‘need’ the points and are supposedly more motivated. This can be a factor but there’s no way I could trust them. Victories have been few and far between on the road for Niort and whilst Valenciennes have little to play for now, they did easily have enough for Chambly not so long ago. If I knew that VAFC would give total effort and be up for this game they would be worth backing, but realistically this is a difficult game to bet on. I’m thinking maybe a draw but honestly nothing would be surprising.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Sochaux v Caen Preview (24/4/21)

Match Preview

Sochaux

  • Locked in 7th position with a comfortable game above and below
  • Not won any of last 4 games
  • 5-7-5 home record has been fairly poor with too many draws
  • 10 of last 11 home games ended with under 2.5 goals
  • Squad at full strength

Caen

  • Conceding a late equaliser at home to relegation rivals Dunkerque (1-1) on Tuesday night was a blow
  • Hanging precariously just one point above the relegation playoff spot
  • Winless in last 9 games and form has been poor
  • 3-5-9 away record hasn’t been very good
  • No new injuries to worry about

Conclusion & Betting analysis

The big question is how much Caen want this? They don’t seem to be adapting well to this relegation battle they suddenly find themselves in and I am very worried for them. Their last 3 games are all against sides in the promotion race so this might be their last real chances against a supposed unmotivated opponent. I couldn’t be backing Sochaux at a price of around 2.20. They have nothing to play for and that always worries me around this time of year. I could see a draw. Caen aren’t very confident right now and would take anything they can, but there are so many question marks here.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Rodez v Le Havre Preview (24/4/21)

Match Preview

Rodez

  • 1-1 draw vs Chateauroux on Tuesday means Rodez have reached the 40 point mark
  • Winless in last 5 fixtures but have drawn 4 of those
  • Not lost in any of their last 9 home games
  • Midfielder David Douline is injured

Le Havre

  • Didn’t play in midweek so have had a full 7 days to prepare here
  • Also on 40 points and have 
  • one game in hand
  • Away record has been strong this season (6-5-6). 6th best in the league
  • 27 out of 33 matches ended with under 2.5 goals
  • Attacking duo Bonnet & Alioui both suspended

Conclusion & Betting analysis

Both sides are locked on 40 points and a draw would be a pretty good result for either team. I could see this being a low profile sort of match containing few goals. I just don’t think anyone will really have a proper go and be aggressive unless someone falls behind of course. Under 2 or 2.25 was something I looked at because 0-0 or 1-1 is very likely here in my opinion. The price on the under isn’t great though and this isn’t surprisingly considering HACs history of unders this season. You could do worse than back the draw here IMO.

Prediction: 0-0

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Ajaccio v Amiens Preview (24/4/21)

Match Preview

Ajaccio

  • Look fairly secure on 42 points in 11th position
  • Inconsistent form recently with a number of wins and losses
  • Mixed 8-4-5 home record, which has been improving as the season progressed

Amiens

  • This will be their 5th game in 14 days as the fixtures add up
  • Won 3 of last 5 matches to seemingly secure safety on 43 points
  • Lost 5 of last 6 away games 

Conclusion

Both teams are in that safe sort of area which makes things difficult to predict. My gut feeling is that Ajaccio are a decent price but will they really care that much? Amiens have played a lot of matches recently and could be totally burnt out but there is a chance this is a low tempo sort of game which peters out into a draw. Tricky betting prospect.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Guingamp v Paris FC Preview (24/4/21)

Match Preview

Guingamp

  • Consecutive 1-0 victories have moved then out of the relegation zone
  • Just 3 goals conceded in last 6 games has been the key to their revival
  • Only won 3 out of 17 home games this season
  • No new injuries or suspensions & defender Niakate back from his ban

Paris FC

  • 0-1 home defeat to promotion rivals Clermont on Tuesday night was a gut wrencher
  • Still in the final playoff position but only 2 points above Auxerre
  • Tuesday night’s loss was their first in 10 games
  • 6-6-5 away record is the 4th best in the league
  • Wingback Ali Abdi is suspended

Conclusion & Betting analysis

Really tough game to predict between two teams who are fighting at different ends of the table.  Guingamp have found something in the last few weeks under Fred Bompard. It has taken them a while but they finally look like they are up for the fight in this relegation scrap. They are defending well and putting bodies on the line and taking some chances at the other end of the field. To beat Chambly 1-0 in midweek was absolutely HUGE for them and has to be a massive boost. I actually think under 2.25 goals would be a good bet here but weird things can happen around this time of year and I am not normally comfortable taking unders at this stage. I could see something like a 1-1 or 0-0 though because it wouldn’t be a bad result for either.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Chambly v Nancy Preview (24/4/21)

Match Preview

Chambly

  • Very late injury time defeat to Guingamp on Tuesday (0-1) could be a crippling blow
  • Now 5 points adrift of the playoff spot with only 4 games left
  • 6-2-9 home record and won their last 2 fixtures here
  • Defender Delos & striker Guezoui both ruled out injured

Nancy

  • With 44 points on the board Nancy are safely locked in midtable
  • Just 3 defeats since Christmas - and only to sides in the current top six
  • Mixed 5-4-8 away record this season
  • A few injuries across the squad which might impact them

Conclusion & Betting analysis

The previous meeting ended 3-3 and I could see a few more goals again tonight. Chambly are in a desperate situation where only a win is really good enough right now in a match like this one. They can’t exactly settle for a draw. The good news is that Nancy should come here to play. They have no pressure on their shoulders and will probably have a go, not exactly digging in and parking the bus or anything. I was tempted by Chambly DNB but Nancy could easily pick them off on the break with the fast players they have so I’m thinking over 2.25 goals is the best bet. I would personally like to see Chambly win tonight and I will lean towards them taking something like a 2-1 victory. But I just fear if things start to go badly then they will open up too much and Nancy take advantage.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: Over 2.25 goals @1.95

France Ligue 2 – Auxerre v Dunkerque Preview (24/4/21)

Match Preview

Auxerre

  • Surprise defeat 0-3 away to Pau in midweek was just their 2nd in last 12 games
  • Still in the playoff race just 2 points behind Paris FC, so all to play for
  • 9-5-3 home record which is the 5th best in the league
  • Despite that, Auxerre only won 1 of their last 5 games at home
  • No new injuries or suspensions. Birama Toure (CM) back from injury

Dunkerque

  • Crucial late draw picked up at Caen in midweek (1-1) not enough to prevent them moving down to 18th place
  • Fighting for their lives and only lost 2 of last 8 games
  • Lost 10 out of 17 away games
  • No new injuries or suspensions

Conclusion & Betting analysis

Auxerre won a couple of games in a row but then lost vs Pau in midweek 0-3, which rather sums them up. I’m not sure I can trust AJA vs a side fighting for its life. Dunkerque are a limited outfit and find themselves inside the bottom 3 now but are giving it absolutely everything in a bid to stay in Ligue 2. Every single point matters and where Auxerre have more class and quality, I think they lack a bit mentally and don’t dig in enough sometimes. If I had to stick my neck out I would say that Auxerre still win tonight, but I can’t be sure. At a price of around 1.70 I think they are fairly poor odds anyway and I would lean towards over 2.5 if I had to chose anything.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Troyes v Grenoble Preview (24/4/21)

Match Preview

Troyes

  • Comfortable 3-0 victory away to Niort in midweek (3-0) tightens their grip at the top of the league
  • Just need 8 more points to guarantee promotion
  • 13-3-1 is the best home record in the league
  • Defensive trio El Hajam, Mambo & Mutombo all ruled out

Grenoble

  • 2-0 victory vs Sochaux on Tuesday has moved them up to 4th place
  • Still in the automatic promotion race but need to keep winning
  • Lost just 1 of last 12 games
  • 6-4-7 away record is only the 8th best but have won 3 of last 5 on the road
  • No new injuries or suspensions

Conclusion & Betting analysis

ESTAC are 1.80 favourites to win here but I’m not sure I’d be rushing to back them. Grenoble are a tough nut to crack and could put the cat amongst the pigeons with a decent result in this one. Victory would move them 4 points behind Troyes with just 3 games left although more importantly it would briefly move them up to 2nd spot. ESTAC looked really good vs Niort in midweek but had previously laboured to some victories and not looked quite sharp. In the grand scheme of things a draw probably wouldn’t be that bad for Troyes and I could see something like a 1-1 draw. A lot depends how aggressive Grenoble are if they really push for the 3 points. Tricky match to predict.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Caen v Dunkerque Preview (20/4/21)

Match Preview

Caen

  • In terrible form with just 1 win in the last 17 games 
  • In genuine relegation trouble and defeat here could see them inside the bottom 3!
  • Interim coach Fabrice Vandeputte has been leaning on youngsters recently, but a more experienced squad named here
  • Attacking duo Alexandre Mendy and Yoann Court return after missing the ESTAC match

Dunkerque

  • 7 points picked up from last 4 games has kept them afloat in the relegation battle
  • Lost 10 out of 16 away matches this season
  • Squad in good health with no major injuries or suspensions

Conclusion & Betting analysis

It’s incredible that Caen now find themselves in this position. This is a team that for more than half the season were targeting the playoffs! They are in a huge mess though and seem ill equipped to be fighting a relegation battle. I am not sure that sacking Pascal Dupraz was a great idea because Fabrice Vandeputte has come in and almost unsettled the ship. Let’s contrast that to Dunkerque who have been fighting for their lives all year and are probably more used to the situation. Caen somehow have to find it within themselves to grind out some points here, even a draw wouldn’t be that bad but they need to pick up a win from somewhere before the end of the season. Their last 4 games are all against sides in the current top 7 so it’s imperative they deliver tonight. I certainly couldn’t trust either team in such a crucial situation and I’ll be leaving this one well alone.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None