Monthly Archives: April 2021

France Ligue 2 – Valenciennes v Guingamp Preview (17/4/21)

Match Preview

Valenciennes

  • Victory against Chambly last week (2-1) moves them up to 8th place
  • Not in the greatest of form with only 2 wins in last 8 games
  • 7-5-4 home record has been quite good this season
  • Midfield issues with D’Almeida, Masson & Dilberto missing for the 2nd consecutive game

Guingamp

  • Picked up a good point at home to Guingamp on Monday night (1-1)
  • Still only won 2 games since mid October!
  • 3-7-6 away record isn’t too bad - better than their home stats anyway
  • Have seen an improvement in results under new coach Fred Bompard

Conclusion & Betting analysis

How can Guingamp be an ODDS-ON away favourite here? I get it that Valenciennes might not have much left to play for but there are still 6 games left of the season and I don’t see them being totally unmotivated yet. Just ask Chambly, whom they beat 2-1 last week and honestly something similar wouldn’t surprise me tonight. Guingamp have been below par all season and although improving recently how would you trust a side that has won 2 matches since mid October? I’m not going to back Valenciennes +0.5 but this is a silly price and probably a value pick. There is no way in a million years that Guingamp should be so short. I am predicting a draw.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Toulouse v Chateauroux Preview (17/4/21)

Match Preview

Toulouse

  • Collection of dropped points has seen TFC drop down to 3rd place
  • Home record remains very strong and won their last 8 games here
  • Three key players, Van der Boomen, Spierings & Adli are ruled out with COVID
  • Highest scoring team in the league with 60 goals

Chateauroux

  • Now 10 points adrift of the playoff spot and relegation looks unavoidable
  • Terrible 1-6-9 away record, although have drawn lat 2 on the road
  • Last 3 games all ended over 2.5 under new coach Marco Simone
  • Sprinkling of injuries across the squad and attack Giles Sunu is suspended

Conclusion & Betting analysis

I would expect Toulouse to win this match but not without the odd scare. Chateauroux have little left to play for now except pride but they are playing with freedom under their new coach and I expect them to have a go here and catch TFC on the break a couple of times. All of the pressure is on the home team because every man and his dog expects them to win easily. They are desperate for the points in order to keep up their promotion charge and pressure can do weird things to teams. My preferred bet is over 2.5 goals. I could actually see the visitors hitting the back of the net here and a final score of something like 2-1 or 3-1.

Prediction: 3-1

Recommended bet: Over 2.5 goals @ 1.94

France Ligue 2 – Sochaux v Pau Preview (17/4/21)

Match Preview

Sochaux

  • In 7th place but 8 points behind the playoff spots now
  • Signs of their season petering out after a drab 0-0 draw vs Nancy last week
  • 5-6-5 home record has been poor this season
  • Ndour (LB) & captain Weissbeck (CM) are suspended
  • Midfield lynchpin Joseph Lopy is injured

Pau

  • 6 game unbeaten run picking up 14 points has moved them up to 16th
  • Now 4 points clear of any trouble and finishing the season well
  • 2-4-10 away record is the 2nd worst in the division
  • No major injuries or suspensions

Conclusion & Betting analysis

Pau +0.25 actually tempts me here but their overall away record is really poor. Most of their better results have come at their own stadium. You have to think Pau are going to ‘want’ it more today in their quest to survive. Sochaux looked flat last week vs Nancy in the 0-0 draw and to be brutally honest have struggled at home for most of this campaign, often with some low scoring matches. I am not saying Pau will win but I could see them picking up at least a draw. This is a 0-0 or 1-1 candidate in my opinion but if either side is to win then I’d definitely lean towards the visitors.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Rodez v Paris FC Preview (17/4/21)

Match Preview

Rodez

  • Defeat to Amiens last weekend (0-1) was just their 3rd since mid December
  • Unbeaten in last 8 home fixtures
  • On 38 points and look to be fairly safe from any danger
  • Wingback Valentin Henry is suspended but they have no major injuries

Paris FC

  • 8 game unbeaten run has solidified their playoffs claims
  • Conceded just 2 goals in last 7 matches
  • 6-5-5 away record is the 4th best in the league
  • Midfielder Moustapha Name is suspended

Conclusion & Betting analysis

This is a banana skin fixture for Paris FC. I have to say that Rodez have played some good football since the turn of the year and can be a tough nut to crack. They have slowed down a little bit recently but not at home where they remain quite formidable. Paris FC need the points in their quest for promotion whilst Rodez could do with a couple more just to totally secure survival. I’m a little bit surprised that Rodez are the slight underdog with the bookies but overall this is a tricky game to predict and could go either way. Something like a 1-1 draw wouldn’t surprise me but there’s no real need to get involved betting wise. 

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Dunkerque v Grenoble Preview (17/4/21)

Match Preview

Dunkerque

  • 2 wins in last 3 games has eased their relegation fears
  • Still in 17th place though and only 3 points above any trouble
  • 5-5-5 home record has been mixed this season
  • No major injuries or suspensions

Grenoble

  • Victory at home to Caen last week (3-1) re-ignites their automatic promotion bid
  • Lost just 1 of last 10 games
  • 6-3-7 away record is only the 8th best in the league, although gone well on the road recently
  • No new injuries but #1 keeper Brice Maubleu & midfielder Manuel Perez remain on the sidelines long term

Conclusion & Betting analysis

Both teams need the points for different reasons and have shown plenty of fight recently. This can be an awkward place for any side to visit because Dunkerque will dig in and make life difficult for the Grenoble attack force to score. The visitors can sometimes be goal-shy so that would be a concern. A draw might not be the worst result for either side but 3 points would be worth its weight in gold for sure. Grenoble are favourites with the bookies around the 2.40 mark and this seems fair. I would lean slightly towards the Alpine visitors but I’m not sure and could sense something like a 1-1 draw. Difficult match to predict because of what is at stake for both.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Chambly v Amiens Preview (17/4/21)

Match Preview

Chambly

  • Fighting for their lives but just 1 win in last 10 games has them 2nd bottom
  • Lost 9 out of 16 home games this season
  • Defensive duo Bradley Danger & Thibault Jacques both injured
  • Callegari (CM) & Guezoui (ATT) suspended

Amiens

  • This will be their 3rd game in 6 days 
  • Fixture backlog due to their COVID issues a couple of weeks ago
  • Key centre back Nicholas Opoku is still injured
  • Lost 4 of last 5 away games

Conclusion & Betting analysis

I backed Chambly +0.25 vs Valenciennes last week and they got beaten 2-1. However, I will give them another chance here. Chambly were down to 10 men for all of the 2nd half last week and maybe wasn’t a true reflection on proceedings. FCC are fighting for their lives and will be giving it everything here. I am not sure Amiens will be as bothered and could also struggle physically after a brutal period and week. Remember, nearly a dozen players were COVID affected at one stage and this is Amiens’ 3rd match in the space of a week. Are they really going to be up for it vs a team who are desperate for points? This is also a local derby which means way more to Chambly. The hosts are +0.25 underdogs and this feels like value to me. I think they can get at least a point and if they let me down again then I’ll be totally finished with them this season because this is a favourable matchup.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: Chambly +0.25 Asian Handicap @ 1.91

France Ligue 2 – Auxerre v Nancy Preview (17/4/21)

Match Preview

Auxerre

  • Big victory 4-0 vs Niort last week has re-ignited their playoff bid
  • Now only 4 points off 5th place and all to play for
  • Midfielder Birama Toure is still injured
  • Kept the same squad with got them an impressive win last week
  • 8-5-3 home record has been good this season, but not amazing

Nancy

  • Only lost 2 of last 16 games and have generally ended the season well
  • Situated comfortably in midtable on 41 points
  • Last 4 away games all ended over 2.5 goals
  • Top scorer Mickael Biron back after injury
  • DMID Aurelien Nguimba injured

Conclusion & Betting analysis

I am tempted to back Auxerre and their price isn’t too bad around the 1.90 mark. It is AJA who have more of a need to take victory and Nancy don’t have a lot to play for. However, the visitors are a dangerous team and have performed very well since Christmas. The obvious pick to me is over 2.25 goals. Auxerre appeared to re-find their attacking mojo at Niort last week. The match was more open and they were willing to sacrifice being more open at the back in their quest to score goals. Both sides have been involved in a lot of over 2.5 matches this season and I think this could be an open clash. I see something like a 2-1 or 3-1 Auxerre win but Nancy can cause all sorts of problems on the break so if they got something I wouldn’t be surprised. I thought over 2.5 would be an odds-on price so to get the 2.25 line at decent odds makes this a no-brainer to me.

Prediction: 3-1

Recommended bet: Over 2.25 goals @1.91

France Ligue 2 – Ajaccio v Niort Preview (17/4/21)

Match Preview

Ajaccio

  • Now up to 39 points after picking up a win and a draw in last 2 games
  • 7-4-5 home record has been decent this season and improving 
  • Veteran duo Mathieu Coutadeur & Riad Nouri are both still injured
  • 12 out of 16 home games ended under 2.5

Niort

  • Just two wins since mid December has seen Niort scrape over the survival line
  • 3-6-7 away record has been mediocre at best
  • Key midfielder Oliver Kemen is suspended
  • Fullbacks Darlin Yongwa & Jorris Moutouchy are ruled out
  • 1# keeper Mathieu Michel ACL injury remains a blow

Conclusion & Betting analysis

Niort are a team who have cost me at times this season by grafting out a number of lucky draws. Luck wasn’t on their side last week though as they got hammered 0-4 at home to Auxerre. Niort had chances in that game and missed a penalty at 0-1 which was crucial. But they lack general quality and are missing a few players here. I suspect Ajaccio will be too strong. They won their most recent home match 3-0 and looked fairly good during last week’s 1-1 draw vs Le Havre as well. ACA aren’t a huge price here around the 1.85 mark but I am willing to back them. The risk of a draw is a possibility but I just see them as the better team at the moment and with more momentum.

Prediction: 2-0

Recommended bet: Ajaccio -0.5 Asian Handicap @1.87

France Ligue 2 – Troyes v Caen Preview (17/4/21)

Match Preview

Troyes

  • Just 1 win in last 4 games has hindered their promotion bid
  • 12-3-1 home record is the best in the league
  • Defensive problems with key men Giraudon & Tardieu suspended
  • Oualid El Hajam & Stone Mambo also injured
  • Coach Laurent Batlles is suspended from the sidelines

Caen

  • Fabrice Vandeputte has started with a draw and a win since taking charge
  • Still just 1 win since mid December leaves them 5 points above the relegation playoff
  • Weird player selection, the coach has been leaning on 2nd team youngsters
  • Key playmaker Jessy Deminguet is injured
  • 3-5-8 away record has been fairly poor

Conclusion & Betting analysis

I have my concerns about Caen right now. The new coach Fabrice Vandeputte has been asserting authority by dropping a number of senior players which I don’t think is the right decision. There are a few injuries sprinkled around the squad but also some player commissions such as Yoann Court & Prince Oniangue which don’t make sense. A lot is being asked of the youngsters in this squad and I’m not sure they can cope. If Caen travelled here in any sort of form then they might have a chance, because Troyes can be got at defensively right now. ESTAC have some key absences in that area of the pitch and are vulnerable. Over 2.5 goals did tempt me but both teams are under pressure for different reasons so I think it’s best to leave this alone. I see Troyes outscoring Caen for something like a 2-1 or 3-1 victory but I am not totally sure about this one.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Clermont v Le Havre Preview (17/4/21)

Match Preview

Clermont

  • Victory against Amiens in midweek (3-0) moves them back to 2nd in the table
  • Had followed a difficult 3 games winless period in which they scored just once
  • Midfielder Yohann Magnin ruled out for months due to an ACL injury suffered vs Amiens
  • Key midfielder Johan Gastien and right back Zedadka also injured here
  • Won 10 of their last 11 home games

Le Havre

  • Just 1 win in last 7 games and they are crawling their way to 40 points
  • Better on the road with a 6-4-6 record which is the 7th best in the league
  • Squad in full health with no injuries or suspensions
  • 26 out of 32 matches ended under 2.5 goals this season

Conclusion & Betting analysis

Clermont should be winning this match but they don’t interest me around a price of 1.50. They only played 3 days ago and picked up a couple of injuries in that match, most notably to midfielder Yoann Magnin who injured his ACL. Johan Gastien is also going to miss this fixture and he’s such a good passer in that part of the field that I have to think it will have a detrimental effect. Le Havre can be an annoying side to break down. They have good defensive qualities and can also counter attack well on the road. They prefer playing away from home and this is the sort of match in which they would happily play for a draw. I don’t see Clermont winning easily even if they are to get 3 points, so a -1 or -1.25 Asian Handicap doesn’t interest me at all.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None