Monthly Archives: August 2021

France Ligue 2 – Niort v Amiens Preview (28/8/21)

Match Preview

Niort

  • Mixed start to the season with 7 points on the board after 4 games
  • Lost 1-2 away to Le Havre last week
  • Several injuries within the squad
  • New casualties are key striker Pape Ibnou Ba & winger Lenny Vallier

Amiens

  • Lost first three league matches but bounced back with a win and a draw
  • Kept consecutive clean sheets
  • DC/DM Emmanuel Lomotey is suspended
  • Striker Jack Lahne not included in the squad

Conclusion & Betting analysis

Amiens are the slight favourites on a DNB line with the bookies and that feels about fair. I would say they are the most likely to nick a win here, something like 1-0 or 2-1. Niort are one of those really difficult sides to predict and any sort of version of them could turn up on the day. Le Chamois can blow very hot or cold so no result would be much of a surprise here. I am a bit concerned about the injuries that Niort have. It is a shame they aren't playing someone more reliable or be on the road today. Amiens look to have improved after a difficult start but they are still finding their way and looking for an identity under new manager Philippe Hinschberger. This match doesn’t really have any betting interest for me although I can see why some would have an appeal for Amiens DNB.

Prediction: 0-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Sochaux v Grenoble Preview (28/8/21)

Match Preview

Sochaux

  • Have 10 points on the board after 5 games and lost just once
  • Kept consecutive clean sheets
  • Midfield lynchpin Joseph Lopy is suspended
  • Your starlet on the wings, Alan Virginius is back from injury

Grenoble

  • Win against Quevilly-Rouen last week (2-0) was their first of the season
  • Had previously failed to score a goal in any of their first four games
  • Lost key midfielder Charles Pickel to a transfer this week
  • CM Manuel Perz back in the squad after injury

Conclusion & Betting analysis

Sochaux should be good enough to get the 3 points here but their price is not quite appealing enough around 1.90. The bookmakers often like to dangle a carrot with Sochaux at home but on this occasion I am happy to leave them alone and if they win, then so be it. It has been a fairly solid start to the season for Les Lionceaux but they are known for being better on the road. Home matches this year have ended in a 0-2 defeat to Le Havre and a tight 1-0 victory vs Dunkerque. This should end up with 3 points but Grenoble played a lot better last week and should take some momentum from that victory vs Quevilly-Rouen. The loss of midfielder Charles Pickel to Portuguese side Familicao could hurt them though. Joseph Lopy is suspended for Sochaux and they will miss his physical presence in the middle of the park. I am thinking something like a 1-0 or 2-0 Sochaux win, but as aforementioned I am happy to avoid this game.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Rodez v Dunkerque Preview (28/8/21)

Match Preview

Rodez

  • Unbeaten in last four games and won 4-1 at Valenciennes last week
  • Look fairly  solid at both ends of the field right now
  • Squad in perfect condition, minus the injury to attacker Malaly Dembelle

Dunkerque

  • Lost 4 consecutive matches and only have one point on the board
  • Only scored 3 goals and yet to keep a clean sheet
  • DMID Emeric Dudouit is suspended
  • Ibrahim Cisse (CB) still holding out and refusing to play. Mohamed Ouadah (DM/DL) not included in the squad. 

Conclusion & Betting analysis

Rodez are the obvious candidate to win here, but I’m not sure I’m interested in betting on them around the 1.90 mark. It is not very often that Rodez are such heavy favourites to win a game of football so there is some pressure and expectations on their shoulders. This is going to be a battle between a 5-3-2 and 3-1-4-2 formation and we could get a situation where chances are relatively few. I sense this will be a low scoring match because Dunkerque will try and make themselves difficult to break down, whilst at the same time tend to offer relatively little threat themselves. The goal line is set at 2 which feels about right. The bookmakers are not giving away anything here. I think Rodez will probably sneak this 1-0 and I would bet on them if they were a better price. But I’m happy to leave this one alone considering the poor value. 

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Quevilly-Rouen v Paris FC Preview (28/8/21)

Match Preview

Quevilly-Rouen

  • Picked up 7 points from their first 3 games but then lost two consecutive matches
  • Yet to keep a clean sheet this season
  • Both teams scored in 4 out of 5 matches
  • First time they will play at their own Stade Robert Diochon this season
  • Several players back from injury and three new signings included in the squad

Paris FC

  • Haven’t been in action for 2 weeks due to a postponement vs Ajaccio last week
  • Won 3 out of 4 League games and remain unbeaten
  • Over 2.5 goals landed in 3 out of 4 games
  • #1 keeper De Marconney and attacker Marvin Gakpa both ruled out

Conclusion & Betting analysis

Quevilly Rouen were outplayed at Grenoble last week. They started the season well but it looks like they might regress to the level I expected. This is an interesting one for them though because it will be the first time they play in front of their actual home fans. All of their previous home games had been located in Caen so it should be a boost for all of the players. QRM have signed several new players, including loanee from Toulouse Kalidou Sidibe who can play centre back or in midfield. Defenders Souleymane Cisse and Stephane Lambesse also make their first appearances in the squad.

Paris FC have had a two week break, but that might not be a good thing because they were in a rich vein of form. New manager Thierey Laurey has a fantastic record at this level and looks to have already gotten this team firing nicely. At some stage I think the long term injuries to their defence will cost Paris FC but realistically they should have too much strength here, especially offensively to claim all 3 points. They are odds-on favourites to win around the 1.95 mark which is fair. The bet I like for this game is to back over 2.5 goals. I think it will be an open encounter and both teams will probably score. Even if that doesn’t happen then Paris FC could still cover this line by scoring three goals themselves. I think something like a 1-3 or 1-2 scoreline is likely. 

Prediction: 1-3

Recommended bet: Over 2.5 goals @2.02

France Ligue 2 – Pau v Dijon Preview (28/8/21)

Match Preview

Pau

  • 6 points obtained after the first 5 games is not the worst start for Pau
  • Won 2 out of 3 home matches
  • Under 2.5 goals has landed in all of their last four fixtures
  • Both teams have NOT scored in all of their last four 
  • Attacker/winger Steve Beusnard is out with a shoulder injury

Dijon

  • Horrific start to the season with 4 out of 5 defeats and just one point
  • Dijon have sacked manager David Linares and replaced him with Patrice Garande
  • All matches ended with both teams scoring and 4 out of 5 Over 2.5 goals
  • Right back Cheick Traore is suspended and midfielder Jessy Pi injured

Conclusion & Betting analysis

If David Linares hadn’t been sacked then I would have taken over 2.5 goals here. Dijon just looked like a leaky sieve under his management but a change of boss might see a change of approach and tactic. Patrice Garande is an experienced coach who nearly led Toulouse to promotion last season. He will know there is an issue to be fixed defensively, although whether he’s had time yet to sort anything out is questionable. One thing I have learned in football is to take a look a how a new manager is going to operate at the club.

Pau have started the season positively and I like the direction this club is heading under Didier Tholot. Pau can mix it with anyone here at home and they even gave Toulouse a tough encounter despite losing 0-1. Pau sometimes lack the finishing touch and I think they lack the proper serious class #9 striker which would take them to the next level. My gut feeling and instinct is that this will be an open game of football that Pau win something like 2-1 or 3-1. But I will be sensible and leave the match alone due to the uncertainties with Dijon and the possibility they could be better under Garande.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Nancy v Auxerre Preview (28/8/21)

Match Preview

Nancy

  • Terrible start to the season with 4 out of 5 losses and no victory
  • Nancy are bottom of the table and scored just 2goals, whilst conceding 9
  • CB Abdelhamid El Kaoutari still injured
  • Thomas Basila (CB) is back in the squad 
  • Last 3 matches all ended under 2.5 goals

Auxerre

  • Defeat at home to Guingamp on Monday night (1-2) was their first of the season
  • Key injuries with playmakers Hamza Sakhi & Mathias Autret both ruled out
  • Attacker Lamine Sinayoko is suspended
  • Fringe players Iyad Mohamed, Nicolas Mercier & Ryan Ponti all in the squad

Conclusion & Betting analysis

If Auxerre were at full strength I’d probably back them here, or maybe also consider taking over 2.5 goals. I certainly see AJA as the better side but they struggled a bit on Monday night losing to Guingamp at home 1-2. As soon as they fell behind they kind of lacked a plan B and it is sort of understandable because this squad definitely lacks depth. Without both Autret and Sakhi here I worry about their lack of creativity.

Auxerre might have to lean on defence, keep a clean sheet and nick a 1-0 victory. That could certainly happen because Nancy do not look in a good shape right now. New coach Daniel Stendel has struggled to implement his personal philosophy although it's still early days. Nancy just don’t look good in any areas of the field and nothing has clicked yet. Auxerre are 2.25 favourites but I can’t be backing them on the road without the players missing. My gut feeling is that this will be a low key sort of match containing few chances and it either ends a draw or a tight AJA victory.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Bastia v Le Havre Preview (28/8/21)

Match Preview

Bastia

  • Won just 1 of their first 5 games
  • 4 out of 5 fixtures ended with under 2.5 goals
  • Attackers Idriss Saadi & Kevin Schur both ruled out with injury
  • CB bench option Dominique Guidi is suspended

Le Havre

  • Just 1 defeat in their first 5 matches (vs Paris FC) to start the season
  • Unbeaten away from home where they have yet to concede a goal
  • Left back/winger Umut Meras has been sold to Besiktas
  • #1 keeper Mathieu Gorgelin is back in the squad after injury and could start

Conclusion & Betting analysis

If there is one thing I have learnt about Paul Le Guen’s Le Havre side is to rarely bet against them on the road. It cost me a few weeks ago when I took Sochaux -0.25 but they went there and won 2-0. Le Havre are a strong team on the road with their solid defence and decent counter attacking tactics. They are just such an awkward side to face and if I had some bollocks I’d take the visitors on a +0.25 Asian Handicap here. I think that Bastia are slightly under-priced for this fixture but you do also have to respect them on their island home.

Bastia lost at Pau 0-2 last week. They have a few injuries to contend with, especially in attacking areas. Remember, this squad was riddled with COVID just a few weeks ago and Bastia have generally had a hectic schedule in the second part of August. I worry whether they have that much left in the tank and the two week international break is going to come at a good time for them. I think a low scoring draw, maybe 1-1 is likely. If either side is to win then I fancy Le Havre, but I’m happy to leave this match alone.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Toulouse v Valenciennes Preview (28/8/21)

Match Preview

Toulouse

  • Unbeaten start to the season and won last four consecutive matches
  • Over 2.5 goals landed in 3 out of 5 games
  • No new injuries to contend with or suspensions
  • New centre back signing Rasmus Nicolaisen is included in the squad

Valenciennes

  • Won just 1 of their first 5 matches
  • Heavy defeat 1-4 at home to Rodez last week was very disappointing
  • Right wing back Laurent Dos Santos is suspended
  • CM Sambou Yatabare not included in the squad

Conclusion & Betting analysis

This fixture ended in a crazy 4-5 win for Valenciennes last season where defender Joffrey Cuffaut scored an incredible four times! I don’t think we shall see such a high scoring affair this time around though. Valenciennes were really poor last week when they lost 1-4 at home to  Rodez. I can’t imagine coach Olivier Guegan is very pleased with how they defended there and I fully expect him to park the bus in this game. Valenciennes have looked solid on the road in both games so far. This will be a much tougher test though facing a Toulouse outfit who are favourites for promotion and started the season well.

It is still early in the season but the bookies are giving nothing away on Toulouse. They are best priced 1.50 to win this game which feels on the short side. I would expect them to take all 3 points but Valenciennes are no mugs and did beat them twice last season. The -1 or -1.25 Asian Handicap doesn’t really interest me and the goal line also feels high at 2.75 or 3. I think the most likely outcome is Toulouse 1-0 or 2-0. I think it might take them some time to break down Valenciennes but eventually they’ll have enough class and quality to get the victory. There value and temptation just isn’t there with them betting wise though.

Prediction: 2-0

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Nimes v Caen Preview (28/8/21)

Match Preview

Nimes

  • Unbeaten start to the season with 3 wins and 2 draws
  • Conceded just two goals and have defended well
  • Striker Elias Mar Omarsson remains the only fresh injury
  • Both teams NOT scored in all of their last 3 games

Caen

  • Midweek defeat away to Ajaccio (0-2) was a disappointing result and performance
  • Three wins and 2 defeats to start off the season
  • Wingers Yoann Court, Inoussa & Hountondji all injured or suspended
  • Ligue 2 top scorer Alexandre Mendy is suspended
  • Both teams not scored in 4 out of 5 games

Conclusion & Betting analysis

I think Nimes will win this game but I am not interested in betting on them around the 2.05 mark. Nimes have started the season better than I expected to be honest. This is a small squad but seems quite close together and there is a better feeling around the place than was anticipated. I am not entirely sure about their goal scoring ability, such as during the 0-0 draw vs Pau at home. Nimes have relied on some individual brilliance or set pieces at times but whether that is sustainable is questionable.

Caen played poorly away against Ajaccio in midweek losing by a 0-2 scoreline. Now they are on the road again in the South of France and will have to play shorthanded, especially in attacking areas where they are missing several players to injury and suspension. I don’t personally see Caen offering much of an attacking threat in this game and will instead rely on defence and tactical setup to get a result. They have an experienced coach in Stephane Moulin so it wouldn’t shock me if they got a draw or something. This game is kicking off at 3pm local time and is going to be played on hot conditions so it could be a low tempo sort of affair. Under 2.25 goals caught my eye but I am happy to leave this game alone. I think 1-0 or 2-0 Nimes is most likely.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None

Norway Eliteserien – Vålerenga v Stabaek Preview (29/8/21)

Match Preview

Vålerenga

  • Just 2 wins in last 7 games has seen them slip down to 7th in the table
  • 2-5-1 home record is only the 11th best. They have drawn too many matches here
  • Kept just 2 clean sheets all season which has been a surprise
  • Still reeling from the loss of three key players - Adekugbe, Klaesson & Donnum

Stabaek

  • The 7 points picked up from their last 4 games has them within reach of survival
  • No clean sheet in any of their last 13 games
  • 11 out of 15 matches ended with over 2.5 goals
  • Yaw Amankwah (CB) & Antonio Nusa (ATT) are both rated doubtful

Conclusion & Betting analysis

I would personally not be in a rush to back Vålerenga around the 1.45 mark. They are deserving favourites and may well win, but have been unconvincing for a while. They draw far too many matches at home and I sense they have been in a funk this summer, losing key players and just not really performing on the field. This is a local derby between two teams who hate each other. Stabaek are usually quite competitive in this game and will give it absolutely everything to get a result. The pressure of expectation on VIF might not suit them.

Eirik Kjönö has done a really good job  since taking over at Stabaek. They were in a huge mess but he has delivered some much improved performances and results on the field. I think they could be a dangerous dark horse here and it wouldn’t even shock me if they won. Stabaek would need some luck and to take their chances but this is a definite opportunity to spring a surprise. Over 3 goals is a mightily tempting bet but Vålerenga draw far too many matches 1-1 and that is definitely the danger scoreline. I think something like a 2-2 could definitely occur here and it should be a very watchable game. I am not going to bet on the contest though due to the derby nature of the fixture which can generate uncertainties.

Prediction: 2-2

Recommended bet: None