Category Archives: Ligue 2

France Ligue 2 – Lens v Orleans Preview (9/3/20)

Match Preview

The French Ligue 2 promotion race is suddenly far more interesting than it looked a couple of months ago. It appeared both Lorient and Lens were shoo-ins for the top two spots but both have given the chasing pack plenty of encouragement. Just four points now separates five teams and a victory for Lens tonight would put them back to second in the table. A run of just 1 win in 7 games certainly put the skids on their season and it culminated in a terrible 1-4 home loss to Caen. However, Les Sang et Or seemed to re-find their mojo last Monday night by beating Paris FC 2-0 away from home. That was an excellent victory which they will hope to kick on from. Striker Simon Banza is suspended tonight but they have no other major concerns ahead of the fixture. 

For Orleans, the situation is now very bleak. They finally sacked manager Didier Olle Nicolle but I fear they waited too long to make that decision. USO had an immediate response by beating Le Havre but then lost last week at home to Troyes. There were some encouraging signs at least in that chances were created against one of the better teams in the league. Orleans have appointed a permanent manager for the rest of the campaign, Denis Troch. It feels like quite a desperate measure and they are currently 7 points behind the nearest possible spot of safety. It’s going to take a big effort to keep this team up.

I would expect Lens to win tonight and I’m tempted to back them on a -1 Asian Handicap. They are clearly the better team but there is a lot of pressure on them to succeed and Orleans have nothing to lose. Instead I’m going to opt for over 2.5 goals. I see this as quite an open encounter. Orleans can’t defend and Lens should have enough firepower to take advantage. At the same time I’m not sure I fully trust Lens to keep it tight either due to the pressure on their shoulders. 

Note:- this match is going to be played behind closed doors because of the Coronavirus outbreak

Prediction: 3-1

Recommended bet: Over 2.5 goals @2.05

France Ligue 2 – Ajaccio v Lorient Preview (7/3/20)

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Today we see 5th placed Ajaccio face top of the table Lorient and the result here could be crucial in the race for promotion. A few weeks ago it looked like Lorient and Lens were nailed on certainties to finish in the top two, but both have given major encouragement to the opposition since the start of 2020. Lorient seemed fine but have now lost 3 of their last 4 matches. All three have come at this Saturday afternoon kick off time so they might be nervous once again heading into this affair. I can’t really put my finger on what’s gone wrong apart from perhaps a lack of goals has cost them? Every team has a bad run at some stage and this appears to be their slump stage. The question is how long will it continue for?

Ajaccio have consistently overachieved all season. Of all the teams up there in the top five they have the worst squad but they deserve to be where they are on merit. Olivier Pantaloni does a fantastic job coaching this team. ACA don’t have the greatest home record in the league, just the 12th best and have already lost 4 times in front of their own fans this season. However, they head into this match in good form and kept three consecutive clean sheets. Hitman upfront Gaetan Courtet won’t feature here as he’s on loan from Lorient and the two clubs have an agreement for him not to play. The odds are wrong for this game and Ajaccio should be favs on a DNB line. Instead, it’s the visitors who have that honour. I’m very close to backing Ajaccio but there is so much at stake in this game I think it’s probably best to swerve. Lorient are the better team on paper but I just don’t fancy them based on recent form.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Troyes v Paris FC Preview (6/3/20)

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Troyes are all or nothing. Just 2 draws this season sums them up but it’s worked with the team currently joint second. They have every chance of automatic promotion with just 10 games left. ESTAC are on a 4 game winning streak and would appear to have their mojo back. Perhaps this is a tricky sort of fixture facing a Paris FC team who have been much improved under Rene Girard. However, a vast improvement will be needed compared to Monday night when they got easily manhandled by Lens (0-2). I expect a reaction but you can’t really oppose Troyes at the moment based on recent form. The price of about 1.80 on the home team looks about fair. They are the most likely winners although I doubt this will be a piece of cake and they’ll be forced to work hard for the win.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Rodez v Guingamp Preview (6/3/20)

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Rodez keep inching their way towards safety by picking up draws. They’ve only won 1 of their last 9 matches though and at some stage they are going to need a victory to propel them up the table. RAF have been involved in a number of tight sort of games recently and they’ve been able to keep things tight without offering too much threat of their own. Tonight they face a Guingamp side that has underachieved this season and needs an incredibly strong finish to the campaign in order to make the playoffs. The ability is in this squad to make a late run but just when it looks like EAG might start to get their act together they throw in a random loss, like the one at Orleans or Le Mans. I think we will see an away win here but I wouldn’t have too much confidence. I expect Guingamp to be positive and have a go. Draws aren’t good enough for them anymore, especially in these types of fixtures. The odds look about right. The only thing I would consider is over 2.25 but Rodez have been involved in too many low scoring matches recently and it would be a risk.

Prediction: 1-2

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Niort v Nancy Preview (6/3/20)

Match Preview

Nancy had a problem with draws all season and I suspected it might cost them at some stage. What I didn’t expect was a slide down the table after a run of no wins in 7 games. Suddenly they have a few injuries and suspensions on the board and are facing a hungry and motivated Niort side tonight who are fighting for their lives. Franck Passi has come into this club and made an impact by picking up a couple of wins. Niort still have a limited squad and may well go down but at least they have a fighting chance with Passi at the helm. Bookies can’t split either team tonight and it’s a proper pick ‘em DNB handicap on offer. I’m not sure which way this will go. I’d lean towards Niort but Nancy are probably the better overall unit. There are missing players on both sides of the ball game here so it’s a fixture difficult to predict. Maybe 1-0 or 1-1 is on the cards but I’m not sure.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Le Havre v Auxerre Preview (6/3/20)

Match Preview

Le Havre welcomed back key striker Tino Kadewere last week and he scored during the 3-0 win at Chateauroux. The bad news is that he might be a doubt for tonight. HAC sit 6 points off the playoff places and really need to keep winning in order to stay in the hunt. I quite liked the idea of backing the over in this game but no Tino makes it less appealing. Auxerre now appear to be in quite a safe position so can relax and open up a bit here. They won 3-1 at Niort last week and have been inconsistent of late. Some higher scoring matches have been mixed in with a couple of 0-0s. I think someone is going to win this game 2-1 and it’s more likely to be the visitors based on team news. I’m not going to back the over 2 goals that I fancied but this should be a reasonably attacking contest.

Prediction: 1-2

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Grenoble v Valenciennes Preview (6/3/20)

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Midtable battle between a couple of teams who have lost form a bit recently. Grenoble had a problem with draws but have lost their last two successive matches. The problem has been converting chances. It’s not been a lack of creating them but the likes of Benet and Djitte haven’t been putting them away. Surely that must change sooner rather than later. Valenciennes meanwhile have just become inconsistent. For the majority of the season they’ve relied on a stout defence but there have been signs of that changing in recent times. It is often hard for teams of that style to keep grinding so hard, especially when there is less at stake. I’m going to back over 2 goals here based both on gut feel but also the way each team has been playing of late. Grenoble are definitely attacking more whilst VA appear more vulnerable. There’s not much either team can gain from a drab 0-0 tonight so I expect both to have a go. There can be at least 2 goals scored in this match and I anticipate an entertaining evening.

Prediction: 2-2

Recommended bet: Over 2 goals @1.89

France Ligue 2 – Clermont v Sochaux Preview (6/3/20)

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Clermont returned to winning ways last weekend with a 2-1 victory at Nancy. They have been in great form for a while now and prior to losing at home to Paris FC a couple of weeks ago were unbeaten in 12 games. Situated in 5th place it looks very likely they can obtain a playoff position this season but could they yet steal an automatic promotion spot? The Auvergne side are only 3 points behind Lens and Troyes so would appear to have every chance. This is the sort of match they need to be winning though. Sochaux travel here in poor form having only won one game since 8th November! It’s a very good job they had such a good start to the campaign otherwise would be embroiled in a relegation battle now. Clermont are the better side tonight and should get the job done. Sochaux will just try and hold onto a draw for as long as possible but I don’t see them picking anything up. Clermont can be taken at a decent 1.92 price on the nose. They are missing important midfielder Johan Gastien to suspension but that is something they can overcome tonight.

Prediction: 2-0

Recommended bet: Clermont -0.5 @1.92

France Ligue 2 – Chateauroux v Caen Preview (6/3/20)

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For me, Caen are the better team here and definitely more likely to win. Should they be a -0.25 away favourite though? That is more debatable and I’d personally suggest they are too much of a short price. Chateauroux are a strange team who can be very up and down. They’ve taken some bad beatings this season but also surprised us all with wins vs the likes of Lens and Ajaccio. It really depends which version of them shows up here. There is certainly more of a need for them to pick up points whereas Caen appear locked in midtable. A few goals wouldn’t surprise me in this one and I looked at backing over 2. But ultimately my confidence isn't particularly high for this game so it’s probably best left alone. Something like a 1-2 away win is my prediction.

Prediction: 1-2

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 2 – Chambly v Le Mans Preview (6/3/20)

Match Preview

The first thing to say about this match is that it’s going to be played at a neutral venue behind closed doors. Chambly play all home matches on neutral turf anyway but because of the Coronavirus outbreak there won’t be any fans either. This makes predicting the game even more difficult. It will probably resemble some sort of training match type atmosphere. For Le Mans, this is a crucial affair because they are fighting for their lives down at the bottom of the table. The odds look about right in terms of asian handicaps and over/under. Honestly, nothing would surprise me here considering the circumstances. The best I can guess at is some sort of draw?

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None