France Ligue 2 – Ajaccio v Bourg-en-Bresse Preview (19/8/16)


Ajaccio preview

ACA started the season well with a good draw at Tours followed by victory against Troyes. They have since followed that up with a defeat at Orleans last week (0-2). Maybe that fixture was extra difficult for them because they'd been on the road just a few days prior in the cup. My overall impression of Ajaccio so far this year is that they’ve been better than I expected. The coach has clearly been working hard during the summer and there is a strong element of togetherness around the place. The Corsicans will hope that new signings upfront, Moussa Maazou & Ilyes Chaibi can provide them with the goals they need. Still the big achilles heel for ACA is converting chances. The squad is in good condition minus centre back Joris Sainati. He missed most of last season due to a lengthy suspension, now he looks set to miss most of this one due to an ACL injury.

Bourg-en-Bresse preview

The visitors just haven't got going yet this season. Back to back defeats without scoring a goal was followed up by a 2-4 home loss to Auxerre last week. They improved from an offensive point of view but were cut open at the back all too easily at times. It’s still early on, but it looks like Bourg might end up encountering a serious case of ‘second season syndrome’ The other problem has been the huge amount of player changes. Nearly a dozen new guys joined the team this season which is maybe too much for a club of this nature. The manager admitted a few weeks ago he’d never encountered such a big influx of player additions (and departures) before, and it was difficult to adapt. At the moment Bourg-en-Bresse have no real identity, whereas last season they played very positive football on the front foot. At the time of writing their squad list hasn’t been released for this match. A number of players have been injured, mostly new signings who have yet to feature this season.

Conclusion & betting analysis

Ajaccio are usually pretty strong at home on the island of Corsica. It’s a tough place for any side to visit and Bourg-en-Bresse aren't showing much form ahead of the match. Therefore, I think it’d be wise to side with ACA. Some of their football has caught my eye this season and I feel like they are facing an opponent at the right time. In their only previous home match Olivier Pantaloni’s side beat Troyes 2-1 but had they converted their chances then 3 or 4 could’ve been scored. That's the one gripe I have with Ajaccio, will they convert enough of their opportunities? The Bourg offence looked much better last week but this is never an easy place for a team to fire on all cylinders going forwards. Over 2 goals @ 1.82 tempted me a bit, but Ajaccio have been known to regularly keep it tight here. A scoreline of 2-1 wouldn't surprise me, but my preference is for 320. I’m going to back Ajaccio on a -0.25 handicap. I think it offers a bit of security in case of a draw and the price is acceptable enough anything 1.70+.

Prediction: 2-0
Recommended bet 1 unit: Ajaccio -0.25 @ 1.79 (minimum odds acceptable 1.70)

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