France Ligue 2 – Troyes v Auxerre Preview (9/12/16)

Troyes preview

  • ESTAC’s superb ten match unbeaten run was ended by Brest last time out. The fact still remains they’ve been one of the hottest Ligue 2 sides in recent months, winning 7 of their last 9 games.
  • Troyes have won all of their last four home matches without conceding a goal in the process. After a tricky start to the season they’ve turned this stadium into a fortress again.
  • Centre back Christophe Herelle is injured. He’s had a surprisingly solid season and performed much better than expected so might actually be missed.
  • Midfielder Karim Azamoum, who has been another mainstay of the team is injured as well. Playmaker Tristan Dingome remains sidelined and hasn’t featured for nearly six weeks.

Auxerre preview

  • AJA obtained a morale boosting win last time out against Nimes (2-0). This victory came completely out of the blue and unexpectedly, but showed that the Burgundy side are still fighting for their lives in Ligue 2.
  • Despite this, one swallow doesn’t make a summer and I need to see an awful lot more from them. Auxerre remain a poor team and come here with a bad away record. Just once have AJA picked up victory on the road this year.
  • The visitors are one of the lowest scoring sides in the league and considering they miss striker Yoann Touzghar to injury, their threat will be reduced even more.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • This is actually top vs second bottom and Troyes are rightful favourites to win. They can be grabbed around the 1.85 mark just to win, and to many people this would look like an obvious bet.
  • There are a couple of things to consider though. Firstly, this is a local derby match so there could be a bit of tension and make Auxerre play at a higher level than normal.
  • Secondly, Troyes have a few injuries to players who have been performing well. Defender Christophe Herelle for example has been a solid rock. Auxerre don’t really have the offense to expose this, but it could make a difference form a set piece.
  • The logical outcome is a Troyes win and that will be my prediction. However, I’m not willing to risk backing them @ this odds-on price. I have a nagging feeling that Auxerre might be surprisingly competitive here and fluke a result.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None