France Ligue 2 – GFC Ajaccio v Auxerre Preview (13/1/16)

GFC Ajaccio preview

  • Started 2017 with an away defeat against third division side Les Herbiers in the Coupe de France. This wasn’t a massive surprise to me though because their away performances have been terrible since the early stages of the season.
  • GFCA are traditionally strong at home and ended 2016 pretty well here, winning 3 of their last 4 games. The signs were that Le Stade Ange Casanova was returning to it’s old fortress ways.
  • With the exception of midfielder Remy Mulumbu (African Nations) and the long term absence of striker Rafik Boujedra, everyone else is available for selection.
  • GFC have generally struggled to score goals this season and will hope the addition of two promising youngsters from Ligue 1 can help them both create and score more chances. Said Benrahma (Nice) makes tonight’s squad, but Olivier Kemen (Lyon) isn’t selected yet.

Auxerre preview

  • Have been inside the relegation zone during the winter break, second bottom. However, just 1 loss in 6 games at the end of 2016 did represent an improvement, even if performances were still below par.
  • Auxerre have improved since Cedric Daury took over at the start of October. However, this hasn’t been significant enough to bring about a rapid change of fortune. Auxerre are still very much a work in progress.
  • AJA have only won once away all year, but draws at Amiens and Troyes should have given them some encouragement heading into the new year.
  • Still have a few injuries across the board, the most notable of whom is striker Yoann Touzghar. However, Gaetan Courtet has been in pretty good form upfront and perhaps has enjoyed more responsibility in the side.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • I think GFCA will probably win this match. They are usually strong at home and nobody really likes to visit Corsica. However, the price looks a bit skinny around the 1.85 mark.
  • I don’t particularly rate Auxerre but their improvement at the end of 2016 has to be given some sort of respect. They beat Troyes in a cup match last weekend so confidence should be pretty high.
  • If GFCA were on a decent -0.25 handicap I would probably strike and place a bet on them. But I’m concerned by how much of a strong favourite they are. Expectations will be high to win but it won’t necessarily be that easy.
  • I’m not expecting much of a classic here and again it looks like a good match to swerve. This is a difficult round of matches for various different reasons.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None