Friday Ligue 2 Pre Match Analysis & Picks

Arles – Laval
Both teams still need the points in order to survive. Arles have a great home record this season and conceded just 9 goals at Le Parc de Sports. They draw too many games, thats their problem. They would probably accept a point here too, a reason which worries me slightly. Laval have played a lot better since they sacked Philippe Hinchberger but they were awful in their last away match, losing 4-0 at Creteil. That result definitely concerns me but perhaps it was a ‘one off’ If someone is going to win then I’d say Arles are the more likely, but the draw risk is of medium risk. I’m tempted enough by the -0.25 line to back them for a few units @odds-against.

Prediction: Arles 1-0 Laval
Recommended bet: Arles -0.25 @ 2.02 4/10

Clermont – Angers
I really like the hosts here. They’ve been in much better form of late and looked impressive in all areas of the field. Now that they’ve finally managed to find some goalscorers, Clermont are a strong force once again. Angers might have won last week but overall they’ve cracked badly in their bid for promotion. Mentally they just dont seem a good team IMO so how can they be relied upon? Also they played on Tuesday night in the French cup, have a ton of injuries and are sure to be affected by this. As long as Clermont retain motivation I can’t see beyond a home win here @ decent odds.

Prediction: Clermont 2-0 Angers
Recommended bet: Clermont -0.25 @ 2.07 6/10

Le Havre – Tours
I have a strong feeling that Le Havre will win this match. Tours look physically and mentally finished, thats how it felt last week anyway. Le Havre need the points more here but their home form is pretty bad. They just haven’t been able to perform in front of their own fans this season, I’m not sure why. But they are at full strength tonight and this seems like a really good opportunity. The price is acceptable enough IMO, I just expect them to show a higher level of energy and drive. Tours really did look so flat last week against Creteil and their manager has admitted that they are concentrating on next season already.

Prediction: Le Havre 2-0 Tours
Recommended bet: Le Havre -0.5 @ 2.16 4/10

Metz – CA Bastia
Top vs bottom, so this should be a blowout win yeh? Well, I’m not so sure. Metz haven’t won a match by more than one goal for quite a long time. Their offence hasn’t really fired that well in recent times, plus key striker Diafra Sakho is rated doubtful for this contest. CA Bastia have no pressure on their shoulders and have actually been performing better in the last few weeks. If Metz win tonight they will be virtually promoted. Strange things can happen to teams when they get close to the finishing line, maybe something weird will happen here. I think Metz will win, but it might only be a close success.

Prediction: Metz 1-0 CA Bastia NO BET

Nancy – Dijon
The hosts have more motivation and a need to win, but continue to have big defensive issues. Three of their first choice back four are ruled out tonight which should cause them some problems. They managed pretty well last week at Chateauroux but maybe Dijon will pose a more difficult test. The visitors haven’t been in particularly brilliant form but could put a spanner in the works if they can take advantage of Nancy’s defensive absentees. It is worth noting that Nancy have really struggled at home in recent times, failing to win any of their last five. Both teams will have to attack tonight and I see this being a really open game of football. I’ll have a piece of the overs.

Prediction: Nancy 2-2 Dijon
Recommended bet: Over 2.5 goals @ 2.26 4/10

Nimes – Istres
19th vs 18th here, it’s going to be a really tense contest. It’s a must win for Nimes and I think overall they will get the 3 points. But can they be relied upon? I’m just not sure. Both teams are going to fight seriously hard and I’d say the overall result is difficult to predict. If I had to stick my neck out then I’d say Nimes prevail but @ their current odds-on price I’m not interested.

Prediction: Nimes 1-1 Istres NO BET

Niort – Brest
Everyone will point to the fact that Niort have a great home record in 2014 but they’ve shown recent signs of cracking. 2 losses in their last 3 games is hardly promotion form, has the pressure of the situation got to them? A fixture against Brest is the last thing they would want right now either. The Bretons have been in solid form, hard to beat. I would honestly not be surprised if this match ended as a draw, or even an away win. I’m not going to bet here but I wouldn’t want to put anyone off Brest +0.75.

Prediction: Niort 1-1 Brest NO BET

Troyes – Creteil
Difficult one here because motivation is all with Creteil. Troyes don’t really have a lot to play for anymore because they are too far off the promotion places. Creteil have won their last 2 consecutive games but still need points. I’m not sure if those wins against Laval and Tours were just freaks or if they can properly be trusted. I’m undecided about the result of this match, looks maybe drawish. No doubt Troyes are the better team in paper but this one is all about motivation.

Prediction: Troyes 1-1 Creteil NO BET

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Friday Ligue 2 Pre Match Analysis & Picks

Chateauroux – Nancy
The key factor to consider here is team news. Ok, the hosts do miss CB Loic Nestor to injury which is a blow, but at least he was an absentee last week too, so they should be able to adjust better tonight. Nancy have kept the same CB partnership since September 13th! But it’s going to be split in this match because Joel Sami is injured. His loss is massive, quite literally considering he’s such a huge unit. To make matters worse, first choice LB Vincent Muratori is another casualty. Nancy are going to have to start Amadou and Badilla, both youngsters and both of whom are known to be pretty dodgy. Just to rub salt into the wound, Nancy’s best player Jeff Louis is rated doubtful. He will probably start but is so fragile and I’d be surprised if he lasted more than an hour. He completely runs their offence and they are often pretty useless without him.

Backing Chateauroux DNB makes a ton of sense IMO here. They are renowned for their strong home play and possess a very good record here this season under coach Jean Louis Garcia. One slight worry is that they sometimes respect bigger opposition too much and that could possibly happen tonight. I hope they don’t play for a draw anyway, because victory is definitely there for the taking. Nancy aren’t a bad team, but nothing special. Take out 2-3 important players like tonight and they are nowhere near as good. There’s definitely a chance of a draw but I’m quite happy to take Chateauroux as a home underdog. They have a few factors in their favour and seem to be constantly underestimated by the bookies in front of their own fans.

Prediction: Chateauroux 1-0 Nancy
Recommended bet: Chateauroux 0 @2.10 5.10

Istres – Caen
I haven’t bet on an over for a while but I simply can’t resist here. I have no idea how over 2.5 goals is odds-against because in theory this should be wide open. Caen are a very attacking team, both at home and away. They will always throw caution to the wind and especially in a match like this which they need to win, I’d expect them to be pretty open. Istres are a similarly attack minded side who like to give it a go. Unlike a lot of poorer teams in Ligue 2, they don’t like to park the bus, even when facing good opposition like Caen. This should be a really nice match to watch and both teams likely to score. I fancy Caen will probably win overall but Istres are a dangerous side so taking the visitors would maybe be slightly risky. IMO there’s a really high chance of the overs landing though and @ this price it just screams value.

Prediction: Istres 1-3 Caen
Recommended bet: Over 2.5 goals @ 2.13 4/10

Angers – Le Havre
To me, Angers look completely done. They have collapsed massively in their promotion bid and have shown nothing recently but mental weakness. I fancy Le Havre to at least draw this match. They are the best away team in Ligue 2 IMO and just love being on their travels. They do however miss key playmaker Walid Mesloub to injury which is a big blow. This is the only thing that stops me from backing them though because Angers are ripe for the taking right now.

Prediction: Angers 1-2 Le Havre NO BET

Auxerre – Clermont
Tough one here. Both teams have shown a resurgence in form recently. It could be a tight contest with not much separating either side. Auxerre are probably priced up a bit too short but It’d be risky backing Clermont. A low scoring draw seems the most probable outcome IMO.

Prediction: Auxerre 0-0 Clermont NO BET

Brest – Arles
I think Brest might sneak a win here but a draw is also quite possible. Both teams would be happy with a point and are generally hard to beat. I’ve been very impressed with Brest’s recent form and I’d give them the edge overall. The value just isn’t there though and their odds not attractive enough so I’ll swerve.

Prediction: Brest 1-0 Arles NO BET

CA Bastia – Nimes
This is a must win game for Nimes but can they deliver? Well, recently CAB haven’t looked too bad so this might not be a walk in the park. Extra motivation from the visitors though so maybe it will make a difference? Nimes have desperately struggled of late and I couldn’t trust them here tonight. A home win or a draw wouldn’t surprise me at all

Prediction: CA Bastia 2-1 Nimes NO BET

Laval – Troyes
I really don’t have a clue here. Laval were appalling last week at Creteil so this is all about how they respond. Troyes tend to be unreliable away but maybe this is a good moment to play Laval. All 3 results are possible and I’d say this is easily the hardest match of the day to predict.

Prediction: Laval 2-2 Troyes NO BET

Troyes – Creteil
I like Tours and the overs here but there’s no real value on either. Goal line is 2.75 which I’m not interested in. I expect this to be an open game which ultimately Tours will win, but the prices just aren’t there at the moment.

Prediction: Tours 2-1 Creteil NO BET

Friday Ligue 2 Pre Match Analysis & Picks

Arles – Angers
Both teams have struggled recently and wins have been difficult to find. Arles actually haven’t picked up 3 points since January 24th but I do fancy them to scrape a victory tonight. They are always difficult to beat in front of their own fans and are used to playing on a fairly poor surface. Angers have lacked bottle recently in their fight for promotion. This team has choked a lot and might also have the upcoming French Cup semi finals on their mind. They just seem to lack much steel mentally and they’ve shown some very worrying signs recently. I reckon Arles can sneak this 1-0 but the price just isn’t big enough to back them yet. I want a DNB line at decent odds. I just feel the draw risk is too high to be taking them on a -0.25 line.

Prediction: Arles 1-0 Angers NO BET

Clermont – Chateauroux
Both teams are missing a few players. Notably for Clermont, key defender Cedric Avinel is again on the sidelines and vital playmaker Yanis Salibur is suspended. The latter has been very influential recently and I think that the hosts will lack a bit offensively without him in the team. Despite this, I think Clermont will probably sneak a win here. They have shown plenty of improvement recently and Chateauroux are just a damn awful road team. With a 1-4-10 record, they just can’t be relied on. I would definitely back Clermont if the price was better, but I just feel these odds are currently too skimpy.

Prediction: Clermont 1-0 Chateauroux NO BET

Creteil – Laval
I’ve got to say Creteil look like a relegation team right now. Some of their recent performances have been extremely worrying. Since the 8th November they’ve only had 2 wins, I thought it was very concerning how poor they were against Auxerre a couple of weeks ago in a very similar fixture to this one. They even lost at CA Bastia last week which just shows how terrible they are right now. Laval meanwhile, have looked much better since they changed manager a few weeks ago. They’ve won 3 out of 4 games and really improved. I could see them getting a win tonight, or at the very least drawing. For now, I’m not betting on the game but I’m very close to taking Laval. I just hate backing away teams in France unless the value is superb or unless I’m backing an elite team. Neither of those factors apply here yet,unless the Laval price improves.

Prediction: Creteil 0-1 Laval

Le Havre – CA Bastia
The problem I have with the host is that they generally have big problems breaking down crap teams who come here to park the bus. CA Bastia will do exactly that and haven’t exactly been in bad form themselves. I could honestly see a surprise draw and the -1.25 handicap on Havre looks too big to me. They havent looked like covering this sort of line for a long time. They struggle at home and prefer road matches. I wont bet on CAB but if they got a result here I wouldn’t be surprised.

Prediction: Le Havre 1-1 CA Bastia NO BET

Nimes – Nancy
This is a tricky one, it depends what sort of Nancy side turns up. My feeling is they will struggle in this type of environment on what might be a poor pitch. Nancy rely so much on Jeff Louis and if he has a poor game they could be in trouble. Nimes have looked good under Reen Marsiglia but have only won 1 of their last 6 games, and are under serious relegation pressure. There’s a high chance of a draw so I’d need a better price on this -0.25 line to consider betting them. Got a feeling the hosts sneak it though.

Prediction: Nimes 1-0 Nancy NO BET

Troyes – Brest
Troyes have played well in their last 2 matches and generally have a great home record this season. But Brest are one of those really difficult sides to beat recently, they could definitely come here and get something. Troyes will be positive but have to respect Brest’s counter attacking abilities too. I have a feeling the visitors can get something and I have been close to backing them +0.75 here. In the end I’ve refrained but I wouldn’t want to put off anyone backing the visitors here.

Prediction: Troyes 1-1 Brest NO BET

Tours – Auxerre
Auxerre have just looked really poor recently, even with a new manager. They beat Creteil a couple of weeks ago but that might prove to be a flash in the pan facing an even worse side. Tours should have too much here but I’m not interested in backing them @ such a short price. Just not enough value IMO.

Prediction: Tours 2-1 Auxerre NO BET