Ligue 2: Preview and Betting Tips – Week Five

ClermontWeek5Ligue2

Before the first international break of the season, we have some top Ligue 2 games this weekend. Second plays third and league leaders Metz face a tough test against former Ligue 1 side Evian. Down at the bottom, Auxerre in 18th face a tough relegation-type battle against Nimes.

 

Clermont Foot v AS Nancy: Friday 19:00@rich_allen85

Two of the division’s most in form teams meet on Friday evening as Clermont host Nancy. The home side are riding high on the back of an excellent win in Le Havre last week and will go into this game feeling confident. As highlighted in last week’s preview, striker Famara Diedhiou is the man to watch. His match-winner against Le Havre took him to four for the season and he remains the sole goalscorer for Clermont this campaign.

CF63 will also be buoyed by the loan signing of Adrien Hunou. The Rennes midfielder has joined after an impressive loan spell last season was curtailed by injury. Fresh from a summer in which he starred in France’s Toulon Tournament-winning team, his signing represents a bit of a coup for Corinne Diacre’s side.

Nancy will be no pushovers for Clermont and les Chardons also come into this fixture full of confidence after an unbeaten start to the season. A win over Laval and a 3-0 victory over Brest are the stand-out results so far as Pablo Correa has marched his side to second place in Ligue 2. Their side is littered with experience and talented youngsters: Youssef Hadji and Benoit Pedretti are the veterans who have been there and done that whilst French youth team stars Clement Lenglet, Arnaud Lusamba and Remi Walter bring a freshness and exuberance to the squad.

Both these teams were knocked out of the Coupe de la Ligue in midweek but Nancy were forced to go to a penalty shoot-out in their loss. This, coupled with the Clermont capture of Hunou, could see the home side sneak a tight win at the Stade Gabriel Montpied.

 

Red Star v Valenciennes: Friday 19:00@IsMiseBrendan

Red Star welcome Valenciennes to their temporary home in Beauvais in a game in which the men from Saint-Ouen will be aiming to record their first Ligue 2 victory of the season. Despite taking an early away lead last Friday, Laval fought back thanks to goals from Chris Malonga and Rachid Aliou to take all three points. Their opponents have now also gone three games without a victory, with Valenciennes’ only win of the season so far coming in Week One against Niort, thanks to an Angelo Fulgini header.

Red Star’s inability to hold onto leads has cost Rui Almeida’s side dearly so far, as despite the fact that the Portuguese coach’s side have opened the scoring in their last three league encounters,  opposition sides have returned fire quickly each time. If they are to take three points from this match, better defending will be of paramount importance. Red Star possess a goal threat in attacking midfielder Naim Sliti. The Marseille-born number ten has looked dangerous this season, scoring two goals so far.

Despite their poor start to the campaign, the hopes of Valenciennes supporters will be lifted by news of Baptiste Aloé’s arrival on loan from Marseille, and perhaps this will spur the side on to their second win of the season. Whereas Red Star’s problem has been conceding goals, David Le Frapper’s side’s main problem has been their inability to score. They have only managed to score twice in four matches this season, so lone front-man Pierre Slidja will be under pressure to find the net this evening.

This match is likely to be a close-run encounter, with a draw a likely eventuality as result of Red Star’s weakness at the back, and VAFC’s weakness in front of goal.

 

Dijon FCO v US Creteil: Friday 19:00 – @meatmansoccer

Two teams who have started the season quite well meet at the Stade Gaston Gerard. They’ve already faced each other in the Coupe de la Ligue a couple of weeks ago, and on that occasion the match ended a sensational 3-3 draw. Dijon eventually prevailed on penalties and they’ve won all of their other home games so far this season.

It is fair to say that les Rouges have been one of the best home teams in Ligue 2 since they were relegated at the end of the 2011/12 campaign. This stadium is a fortress for them and they are spearheaded by the likes of Julio Tavares and Frederic Sammaritano in attack. It is clear to see that the attacking movement of this side right now is really impressive. They will be confident of outscoring any team at the moment.

Creteil have seven points on the board already, but one could argue the Parisian outfit are fortunate to have so many, considering their poor-ish performances. They’ve lucked out in a number of games and been outplayed, although their ability to grind out points has to be respected.

Ironically they lost against Metz last week and produced perhaps their best display of the season to date. But they miss important defender Boris Mahon de Monaghan and Christophe Diedhiou for this match and could be vulnerable at the back. On a more positive note, they welcome back key striker Faneva Andriatsima from injury. This Creteil side don’t seem to have built their own identity just yet, and now that they’ve finally lost a match, a few more defeats might suddenly come tumbling along. It’s unlikely les Beliers will be able to cut the mustard against Dijon.

TIPS

This week, Brendan has backed Auxerre, Sochaux to win and Tours to draw with AC Ajaccio for his three team accumulator. Nimes are struggling and thinks Auxerre will have too much for them. Sochaux should be too strong for Bourg-en-Bresse and Tours are in good form, but they have drawn  three of their four games this season – AC Ajaccio have drawn both opening home games too.

A £5 bet would win you £79 with Bet365

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