Ligue 2: Week 24 – Previews

Sochaux

Another vital mid-week round of Ligue 2 fixtures kick off the action this week. Nancy and Dijon have the chance to extend their lead at the top of the table, while Sochaux and Creteil fight it out at the bottom, giving Nimes the chance to continue their remarkable escape bid.

US Creteil v FC Sochaux: Tuesday 20:00 – @FRfootballWillG

Creteil have endured a horrible run of late and now sit 19th in the league. Without a win since the 23rd of October and the departure of coach Thierry Froger, Creteil are in real danger of plummeting to the National. After an impressive start to the season, they have now been brought back down to earth and have one of the weakest and most depleted squads in the division. Youssouf Niakate was signed from National side Avranches to add goals to their substandard front line, though this looks to be a less than inspiring acquisition. Fabien Barrillon, formerly of Nimes, has been signed on deadline day and this should, at least, help to shore up the defence. Should they survive this will be seen as a successful season given their horribly inconsistent team selection and lack of leadership in the side.

Sochaux have also gone through a tumultuous period of their own, falling into the bottom three largely owing to their awful form in front of goal and clear negative feeling at the club. The fans have passed a vote of no confidence in the ownership for the first time in their history as there seems to be no clear direction from the Chinese ‘Ledus Group’. One positive is the conveyor belt of young players that Sochaux produce, with Jerome Onguene, Jeando Fuchs, Thomas Robinet and Sofiane Daham all securing new professional deals and all being under the age of 20. Sochaux have attempted to sign unknown quality, with Yannis Mbombo signed from Belgium and Hadi Sacko from Portugal, though it remains to be seen if either will be a success for them. For a club the size of Sochaux to even be thinking about relegation is a reflection of how bad their season has been. Both sides need the win here and will not want to give anything away in what will be a hotly contested game.

 

RC Lens v Stade Brestois 29: Tuesday 20:00 – @meatmansoccer

Lens saw their twelve match unbeaten run end on Saturday as they went down disappointingly to Le Havre (0-2). It was an extremely poor performance from Les Sang et Or and they offered very little in the final third of the field. The club has had transfer restrictions placed upon them and desperately needed a new striker. Currently, they have the trio of Chavarria, N’diaye and Nanizayamo all ruled out injured, so youngster Simon Banza is leading the line. He has some potential but is far from the goalscoring answer they need. At the back, they are usually solid, although keeping just seven clean sheets in 23 games can certainly be improved upon. But it’s lack of offensive firepower that is holding back Lens. They’ve only scored more than one goal on four occasions this season, and that simply isn’t good enough.Brest are another team who lack offensive firepower, certainly away from home where they’ve only scored eight goals in 12 games. This is no surprise because coach Alex Dupont has always been a negative style manager on the road. Brest have been far too inconsistent this season and at no stage have managed to win back to back games. This is bad news for them because they head into this contest on the back of a hard fought 1-0 success facing Paris FC. There is little conviction about the Breton outfit though. In years gone by they were a solid dependable home side who dominated most outfits. It feels like a step back has been taken this campaign and they look destined for midtable mediocrity. Nevertheless, Dupont is experienced and won’t make them easy to beat here. I am not sure where the goals are going to come from and this looks set to be an extremely tight, cagey affair.

Brest are another team who lack offensive firepower, certainly away from home where they’ve only scored eight goals in 12 games. This is no surprise because coach Alex Dupont has always been a negative style manager on the road. Brest have been far too inconsistent this season and at no stage have managed to win back to back games. This is bad news for them because they head into this contest on the back of a hard fought 1-0 success facing Paris FC. There is little conviction about the Breton outfit though. In years gone by they were a solid dependable home side who dominated most outfits. It feels like a step back has been taken this campaign and they look destined for midtable mediocrity. Nevertheless, Dupont is experienced and won’t make them easy to beat here. I am not sure where the goals are going to come from and this looks set to be an extremely tight, cagey affair.

Red Star v Le Havre AC: Tuesday 20:00 – @Gibney_A

There is a danger in Ligue 2 of both AS Nancy and Dijon FCO pulling away from the rest of the rest. The chasing pack below need to find some consistency if they want to pave the way to Ligue 1 next season.

Red Star host Bob Bradley’s Le Havre on Tuesday, with both sides in the mix for a place in the top three. 10 points separate Metz in third from Laval in 12th, but only two points split these two sides going into the match.

The Parisians have won three out of their last six home games, but can’t find consecutive victories – giving them the 14th best home record in Ligue 2.

Le Havre haven’t fared much better on their travels of late, unable to find a win in their last four away fixtures after winning two straight.

Both sides need to win and a run of form at this time of the year could prove crucial in their pursuit of promotion.

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