Ligue 2 Week 25 – Previews

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As we begin to approach the business end of the season, we preview two big matches which take place this weekend, which may have a major bearing on places at the top and bottom of the table come the end of the season.

 

AS Nancy-Lorraine vs FC Metz Friday 5 February 19:00 by @FRfootballWillG

The Lorraine derby is set to be a hotly contested top of the table affair once again. Nancy sit in second place, with Pablo Correa overseeing a real promotion charge this season that shouldn’t tail off as it did at the end of last year. With the tightest defence in the league (just 18 conceded) and a free scoring front line they, along with Dijon, have been the front runners this campaign, though form has stuttered just slightly of late, leaving them a point behind Dijon. Nancy have had excellent contributions from all across the team, with Maurice Dale notching seven, Julien Cetout and Anthony Robic just behind him with six and the evergreen Youssouf Hadji bagging five. Correa’s depth of squad is perhaps what will get them over the line this year, and they will be confident of getting the bragging rights here against their fan-less neighbours.

As with the first game that finished as a stalemate at Saint-Symphorien, there will be no away supporters allowed into the ground due to ongoing concerns over crowd trouble between the clubs.

The last match was a relatively dull affair, though it has already grown more interesting given the absence of talismanic young goalkeeper Thomas Didillon. Didillon tweeted on Thursday that he would miss the match, and it was later revealed on the official site that he is ruled out due to a toe injury caused by a ‘domestic incident’. Metz do have an in-form striker on their hands though, with Troyes loanee Christian Bekamenga, who failed at Lens, getting four goals in his first three starts and looking like the striker they need. Despite their often languid style of play, Metz have got back into the top three after three consecutive wins and they will be hoping to continue their good form in the derby.

Evian Thonon Gaillard vs Paris FC Friday 5 February 19:00 by @meatmansoccer
Evian are in a huge mess. The Annecy club have lost a massive 10 of their last 13 matches, a horrendous run which has seen them slide dangerously towards the relegation zone. Romain Revelli was appointed new head coach a few weeks ago, but there have been few signs of improvement save for the 3-0 win at Niort, which was flattering anyway. The players simply aren’t delivering and for this match he’s left out a number of regulars who just haven’t performed well enough. Guys like Appindangoye, Sorlin, Centonze and Bruno have all been left out of the squad. Revelli has taken drastic measures, but will they work? He has to hope recent signing on loan from Saint-Etienne Dylan Saint-Louis can make an immediate impact.
This really is a battle between a couple of dire sides. Paris FC have only won one match all season and sit rock bottom of the table. All is not quite lost yet because they are only five points from safety, but sooner rather than later this team needs to get back on the winning trail. They have also hired a new coach, but the appointment of Jean-Luc Vasseur has yet to pay dividends. Vasseur was a failure at Ligue 1 side Reims, but has a good proven record in this division. Paris FC have reinforced the squad by adding seven new players during the January transfer window, so clearly aren’t giving up. The shock since Vasseur took over is their lack of goals. He is an attack-minded coach and it’s clear to see he wants his players to be more adventurous. But either the ability, effort or confidence simply isn’t there within the squad right now. For both teams this is a massive match and anything is possible in this genuine relegation ‘six pointer’.

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