Dijon v AS Nancy: Ligue 2 Preview – Week 32
Les Rouges have battled with Nancy for supremacy in Ligue 2 this season and it’s a toss up who is the better side. Dijon have only lost one of their last 17 games and the lone defeat actually came in their previous home game, losing 1-0 to Nimes.
They played some great stuff during that unbeaten run but recently their standards have been below par. That aforementioned defeat to Nimes was worrying because they seemed to panic in the final third, constantly making the wrong decisions. Prior to the international break, they were slightly second best away against Brest too, although managed to grind out a 0-0 draw.
Dijon are the highest scoring team in the division with 52 goals, but their offensive rhythm deserted them in those last two fixtures. For this match, they aren’t helped by the fact that winger Romain Amalfitano is injured. Also, without reason left-back Quentin Bernard is left out of the squad. Abdoulaye Bamba looks set to start in that position now, but he’s not really a natural there, so Nancy could have some success on his side of the field. DFCO have a great home record (10-3-2) and are usually extremely formidable here.
Nancy were brilliant in the Autumn and a streak of nine wins out of 11 during that period is the main reason why they are currently situated second in the table. They’ve been less than impressive since the winter break, although 19 points from 12 games in 2016 isn’t a bad return.
Inconsistency has been their main problem, along with poor performances on the road. Nancy haven’t won away from home in any of their last five fixtures, and recent displays at Ajaccio and Bourg-en-Bresse were extremely poor. Something just hasn’t been ‘properly right’ for them since the winter break, and even in some home games they’ve laboured to victory or made life difficult for themselves in certain affairs.
Pablo Correa’s men haven’t been helped by injuries and once again leading centre-back Michael Chretien is ruled out. Pape Diakhate is another who won’t play, along with the midfield duo of Puyo & Lusamba. Only Chretien is massively important out of that list of players, but in an ideal world, everyone would be available for them in a big fixture like this one.
Friday night’s results weren’t kind to either side. The likes of Metz, Le Havre & Clermont all winning and Red Star should beat Paris FC on Monday. So suddenly these two sides, who looked a complete banker for promotion are slightly looking over their shoulders. I’m sure both will secure promotion, but recent form along with those wins for the chasing pack could make this a really nervy affair. It’s the sort of fixture in which both would be happy for a draw, so I think something like a 1-1 outcome is most likely. It might even end 0-0 if both sides give themselves too much respect in a potential cagey encounter.
Prediction: Dijon 1-1 Nancy