Clermont – Valenciennes

Clermont – Valenciennes

After 2 wins in a row on the road and a series of 5 games without a defeat, Clermont lost surprisingly 1-2 away at Sochaux versus a team with lot of problems. They played quite a poor game, being most of the time one-step behind Sochaux. They had their good moments but my impression was no matter how many goal Clermont score, Sochaux will score one more than them. Completely uninspired in the attack, with a single shot on goal, Clermont is now out of promotion play-off spots 2 points less than Lens. As Auxerre, I think, Clermont’s upcoming games must be treated with some worries when we are speaking about teams involved in relegation battle.

Valenciennes travelled in Corsica, playing Monday their Friday postponed game versus GFC Ajaccio. Friday was raining a lot, the GFC pitch being impracticable so the game was played 4 days ago. But was a poor game, both team being preoccupied not to lose. A poor game who came after 3 good ones played in 2019 (despite the final results). Don’t see more than 1-2 chances of goals during all game. Being without a win in 2019, Valenciennes slide in the table just above teams involved in relegation battle, having only 22 points, 3 more than Beziers who is stay on play-out relegation spot. They are playing with fire but is not nothing new as Valenciennes were involved in this fight also in previous seasons. Striker Ambri is fit again while in the squad we will find also Bong.

Both teams have plenty to play for; so expect an open game with some goals in it. Back over 2.5 goals. gl

 

AC Ajaccio – Niort

AC Ajaccio Niort

Disappointing result for AC Ajaccio in their trip at Lorient when lost eventually 0-1. They played 11 vs 10 for entire second half, cause ex Ajaccio Sainiati saw a red card direct being sent off. They weren’t able to jeopardize Lorient goal moreover conceding the single goal of the game 5 mins after the second half was started, 2nd GK Leroy taking an long distance shot goal. Of course, they controlled the game, but without creating too many chances to score and missed to easy the ones they’ve created. Surprisingly they made a good first half, having about 15 mins at the beginning at the second half when they didn’t found themselves playing quite poor. Maybe a draw would have been more suitable, but that’s life and they must go one in order to avoid relegation. As usual, lately, AC Ajaccio is without captain Cavalli

Niort made a good game versus Nancy but also were handicapped by a red card who Rivieyran after 35 mins of play who let his team to play in 10 men for about an hour. Moreover they lost defender Conte, probably for the rest of the season. They missed some opportunities (one in a 1vs1 situation). They were punished by Nancy who scored first goal of the game but had a good reaction leveling at 1 after only 3 mins. In the remaining 20 mins was Nancy the one who pushed for a win, but we saw only a single good opportunity for Nancy in this gap. A high merit in this point had GK Allagbe who had, as usual, good saves.  As an homage, they played with t-shorts with Sala’s name on the back. Rivieyran will miss due to red card. As injured important players we can remind: Conte, N’Doh, Koyalipou. Also Djigla will miss here.

I see AC Ajaccio taking at least a new home win after about 1 month since the last one. Niort were poor on the road this year losing both. Back AC Ajaccio to collect all points. gl

GFC Ajaccio vs Valenciennes

GFC Ajaccio – Valenciennes

Playing not a great football, GFC Ajaccio steal a point in previous trip at Grenoble, taking a 1-1. A result who keep them 10 points gap from relegation spots. Was second consecutive games where GFC Ajaccio were heavily dominated many times (after trip at Lorient) but what is matter is that Della Maggiorre squad recovered the points lost at home versus Auxerre (0-4) and showing they are luckier when play on the road. Ba and Perquis are suspended for ths game, while Campanini, Palmieri  were recovered from injury. On the other side Coeff and Kokos are fresh injured.. New striker Ndao (ex-Valenciennes few years ago) is ready to make his debut at GFC AJaccio

Valenciennes is a team who deserved more compared with the play they shown in 2019. 2 defeats and one draw in last 3 games when were could have won at least one game. And their situation became difficult, being only 2 points above play-out spot and 5 points more than relegation spots. They signed with ex-Paris FC captain Bong who took a surprising decision to leave Paris FC – but not in the squad yet. Niakate saw red card versus Lorient and will miss here, while Amnri in injured.

Two teams which are playing often some offensive football, hence I expect an overish game here. Back over 2.5 goals. gl

Orleans – Metz

Orleans – Metz

Orleans had a very strange first part of the season alternating long period of bad games with one with excellent results. They started with a series of 6 games without a win (4 defeats) followed by an incredible series of 6 wins. They year 2018 was ended with another series of bad results losing 5 times and won 1 in last 7 games. So, a tally of 26 points which keep them at the middle of the table – which is OK keeping in mind they lost some players and one of their top player last season Benkaid was injured all season long, but recovered now. An athletic team which are playing quite offensive football often neglecting the defense. No wonder why they have 2nd worst defense in the league.

Despite having one game in hand, (the one postponed from last round of the year versus Nancy) Metz won the first part of the season having 3 points more than 2nd spot Brest. They dominated the season from the start to the end being the most entitled team for direct promotion in Ligue 1. They proved to be a balanced team and for sure the strongest team in the league, despite having some unexpected syncope at home where lost twice (0-1 vs LeHavre and vs Auxerre). But they are the best team on the road where lost one and won 7 times in 10 trips. Perhaps they will continue the second part of the season with same squad so not too much activity on the transfer market is expected. Metz will travel here without main coach and Rivierez injured.

In reverse game Diallo, coming from the bench, scored 4 times in Metz win 5-1. Both teams are playing some attractive attacking football and perhaps we will see here an overish game. So back over 2.5 gl