Saturday, April 14, 2012


The three "hidden" Friday previews are reproduced below. The selections were Monaco to score twice @ 3.0, they won 2-0, "over" two goals in the Le Mans- Amiens game, which ended 3-2 and Troyes who drew 0-0 with the handicap start. I also put a minimal correct score on the Monaco game to finish 2-2 and a "suggestion" for "over" 3.5 goals in the Le Mans game at circa 5.20 + which also won.

Lets take a little look at those games, Monaco have been highlighted twice before since the turn of the year and talked of as finally having turned the corner. Since when they have been HUGE improvers . It was pointed out that since Christmas only Bastia have collected more points than ASM and that they have averaged over 1.3 points per game more than Metz. Also that the hosts were weakened in areas of the field where the inform visitors were strong. ASM were available to back at 3.0 to score two or more goals, something they have now done in eight of their last twelve starts, wildly overpriced under the circumstances.

Le Mans and Amiens, were always going to play an open encounter and so it proved, hosts were desperate for the points and going to throw everything at the doomed visitors, whom we have milked to death in recent weeks. We couldn't switch from the gameplan with Amiens missing six potential starters from a team already clearly not up to Ligue 2, at least defensively.

Troyes were highlighted given their need for points and much more solid look defensively coming into this game, also they they were strong from set pieces and crosses into the box an area of the game which Istres had struggled with recently. Unlike the other two games the money in asia went against us in the this game, but Troyes took a share of the points in a match they pretty much dominated and missed an absolute sitter ! Istres had a couple of half chances but were never going to beat Yohann Thuram, who is WAY too good to play at this level for much longer !

My point ( as always) is that virtually every preview I write has value, even the losers and that there is almost always something you could take from each if you read them fully. That Friday post could have been yours for as little as 1.25 euros ( see post below), that is not a lot of money for anyone. Less than many people will pay for a Saturday newspaper, much less than the Racing Post, a cup of coffee, or an ice cream !

Back later.


We last discussed Monaco a month ago ( see below) and they have continued on their merry way since then, moving up into midtable, infact, since Christmas they have collected 27 points from 13 starts, only league leaders Bastia have amassed more and if Ligue 2 had started then, Monaco would today be a very short priced favourite, much as they were pre season ! Ibrahima Toure, whom we focused on in that earlier preview is proving a sensational buy and again looked the real deal in a 2-1 defeat of Nantes Iast week, a match I have just finished watching, scoring one and making the other. Again, the huge spirit at the revitalised giant shone through and whilst Nantes had chances to have got a result from the game, you always felt that ASM could have stepped up a level if required.

Metz are short of options today, with Delle, Traoré, Koulibaly, Diaz, Pouye and Besle all missing, that leaves them especially weakened in midfield and central defence, the latter is going to have Toure salivating and I strong favour the visitors to get a result today. With Metz having averaged 1.31 points per game fewer than Monaco over those 13 matches since Christmas.

Metz have only scored two goals six times this season and never more and three of those have ended 2-2, ASM have scored two in seven of their last 12 and drawn 13 matches this season ( only Arles have recorded more) and six of those have ended 2-2. A point would probably keep Metz out of the drop zone and given their problems and Monaco's offensive prowess, if it is to come, that 2-2 scoreline looks over priced at circa 17.0.

Monaco +0.25 ball 1.80 asian line Iis definitely an option, but I prefer the 3.0 for Monaco to score two or more and make that a strong 1.5 unit selection if it is available to you ..... 2.90 + is good.

Also , 0.25 units the 2-2 draw @ 17.0..... 15.0 + is acceptable.


I see no real need to ditch the usual Friday bet on the Amiens game, especially today when they are missing seven players, six of who could be considered starters ( five starting 23+ games and the other 9 since arriving in January), they have few defensive options and Le Mans should really be up to collecting what would be three absolutely essential points, if they are themselves to climb away from the drop zone.Hosts -0.75 ball is an option, but we know Amiens will gamble and usually manage to find a goal, so I just about favour the "over" two goal line. Visitors last ten starts have all produced at least two goals and their only cleansheet in that sequence came against nine men. Le Mans finally found some goals last week with three on the road at Lens and could move up several places with the win tonight. Huge incentive. 1.75 units "over" 2 goals 1.88 asian line.

There is some 5.20/5.30 on the exchanges for "over" 3.5 goals, low liquidity but a very nice price.


Back in early March we discussed Troyes and especially how they had been going for it on the road, they recorded a fine 2-0 win at Tours that night and have continued in good form since then, a run which has seen them move into the top three.
I opposed them at Nantes recently ( see below), mainly because they were short of options and they should have lost, but talented keeper Yohann Thuram kept them in it and they showed plenty of fight. Yamissi and Nsakala returned last week in a 1-0 win over Le Havre and gave Troyes a more solid look, offensively they created plenty of chances, especially from crosses into the box and the goal and their five best chances, all came that way. It was a similar story in the previous home game, a 3-2 win over Clermont, when the opening goal and first four clear chances came directly from corners and they looked dangerous from every dead ball situation.

This is likely to be key as I have just watched highlights of Istres 1-1 draw at Boulogne, the hosts were very unfortunate not to win, with Istres leaving huge defensive gaps , making sloppy mistakes and having massive problems with balls into the box, where they were simply not picking up players. Istres have now drawn four in a row and for the second season running look to be running out of steam as we get to the business end, after coming on strong through mid season. 1.5 units Troyes +0.25 ball 2.0 asian line.

Good Luck.




We discussed Monaco on January 18th when I wrote .....
Finally ! Monaco have woken up a little. They have lost just one start in six, at Angers in the cup and given their league position, they are well off out of that and will take heart from the point at Le Havre and consecutive clean sheets in the league, where they have taken a point from leaders Clermont and all three at Istres, a first road win of the campaign and one which took them off the foot of the table. They are on the road again tonight, facing a "six pointer" against Amiens, the hosts have not won in seven and are very poor offensively, somehow they put four past Chateauroux here, their only win in ten starts, but that doubled their tally amassed in the other nine home games and unless there is another blip, I am very keen on the visitors getting a handicap start. At Istres they really used the width of the pitch well and this is where Amiens are vunerable and something I touched upon ahead of their home game with Lens a while back. Monaco restricted Istres to long range shots through most of the second half and if they can show the same level of discipline tonight and former superstar Ludovic Giuly shows as much appetite as he did at the weekend, they should win. Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev took over the club three weeks ago, has pledged to invest 100m euros and they are looking to tempt some big, albeit old, names to the club . They won 2-1 at Amiens that day and have collected 14 points from 8 starts since Christmas, which is one more point than they collected from their opening 18 matches. That has enabled them to climb off the foot of the table, three points tonight could take them out of the drop zone for the first time since mid September and that is a massive incentive for the former giant of french football. The spirit at the club is very good at the moment and they worked incredible hard for a come from behind win at Angers in midweek, which coming on the back of a point at highflying Sedan just days before and with ten men, was all the more praiseworthy. Striker Ibrahima Toure who was prolific with Sepahan in Iran has hit the ground running since signing at the end of January, he scored both goals in midweek and looked dangerous every time he received the ball in the box, clearly he has adapted well to the higher level football and looks a fantastic signing, with four goals in six starts and three in his last two.

Whilst Monaco were seeing off Angers, Guingamp ( also see below) were playing out a 1-1 draw at Troyes, in what was a wide open game. The hosts probably feel hard done by as they led for a long time and had three good chances to take a two goal lead, all of which fell to top scorer Marcos, but overall, a draw was probably a fair result. Guincamp do not sit back on the road and only Chateauroux have conceded more away goals, that should give plenty of space for the hosts to exploit tonight and the visitors are forced into a defensive reshuffle and look a little weakened on the left side of defence this evening. They are also pretty one dimensional with their offensive play, which has been almost exclusively down the left flank in recent starts, pretty sure that ASM can exploit all this and if Toure has half the chances that Marcos had, they should win comfortably. Guingamp without a win in six now, but have scored and conceded in each, Giorgios Tzavellas suspended for the hosts, both will probably score, "over" is an option, but a home win for me. Monaco -0.25 ball 1.90 asian line.

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