Tuesday, May 01, 2012



I am going to stick with Ligue 2 today, a division we have done incredibly well in since the turn of the year, there are a couple of new readers today, so I will just run through those stats, which will also give some background to one of the teams in particular, the rest of you can just skip this bit.....

2012 Ligue 2 : Single bets 32, win 19, push/ stakes returned 6, losers 6, average odds 2.10, stakes 45.5, returns 64.03 , ROI 140.72% ........ Amiens matches : bets 10, win 7, push/stakes returned 3, losers 0.

You can see why I make no excuses for sticking with the Amiens game plan !


League table since Christmas ( 16 rounds)...... correct before the Monday night fixture.

BASTIA ...................... 35 pts
MONACO .................. 33
SEDAN....................... 29
ARLES ....................... 28
TROYES .................... 28
TOURS........................ 26
ISTRES....................... 25
LE MANS.................... 24
NANTES ...................  23
REIMS........................  22
LENS .........................  19
LAVAL .......................  19
CLERMONT..............  19 
GUINGAMP................  17
ANGERS....................  16
METZ .........................  14
LE HAVRE.................  11
AMIENS ....................  10
BOULOGNE .............  10

I am not going to reproduce all the recent notes about the three main teams I am covering today, but there is a relevant post about each at the foot of the page.


The top three all lost on Friday, the Bastia defeat was expected and good for us, the AS Monaco loss less so, as it prevented a cleansweep , but I have just re-watched highlights of that and they were very unlucky losers at Clermont, the hosts were extremely motivated, gave everything and celebrated like they had won the title at the final whistle, but were second best for most of the game and on another night, would have lost by two.
Ibrahima Toure again looked very lively and I doubt there are too many better strikers outside the top flight, if any, Ludovic Giuly might be 35 years old, but remains a class act and unlikely most of his age, has not lost much pace.

Not much chance for these two clubs to get into the top three now, definitely no need for either to sit back and I feel the hosts will want to continue in good form and to finish the season on a high, with plans for a return to the top flight next season. Istres played out a 0-0 home draw with Arles on Friday, but it was very open, really end  to end at times at could easily have ended 2-2, they are starting to look tired and that is understandable. The visitors have used only 19 outfield players this season and have a very small squad, they are definitely not as well suited to such a quick turnaround in games as ASM and I strongly favour the home win here. Eric Chelle and Laurent Agouazi are missing and that robs the visitors of much of their central spine, Chelle will be especially missed tonight at the heart of the defence. 1.5 units AS Monaco -0.5 ball 1.96 asian line.

Monaco : Carrasso, Subasic - Appiah, Kagelmacher, Kurzawa, Marester, Pinteaux, Tzavellas, Coulibaly, Dingome, Dirar, Giuly, Mendy, Koman, Tziolis, Barazite, Germain, Salli, Touré.

Istres : Petric, Menetrier - Barillon, Dielna, Flegeau, Sainati, Palmieri, Fettouhi, Ba, Tarasconi, Melliti, Nouri, Yahia Chrif, Akrour, De Préville, Bouzazi.


PREVIEW RESTRICTED TO SUBSCRIBERS ..... gowi8@btinternet.com

Amiens : Bonnefoi, Ruffier - Mainfroi, Mienniel, Cirilli, Baudry, Enza Yamissi, Paul, Puyo, Martin, Kharbouchi, Zobiri, Saïfi, Touzghar, Poirier, Mohamed, M’Changama, Koubemba.

Clermont : Farnolle, Moulin - Bockhorni, Esor, Fomen, Landre, Saiss, Salze, Alessandrini, Bayod, Ekobo, Moullec, Namli, Sylla, Dembélé, Morel, Rivière.


PREVIEW RESTRICTED TO SUBSCRIBERS ..... gowi8@btinternet.com

Reims : Agassa, Liébus - Weber, Mandi, Tacalfred, Glombard, Sekkat, Ramaré, Pereira, Ca, Deaux, Amalfitano, Ayité, Fortès, Fauré, Ghilas, Courtet.

Boulogne : Gurtner, Bague - Colin, Gace, Touré, Rimane, Oliveira, Bru, Baherlé, Loriot, Karuru, Allart, Salibur, Rèset, Sakho, Chadili.

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.




We last talked about Bastia on Monday, when they again showed their class with a 3-1 win at Lens, that gives them a ten point lead over Troyes in fourth spot and top flight football is coming back to the second city of Corsica, they are simply playing too well to mess things up from this position. Latest lambs to the "slaughter" are basement club Amiens, who gave themselves a lifeline with a 2-0 win over Angers on Tuesday, so they have had 24 hours less recovery time, but have little to lose tonight and have showed in recent road games at Lens, Boulogne, Clermont,Guingamp and Laval, that they are now prepared to gamble and try to take the game to opponents, which was not the case earlier in the season, they scored in all five of those games and I expect them to approach this in a similar manner. I have reproduced the whole email from March 2nd below, which included a look at the Guingamp match and also the Tours game that day, more of them later.  Bastia have conceded in 8 of their 13 home games, of the five where they kept cleansheets, at least four of them where to teams who came looking to shut up shop and try and steal a point, all five teams lost. When teams have come here with a more offensive approach, Bastia are happy to open up and go toe to toe. The over 2.5 goal line at circa 1.97 is acceptable, but I prefer the odds against quotes for Amiens to score, or the 2.25 + for both to score, there is even some 2.375 around and that is a terrific price IMO, for something that has happened in eight of the visitors last ten road games, if 2.25 or better is available to you, I make that a solid 1.5 unit selection.

Bastia : Novaes, Baccarelli - Angoula, Mary, Sans, Harek, Choplin, Genest, Khazri, Thauvin, Cahuzac, Rothen, Diallo, Maoulida, El-Azzouzi, Suarez. 
Amiens : Ruffier - Mainfroi, Mienniel, Lybohy, Ieslch, Martin, Paul, Kharbouchi, Djaballah, Saïfi, Touzghar, Cissé, Cirilli, Bazile, Puyo, Zobiri.

Written 24/02
Low profile all around today, but I do have one bet in Ligue 2 in France in the Amiens- Tours match.This is a game which is likely to get more and more stretched the longer it goes, with surely neither able to settle for a share of the points. Hosts are not a good side, they are very vunerable down the left, something we touched upon early season and this problem has not been addressed, but they remain upbeat and are playing with a lot of spirit. I watched almost the whole of their 1-1 draw at Lens yesterday and brief highlights of two other recent starts, the old problems remain, any long balls pumped into the box seem to cause them problems too, but the spirit remains good and at Lens, which is never an easy place to go, they continue to press forward whenever they could and after taking the lead, came close to going two up ( hitting the woodwork), immediately before the hosts equalised. They are bottom of the table six points adrift of safety, they have scored and conceded in four of their last five starts, four of which were on the road, now, this is the first of three from four at home and with Amiens drinking in the last chance saloon, they will have to gamble, open up and then these defensive gaps will once again appear.

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