Saturday, March 22, 2014

France Ligue 1 betting preview : Valenciennes- Ajaccio

What a game for Valenciennes, a win over Ajaccio who are all but booked for Ligue 2 , combined with
Evian not winning at Toulouse, will see the hosts haul themselves out of the bottom three for the first time since mid September. After losing 7 of their first 8 starts that says so much about the club and their spirit.
We latched onto them early in the New Year and ahead of their home win over Bastia I wrote ...

Valenciennes found some form just before the break, which to be honest they could probably have done without, taking buoyant Bordeaux close and then winning 2-1 at Monaco in their last start of 2013, a result which will have given them hope of avoiding the drop, However, it is home form which will likely determine if they are to remain in Ligue 1 for an eighth straight season and four points from safety and with a trip to Marseille, where they have not won in recent times (at least a decade), up next, they need the win this evening. They have improved for their new coach and funds have been released to back him, with the club adding central defender Carl Medjani on loan from Monaco and speedy Majeed Waris from Spartak Moscow. Still only 22 yo, Waris was top Allsvenskan goalscorer in 2012 when with Hacken, 23 goals and 9 assists from 29 starts, in a league where three teams did not manage 32 goals as a club, was a very good tally and he could be good business, both go straight into the squad today. However, this is all about motivation for me and with a little momentum behind them, I favour the home win.
They have taken 13 points from their last five home games and most of those will feel like nothing if they do not get another three this evening. Last week they won a six pointer away to Evian 1-0 , ahead of which I wrote ....

Valenciennes are missing suspended defensive midfielder David Ducourtioux (23-1-1), they are 1-2-5 when he plays 45 minutes or less and are without a cleansheet in those games, conceding 15 goals in total. This compounds the continued, and now long term absence of Benjamin Angoua and Lindsay Rose in central defence and missing those two and without the protection which Ducourtioux brings to the backline, it is very difficult to see Valenciennnes keeping Evian out for too long. The visitors do have a greatly increased threat now and Waris was an exceptional bit of  "window" business.

Waris scored and the clean sheet was fantastic under the circumstances. I do not see team news as overly important , but the hosts do get Ducourtioux back this evening.

Ajaccio are planning for Ligue 2, but have found a few goals recently and scored in 7 of their last 8, including at Lyon and twice at Nantes. Valenciennes do not often do things the easy way and despite that solid run at home recently, have conceded in each of those five games. I feel they might do so again, but cannot see beyond the home win and every time I look at this fixture, the 3-1 scoreline is staring back at me.
That was the scoreline when the two met in Corsica and Valenciennes also won this 3-0 last season, so have scored six in the last two h2h meetings. I am backing the hosts and will "cover" on the over 3.5 goal line which has obliged in 4 of Ajaccio's last six starts and in 2 of 4 for the home team, a reasonable chance for us to collect on both.

1.75 units Valenciennes -1 ball  2.00 asian line/Ibramarket.

0.75 units "over" 3.5 goals 3.20-3.60 general quote, there is also 2.64 "over" 3 goals with Pinnacle Sports which is also an option.

Valenciennes : Novaes, Penneteau - Ciss, Kagelmacher, Lala, Masuaku, Mater, Nery - Da Silva, Dossevi, Doumbia, Ducourtioux, Enza-Yamissi, Houri, Melikson - Le Tallec, Pujol, Waris.

Ajaccio : Ochoa, Sissoko - Nadeau, Perozo, Ait-Yahia, Mostefa, Diarra, Faty, Lasne, AndrĂ©, Cavalli, Tallo, Bonnart, Leca, Orengo, Mela, Baradji, Camara.

Ajaccio have conceded 54% of road goals ( 43% of all goals) in the final 30 minutes.

Good Luck.

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