After 14 seasons in Ligue 2, Le Havre stand a strong chance of progressing to the French Ligue 1, as they lead the log with nine points after 24 matches played. Indeed, many fans in Normandy must be dreaming of a rare return to the top division.
Bordeaux, as well, are aiming for an immediate return after a poor last season culminating in bottom place relegated them to Ligue 2.
For these sides, they will look to emulate Toulouse, who sit comfortably in 11th place in Ligue 1 after winning the second division last season.
Still, the competition is fierce for the most sought-after reward: promotion. The gap between Bordeaux in second place and Quevilly-Rouen in seventh place is just seven points, with more than a third of the season to go.
For punters, this presents an opportunity to evaluate and predict what might yet happen as teams continue to fight to reach their respective objectives. And with 14 matches left to play, some bet options seem more feasible to reap great rewards based on the patterns of previous happenings.
Here are four of them:
Goal/Goal In Matches Involving Sochaux
Not until the last two seasons did Sochaux begin to get into and around the conversation of teams vying for promotion. For most of the six seasons prior, they had consistently finished in the bottom half of the table.
Yet, last season, they came close, having finished the campaign in fifth place. Les Lionceaux edged past Paris FC before losing on penalties to Auxerre.
This season, with Olivier Guegan in charge, Sochaux sit in third place, a point behind Bordeaux. They are currently the highest scorers in the division with 37 goals. And summer signing, Ibrahim Sissoko, has been influential in everything going forward, contributing 11 goals already.
And while they have been brilliant in defence, in terms of the overall number of goals conceded, Guegan’s men tend to concede the odd goal. There is a reason they have kept two clean sheets in their last eight matches.
In 24 matches, Sochaux have recorded 12 goal/goal results, including three in their last five. And as we approach the business aspect of the season, this trend looks sure to continue.
Over 2.5 Goals In Matches Involving Guingamp
Guingamp have stumbled horribly this season after a decent last campaign that saw them finish in sixth place. Of course, it is not doom and gloom for the Costomoricans, who are only five points from a promotion playoff place.
However, in this campaign, they have lost almost the same number of matches in 24 matches that they lost in the entire 2021/22 season. The problem remains the defence.
Stephane Dumont’s men have conceded more goals than they have scored. This is perhaps why the French manager has signed two central defenders this season. Loic Mbe Soh and Donatien Gomis were acquired to ensure solidity at the back.
Guingamp have played 10 over 2.5 goals matches this season. Indeed, the nine-game thriller against Metz readily comes to mind.
This is therefore a brilliant option for punters who have their eyes on the French Ligue 2 this season.
Over 1.5 Goals In Matches Involving St-Etienne
St-Etienne will always come across as one of the boogie teams for the top Ligue 1 sides this decade. Their tradition of promoting young players through the ranks and selling them for decent fees was the envy of teams, at least during their prime.
Last season, they finished in 18th place and lost to Auxerre in the promotion final playoffs. Now, they languish in 15th place, having conceded more goals than any other side in Ligue 2.
Even more bizarre is the fact that Les Greens are the second-highest scorers. Laurent Batlles, since joining from Troyes, has sunk them deeper into trouble. His three-man central defensive set up has done very little to reduce their ridiculous rate of goal concession.
And yet, Jean-Philippe Krasso, whom they retrieved from Ajaccio in January 2022, has been a revelation. The Ivorian has perhaps been the competition’s best player, scoring the most goals and assists.
St-Etienne continue to score, yet concede and lose eventually. It is therefore safe to back them to record more over 1.5 results, something they have done 21 times this season.
Le Havre To Win At Home
If there was ever a time, Le Havre can believe in themselves to secure an automatic spot for promotion, it is this season.
Luka Elsner, who joined in the summer, has seemingly repaired all that was wrong with the team. He has made them more efficient and pragmatic. The Dean Club are very content with winning by the odd goal. They can score early and lock up shop.
Little wonder they have not just the best defensive record in terms of goals conceded but also clean sheets. Le Havre have kept 14 clean sheets in 24 matches. They have lost just once at home. At the same time, their conservative approach has earned them nine draws; only a few teams have more.
Arouna Sagante and Gautier Lloris have been rock-solid the entire season. It is fair to say that Elsner has brought in a working system that the Le Havre players have bought into.
At home, they have been near impeccable. So far, Le Havre have not lost a game at the Stade Oceane and drawn just four times. Elsner’s men have won eight of their last 10 matches at home.