Both teams recorded two defeats in Ligue1 in 2014 so far and were eliminated from the French Cup by Ligue2 sides.
If we turn the table upside down we realize this is some-kind of a weird derby that most probably will continue to be played in Ligue2 next season…
From this point of view the similarities between Ajaccio and Sochaux are striking, but truth is Ajaccio are way more organized and lucid than Sochuax.
Away at Nice last round Ajaccio deserved more (lost 2-0). Believe it or not Ajaccio were the ones holding most of the possession and having initiative. They were surprised early in the game and conceded from a free-kick and cornered Nice afterwards but failed to score. The pitch wasn’t in the best of conditions just like the weather. All this (early goal, weather) worked against Ajaccio that finally lost 2-0, with the 2nd goal conceded in the dying moments after they were surprised on counter.
Even former captain Pierazzi realized that Ajaccio’s fate is already determined so he transferred out. Hosts may very well relegate at the end of the season but they won’t go down without a fight, and to be honest, now they look better than they did in the 1st part of the season, more determined and more prone to effort than ever.
Central midfielder Pedretti may return after injury but it’s too early to tell for sure.
I don’t need any more evidence, Renard is one of the worst coaches I’ve ever seen. He may be an idol in Zambia (won Africa Cup of Nations) but at Sochaux he will only be the one who relegated the team.
First of all I don’t think he’s got any scouts to analyze the opposition. He suddenly changes the lineup and takes out speedy players when there’s the need for speed, or the ones who exceed in ball control when there’s the need for containing the play.
Secondly, following his advices Sochaux transferred in 2 Zambians with defensive profiles, Sinkala defensive midfielder and Sunzu central defender. Both of them went straight into the lineup but Renard forgot to teach them about Ligue1 referees who are not shy on cards. Both Zambians have a savage attitude (very aggressive) and as a consequence one of them got a red card last round.
And third and most important Sochaux have great power on the flanks because of fullbacks Corchia and Faussurier / Rousillon but Renard is not able to exploit that potential. Corchia is Sochaux’s best player and most probably will leave the club before the transfer window closes (2nd of February). He was the only one left outside the group for the Cup game at Angers. It is unclear yet if he will play on Saturday.
Loaning in forward Jordan Ayew from Marseille was a good move. A bit of fresh air and lucidity never hurt anyone, the only problem is that offensive teammates (like Bakambu or Mayuka) don’t understand Ayew’s intentions, there’s no chemistry and there never will be, as the difference in value is just too big.
There are always huge spaces in Sochaux’s defense and sooner or later Ajaccio will exploit that. If not, Sochaux’s central defender Sunzu will make a careless tackle inside the box and give out a penalty.
At 2.13 the odds on Ajaccio to win are simply great. Medium confidence.