Troyes and Ajaccio are familiar with one another since they both promoted last season from Ligue2.
In comparison to last season Troyes lost only 1 important player, defender Carole who left for Galatasaray. On the other hand Troyes strengthen by transferring-in midfielder Camus and forward Karaboue. They weren’t that active on the transfer market but Troyes already have a big squad with plenty of options available for most positions.
Attacking midfielders Nivet and Darbion and forward Jean should once again be the most important players for Troyes. Although he is already 38, Nivet doesn’t show his age and and easily outruns 20 years old players.
Troyes also have a couple of decent replacements waiting on the bench so they can always rotate and take the opponent by surprise.
Troyes had an excellent season in Ligue2 and both offensively and defensively they were clearly superior to all opponents. Attacking wise they should easily be able to compete in Ligue1 as well, but having the same defense as last season (minus fullback Carole) will surely give them some headaches.
Gazelec Ajaccio had a somewhat small squad when they promoted and tried to strengthen during the summer. They have lost defender Andreu and midfielder Fabre who were starters last season and brought in defenders Mangane, Coeff and Toure, midfielders Djokovic and Le Moigne and fullback Sylla. With the exception of Djokovic, and maybe Coeff, all newly arrived players should start against Troyes.
Upfront Ajaccio have four options available and decided not to bring in any enforcements: veteran striker Pujol (35 years old), young talent Mayi (22 years old), pragmatic Boutaib who is always at the right place at the right time and hard worker Tshibumbu. These players aren’t world class talents but they are enough to help Ajaccio survive in Ligue1.
Troyes are favorites and the odds are justified but Gazelec Ajaccio can surprise especially if Troyes will concentrate mostly on the offensive phase being eager to start the season with a positive result.
UPDATE: Troyes will miss injured keeper Petric
Troyes: Bernardoni, Dreyer – Karaboué, Mo.Koné, Martins-Pereira, Othon, Saunier – Ayasse, Azamoum, Ben Saada, Camus, Court, Nivet, Pi, Thiago – Cabot, Jean, Bienvenu
Ajaccio: squad not communicated yet