Ligue 1 predictions - 2012/2013 season preview part 2
on August 10, 2012
in Betting Guide
Here we continue our League 1 predictions. If you havent read the first Ligue 1 predictions article we suggest you do so now before continuing. You can find that article here: Ligue 1 predictions part 1. Now without further hesitation we move on to the actual betting predictions:
Girondins de Bordeaux
After one of the worst start in Bordaeaux’s history in Ligue 1, the Girondins finished last season like a potential champion. Thanks to this finish, they will have something to play for in in Europe this year. They are currently undergoing qualification play for the financially upgraded Europa League.
Everything changed in Bordeaux when the coach decided to change his formation from a classic 4-4-2 to a quite offensive 3-5-2. This much due to he arrivals of Obraniak and Mariano in January. Despite missing the early season, the coach has kept his confidence in his players. As a consequence Francis Gillot has simply decided to maintain the same squad this time around. Bordeaux is going to have an eleven probably unchanged from last year.
Indeed, if there is an inactive club on the transfer market this summer , it is Bordeaux. Apart from the returns of several loan players and 3 departures (Sane in Nancy, Krychowiak in Reims and Modeste in Bastia), nothing happend. In addition, the Girondins have a rather filled up rooster (28 players) and must sell before buying.
In a recent interview, the coach said he wanted “Girondins” to finish around the last-place they finished last season: the fifth. Without major surprises, the team will, like last year to fight for places in the Europa League with the regulars that are Rennes and Saint-Etienne. These three teams are often associated because of the similarity of their squad depth and are considered outsiders to the biggest clubs. We imagine further that this year, the group of three outsiders should extend to five. We would like to include the surprise Montpellier, and former massive club Marseille, that no longer has the makings of a great.
Possible line-up: 3-5-2
Rennes may feel frustrated by their 6th place finish in Ligue 1 and only making the semi-final of the Coupe de France. They have shown over the past few years that they can do better but their problems lie with matches against the other big teams, last season taking only 9 points from a possible 30.
Rennes preparation for the new season hasn’t been ideal winning one game but losing four of their preseason friendlies, their main problem being goal scoring, managing only 3 goals over these 5 games. The club are staying ambitious however with the club president coming out and saying that Rennes will finish between third and seventh.
Rennes has kept the core of their squad going into the new season which is an advantage for them but they will be weakened in defence by the loss of Mangane. Despite constant speculation linking him to Arsenal among others, M’Vila still hasn’t gone and it is looking less likely he will. A key addition to the squad could be the signing of Alessandrini from Clermont in Ligue 2, he was the stand out player in that league last year with 11 goals and 22 assists.
One of the keys for Rennes this season may well be off field where they have managed to hold onto their manager Frederic Antonetti after an approach from Marseille. He decided against moving on and will take charge for his 3rd year at Rennes, with the respect of all the players and the ability to get the best out of all of them this may be the most important part of the offseason for Rennes.
With Rennes not taking part in the Europa League this year they will have full focus on their goal of top 5 in the league. They will stay in the shade of the big clubs but I can see them improving on last year and a cup win is a possibility.
Possible line-up : 4-3-3
AS Saint- Etienne
Evolving for several seasons now, AS Saint-Etienne completed a smart recruitment with the arrivals of Romain Hamouma and Renaud Cohade. After a 7th place last season, the Greens of Christophe Galtier want more. The winger Hamouma should fit perfectly into the system advocated by Galtier while former Valenciennes midfielder Cohade should bring his vision of the game and his technical qualities.The departure of N'Daw will mean the club needs to buy another striker and they have been linked with Fernando Cavenaghi. His association with the club's top scorer last season, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and their complementarity play may well do some damage in Ligue 1 next season.
Coach Christophe Galtier is pretty confident the club is in a better position than last season. The team is strong, especially going forward and they will look to learn from the mistakes that the young players have made in previous seasons and continue to improve their constency of results. The manager Christophe Galtier has worked with these young players and while he was learning the roles of a manager the players were learning with him.
Despite the difficulties during the preparation, AS Saint-Etienne is presented with a team more than capable of playing the top 5. An achievable aim if they find their balance and get a run of good results. Improvment this season will not be easy either for Aubameyang who will aim to be more decisive at home (only 5 of his 16 goals where scored at Geoffroy-Guichard). The first game at home against LOSC will be a difficult first test as will an away match at Toulouse which follows but it will give us some idea of the potential of St Etienne
Possible line-up : 4-4-2
Toulouse finished 8th in Ligue 1 last year, a disappointment considering the club were 8th or better for the whole of the season. This team has always been considered a defensive team, following the philosophy of the coach Alain Casanova. Indeed, they had the best defense’s record of last year (with Montpellier) with only 34 goals conceded. Their general game has improved, helped by the Toulouse wingers like Tabanou or Machado. Placed in a 4-3-3 formation, the team is very hard to move, with its midfield composed of Capua-Didot-Sissoko. The pair Congre-Abdennour was definitely one of the best of France last year and will be their main strength again this season.
The preparation for the new season has been eventful for Toulouse. A very important player, Tabanou, was injured for 3 weeks and missed almost the entire pre-season while Etienne Capoue has announced plans to leave the club when he was probably the best player last season. This transfer is not definately going to go through however with a high price being asked by Toulouse and a depressed transfer market. They lost Fofana in defense but Zebina arrived instead and I think he is a very good replacement as he got a very decent season last year in Brest.
Often criticized for its lack of ambition in France and in Europe, Toulouse does not seem to change their philosophy this season. Like Rennes, Toulouse in Ligue 1 often shines by its ability to stay in the top eight and no more, I think this year will be like the previous ones, I see a final ranking between 8th place and 12th place.
Possible line-up: 4-5-1