How To Bet On The Coupe de France
The Coupe de France is one of the most competitive domestic cup competitions in the world. Today Andrew Gibney shares his insights on the tournament.
After a short winter hiatus, French football returns to action on Saturday the 4th of January but for most sides the resumption of their respective league campaigns will have to wait for another week. As is tradition in France, the New Year restarts with the 10th round of the Coupe de France, the French equivalent of the FA Cup 3rd round.
All 20 Ligue 1 sides join the competition and they are thrown into the hat with the 44 teams that have fought and battled through some brutal conditions to earn the chance to play one of the big boys. To up the ante just that little bit further the Coupe de France is set up in such a way that shocks are par for the course. Every year there are two questions on everyone's lips:
- what team will fall to a minnow's sword
- and what team will defy the odds to reach the latter stages?
In England, the 3rd round draw lets the smaller teams dream of that big payoff game at the likes of Old Trafford, Emirates or somewhere like St James' Park, but in France this is not the dream. In any round of the cup, if a team is classed as playing two sections below the other, then the smaller team plays at home. No questions asked, and rarely, no change of venue. It truly is cup football at its finest. La magique de la Coupe is never far away.
The draw for the 32eme round was made in December and it has thrown up some interesting and dangerous ties for the France's bigger sides. FC Sochaux, struggling down at the bottom of Ligue 1 have to travel to the Poitou-Charentes region of France to take FC Bressuire, the town only has a population of 19,200, less than the capacity of FCSM's Stade Auguste Bonal. The side from the sixth division of France's league pyramid will know they have a chance. With Sochaux's battle to stay in the league the priority and former Zambia coach Herve Renard still trying to implement has ideals to Les Lionceaux, there is a chance that Sochaux might not be fully focused on their trip towards the West coast. The game itself will be played at the Stade Rene Gaillard, home of Ligue 2 side Niort. It will be packed with FCB fans and the conditions will still be heavily stacked in the home sides favour.
For Sochaux the change of venue will make things a little more comfortable, but not all the Ligue 1 sides will be able to enjoy such luck and this is one big factor in what can cause a shock in this competition. Back in 2011 SO Chambery, playing in France's 5th tier made French Cup history. Drawn in the 32eme against AS Monaco, they welcomed the side from Monte Carlo to the Stade Jaques Level, high in the Rhone-Alpes region of France the popular ski-resort was transformed into a football crazy town as they would manage to hold Monaco to a 1-1 draw and then stun the Ligue 1 side 3-2 on penalties. Monaco were in the middle of a tough relegation battle, one they would eventually lose, proving that if your mind is not on the game, the smaller amateur teams are good enough to punish all-comers.
Stade Brestois and FC Sochaux, both of Ligue 1, would make the trip to Chambery that season, both were eliminated, Brest similar to Monaco were beat on penalties. Sochaux took the lead and looked to have ended the dream, only for the amazing spirit of Chambery and their 3000 fans lifted them up to level the score and then win the tie in Extra-Time. The dream would end in the Quarter-Finals when Ligue 2 side Angers would beat them 3-0, but Chambery had the game moved to Grenoble, playing in front of 25,000 fans, they had their day in the sun. By beating Monaco, Brest and Sochaux they became the first amateur side to beat three Ligue 1 sides in the same year. An amazing achievement and a story that provides hope to the amateur clubs all around France.
Factors To Consider When Betting On The Coupe de France
Betting in the Coupe de France can be lucrative but it's all about finding the right situations. The nature of the French pyramid system usually gives every team a chance. Plenty of youth players from the big French sides use the amount of clubs in the area to stay local and continue to play close to their family. This gives smaller local sides an element of quality. You also get the experienced players that drop down the divisions to avoid having to move around the country. Players with Ligue 1 experience and a hunger to show they are still able to mix it with the best are very dangerous to Ligue 1 sides that just don't fancy the trip to a smaller side with much inferior conditions than what they are used to.
The other huge factor is teams returning from the winter break with one eye on the league battle, a difficult cup battle is far from their priority. In this round there are a few games to consider; Saint-Etienne's trip south to AS Cannes, the amateur side nearly went out of business in July, now they are playing some excellent football and the thought of a cup run would do wonders for this former Ligue 1 side.
Both Toulouse and Guingamp have difficult tests at Romorantin and Bourg-Peronnas. EAG, as well as they have done in the league, will be wary of playing against the Championnat National side, they have an excellent record in this competition. In 2012 they knocked out top-tier side AC Ajaccio in Extra-time before being knocked out in the next round by Marseille. Then last year they managed to eliminate Auxerre and Monaco before Montpellier managed to get the better of them 2-1. Bourg-Peronnas are getting a reputation as a cup-specialist side; Guingamp will need to tread with caution.
Montpellier themselves face a battle as they take on local side Rodez Aveyron, The 2012 Ligue 1 champions are on the slide this season, they have only won one league game this season, new boss Rolland Courbis is still to get to grips with the team since returning to the Stade Mosson, you have to wonder how motivated they will be to take on a side that will be determined to pile on the misery. Montpellier will just be hoping to survive and use any sort of motivation to increase their chances of staying in Ligue 1.
Bet On The Coupe de France At Bet Victor
One thing is for certain, a couple of Ligue 1 sides won't make it to the Last 32, there will be a shock or two, there will be some giant-killing. FC Bressuire are at odds of 18.00 with BetVictor to beat Sochaux, Romorantin are at odds of odds of 10.50 also with BetVictor to see off Toulouse on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday 9th division Olympique Marcquois are odds of 21.00 again with BetVictor to beat struggling Ligue 2 side AJ Auxerre. That one truly would be magical. Rodez are odds of 10.00 with BetVictor to shock Montpellier and Bourg-Peronnas reputation precedes them, only given odds of 4.80to beat Guingamp. That match-up is the most likely fairy-tale to come true this weekend. To find some value with less risk look at backing any of the above teams to Qualify, not just to win in 90 minutes. No doubt there will be a few games that go the distance; once it gets dark and pitches start cutting up, anything can happen.
In England there is a belief that the FA Cup is the greatest cup competition in the world, but in France the air of magic, shocks and fairy-tale stories that surrounds the Coupe de France there is no doubt that it is one of the most unpredictable tournaments in football.
Looking for Coupe de France betting tips? Check our the Coupe de France throughout the tournament for all our community's Coupe de France tips.
Follow Andrew on Twitter: @Gibney_A
And read more of his work at FrenchFootballWeekly.com