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AJ Auxerre
Ligue 2
May 20, 2022 at 7.30pm UK
Stade de l'Abbé Deschamps
0 - 0

Charbonnier (66'), Bernard (92')

Henry (60'), Kitala (108'), Prevot (116')
Auxerre win 5-4 on penalties

Preview: Auxerre vs. Sochaux - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Ligue 2 playoff clash between Auxerre and Sochaux, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Auxerre and Sochaux will both be looking to move one step closer to securing promotion to Ligue 1 when they lock horns in a Ligue 2 playoff at the Stade de l'Abbe-Deschamps on Friday night.

The winners of this contest will face whoever finishes 18th in the top flight in a relegation/promotion playoff final later this month.

Match preview

Auxerre narrowly missed out on automatic promotion after they finished third in Ligue 2, just one point behind Ajaccio in second place.

A 2-1 victory at home against Amiens last weekend was not enough to climb into the top two, as Ajaccio secured a slender 1-0 home win over champions Toulouse on the final day of the season.

Nevertheless, a third-placed finish for Jean-Marc Furlan's side is their highest league position since they were relegated to the second tier a decade ago.

Les Diplomates head into Friday's fixture having lost only one of their last 16 league games, and they are currently on an eight-game unbeaten run.

Auxerre will be confident of success against Sochaux as they claimed four points from a possible six against them earlier this season, drawing 0-0 away from home in September last year before winning 3-2 on their own turf in March.

While Auxerre were battling for a top-two finish on the final day, Sochaux had known their fate for some time as they comfortably saw out the final 12 gameweeks in fifth place.

Since climbing into the top five back in mid-September last year, Les Lionceaux never looked back and they eventually finished the campaign 10 points ahead of Guingamp in sixth.

Omar Daf's men were then tasked with a playoff tie away at Paris FC on Tuesday, but they managed to progress with a 2-1 victory in a game full of drama. A remarkable opening 15 minutes to the contest saw Paris miss two penalties either side of their opening goal scored by Migouel Alfarela, before Steve Ambri equalised in first-half stoppage time.

Sochaux then won in dramatic fashion when substitute Maxime Do Couto scored a 92nd-minute winner to book their place in the next round against Auxerre.

Les Lionceaux, who have won four of their last five away games, have failed to win each of their last three encounters with Auxerre, but their last win against them was at the Stade de l'Abbe-Deschamps when they claimed a 2-0 victory in August 2020.

Auxerre Ligue 2 form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

Sochaux Ligue 2 form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W

Team News

Auxerre boss Furlan is unlikely to make too many changes, if any, to his starting lineup, which is set to include top scorer Gaetan Charbonnier, who has found the net 17 times this season.

A back four of Carlens Arcus, Alexandre Coeff, Theo Pellenard and Quentin Bernard is set to remain intact, with defensive midfielder Birama Toure to operate just in front.

Gauthier Hein and Mathias Autret are expected to provide width on the flanks, while Gaetan Perrin could join Hamza Sakhi in centre-midfield.

As for Sochaux, Daf could name the same starting lineup which beat Paris FC on Tuesday, but considering the three-day turnaround, at least a couple of fresh faces are set to be called upon on this occasion.

Ousseynou Thioune may join Rassoul Ndiaye in centre-midfield, which would likely see Joseph Lopy drop to the bench, while Do Cuoto's impact as a substitute last time out could be rewarded with a start on the left flank at the expense of Ambri.

Ismael Aaneba and Christophe Diedhiou are both set to retain their places at centre-back, though Florentin Pogba, the brother of Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, will be pushing to start after beginning the last match on the bench.

Auxerre possible starting lineup:
Leon; Arcus, Coeff, Pellenard, Bernard; Toure; Hein, Sakhi, Perrin, Autret; Charbonnier

Sochaux possible starting lineup:
Prevot; Henry, Aaneba, Diedhiou, N'dour; Thioune, Ndiaye; Mauricio, Weissbeck, Do Cuoto; Kalulu

SM words green background

We say: Auxerre 2-1 Sochaux

Spirits are high among both camps heading into Friday's contest, but Auxerre will be regarded as the favourites, when considering their league position, form and the fact that they have home advantage.

Sochaux will fancy their chances of breaching Auxerre's backline, having scored eight goals in their last six meetings against them, but we can see the hosts securing a slender victory to put them through to the relegation/promotion playoff final.

For additional data used by our team to analyse our suggested result please click here.

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