Evian Thonon Gaillard vs Dijon

August 26, 2011
By: John Hansen

The clash between two newly promoted sides is likely to bring us a lot of excitement, especially as both teams have had a pretty good start to the Ligue 1 campaign. Evian remain unbeaten after bringing one point from Ajaccio and are now looking to further escape the relegation rivals, whereas Dijon won their first game this season as they beat Lorient at home last weekend.

Evian already proving their credentials

Evian Thonon Gaillard surprised quite a few football experts by winning the Ligue 2 title last term, but the club management then made sure to heavily reinforce the squad before they embarked on their first ever campaign in elite division of French football. The club produced quite a coup by signing playmaker Jerome Leroy from Rennes and forward Sidney Govou from Panathinaikos, whereas Fabrice Ehret, Mehdi Rabiu, Jonathan Mensah, Daniel Wass, Stephan Andersen and Saber Khelifa also arrived to increase competition for places. Following some very good performances in pre-season, Evian enjoyed a great start to the season, having brought points from Brest and Ajaccio, while beating Nice at home. Good results against direct relegation rivals are likely to prove key to survival, so everybody at the club are aware that a win over Dijon would go a long way. With the players brimming with confidence at the moment, that shouldn’t be too big a task for the hosts.

Sasa Cilinsek remains sidelined, but Guillaume Lacour and Nicolas Farina could return.

First win for Dijon

Dijon also made sure to add some much needed quality to the squad this summer, but they don’t seem to have done such a good job as their next opponents. Apart from Samuel Souprayen and Brice Jovial, all other players who arrived this summer look to be well past their prime and they have little to offer to the team’s cause. On top of that, Dijon stayed without top scorer from last season Sebastian Ribas, so no wonder they are struggling in the scoring department. Disappointing home defeat to Rennes in their opening game showed that Patrice Carteron’s side could experience big problems this season, while 2:0 loss at Toulouse only made things more difficult. Dijon managed to show some improvement as they beat Lorient at home last weekend, but the poor showings on the travels don’t give them much to hope for before the clash with in-form Evian. More information on Dijon and other teams likely to enter the relegation fight can be found here.

Boss Patrice Carteron faces a real defensive headache as key centre-back Abdoulaye Meite was slapped with an eight-match ban for the red card he received against Lorient, while important defender Samuel Souprayen is also suspended.


Reinforced with several experienced Ligue 1 players, Evian have shown a lot of promise at the start of the season and they look more than capable of beating one of the weakest sides in the top flight. Dijon are still struggling to cope with the demands of Ligue 1, whereas suspension to Meite and Souprayen are likely to destabilize the team before the trip to Parc des Sports.

Our prediction: Home win

Odds: 2.05 (21/20)

Bookmaker: Victor Chandler

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