Bastia vs Ajaccio
Knock outs game for the round of 32 of the French League Cup. Game will not be played at Bastia stadium, but at Stade Francis-Turcan because there are fears of serious incidents as happened last season in both derbies between Bastia and Ajaccio. In case of a draw in regular time, extra times and penalties will follow. The team that will win the League Cup this season, will compete in the Europa League of next season., while there is also a big cash bonus for the team that will qualify today.
Bastia won over Nice 1:0 back in the weekend, in a totally fair result according to the match reports. The hosts were better in both halves, and even when they left with ten players, Nice did not managed to threat. Bastia is in excellent condition and they are undoubtedly one of the teams in France that belong to the first half of the league table. They have a fine roster with experienced players and there is room for further improvement. Only defender Drissa Diakite (8 games) and Belgian striker Gianni Bruno (9 games, 2 goals) will miss tonight's game, while there are no other problems for Bastia.
Ajaccio lost away to Guingamp with the score of 2:1 in a difficult and dramatic game, but a fair one according to the match reports. The hosts were in control of the match, although Ajaccio scored first to the first opportunity they created. Ajaccio tried with full defense to keep the lead, but Guingamp played good football and scored two goals in the last five minutes of the match, getting what they deserved.
After this result and the terrible position in the league, Ajaccio coach Fabrizio Ravanelli is in a very difficult position as his team have done a really bad start and Ravanelli has already come into conflict with the big star of the team, Romanian striker Mutu. For sure the climate is not good at all and in case of a defeat tonight Ravanelli probably will be sacked.
There is still too many problems for Ajaccio. Romanian striker Mutu (8 games), midfielder Ricardo Faty, midfielder Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (10 games), defensive midfielder Claude Goncalves (5 games), striker Gadji Tallo (2 games, 1 goal) and key defender Ronald Zubar (10 games, 1 goal) are all out of tonight's game for various reasons.
The quality and form are clearly with Bastia side. Although this is a derby game and will not be played at Bastia home stadium, the difference between the two teams at this time is big. I think that Bastia will find the way to win this game and qualify.