category: France

AC Amiens coach Azouz Hamdane will be sick of the sight of Lille come Sunday afternoon. At the end of November they travelled north to take on local side Villeneuve d’Ascq Metropole in the last round of the cup, the game went to extra-time and then was suspended due to fog.

Eventually it was restarted and the away side edged a 2-1 victory.

It was a cold and horrible night, not one for the neutral, with the crowd not able to see VAM’s late equaliser until it hit the back of the net. ACA had been found off the pace that evening and the trend continued the next weekend when they again had to make the trip to Lille, this time to take on LOSC’s CFA side at the same Stade Annexe, next door to the old Stade Lille Metropole.

This time it would end in defeat as Hamdane’s side would lose out to a Nicolas Perez 50th minute penalty. To put things into perspective, Lille II sit top of CFA Group A with 39 points and only one defeat. Amiens are 8th out of 16 teams on 30 points, five wins and six defeats. The odds are firmly stacked against the fourth tier side, and there is no way they should be able to overcome Ligue 1’s third place team, but this is the Coupe de France, so anything can happen. We spoke to Samantha Craig from who stated “Sky Bet are going 2/13 about the away side and if you are having a bet it looks like a decent wager to boost any accumulators as Lille are almost nailed on to win, if the handicap betting is available Lille -2 looks a sure bet”.

Amiens’ goal threat will come from forward Mohamed Tagaye and midfielder Mickael Despois de Folleville, as both have four goals each this season, over 70% of the total amount of goals Amiens have managed in total. Another player to watch is exciting midfielder creator Rayane Aabid.

Aabid was born in Lille’s Pont-de-Bois area, minutes away from the Stade Lille Metropole ground that LOSC called home for seven years. The area has a heavy North-African influence, and Aabid’s family hail from Morocco; ata young age, as well as playing for Villeneuve d’Ascq’s U15 side, he helped his father in the popular Wazemmes market on the weekend.

LOSC showed an interest in young Aabid, and after a spell at Armentieres in the Division d’Honneur, he now has a chance to show LOSC what they missed out on. What a fairy-tale story it would be if the 21-year-old could stun the Ligue 1 side, although he would probably have to hide his face for a while when he returned back to his home in Lille. All worth the the price of fame though.

This Sunday it is Amiens turn to play host to the northern club; the game will be played at the Stade de la Licorne, home of the town’s bigger side, Amiens SC. This was the venue last year for their first-ever appearance in this stage of the cup, when they were beaten by Evian on penalties after conceding an injury-time equaliser. Expect a hostile crowd of 12,000 locals to descend and give minnows AC a rousing partisan home support. The short journey will see LOSC bring a fair number of away fans which should make for an excellent atmosphere. The last time Lille came to Amiens was at the end of last season, the game finished 4-1 to the away side…and that was the second string. It is looking very much like Mission Impossible for les Bleus et Blanc, but isn’t that what the Coupe de France is all about?


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