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French Ligue 1 Preview

The French Ligue 1 returns, with Nice leading Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain by 3 points.
The French Ligue 1 returns, with Nice leading Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain by 3 points.
Another tedious international break has finally passed and we can now switch our attention back to the domestic side of the beautiful game. And while there are no real standout games in France this week, it doesn’t mean we’re in for a dour two days of football. Far from it in fact. Week 13 gets underway on Friday evening with high-flying Monaco taking on cellar dwellers Lorient. The gameweek closes out with a clash between league leaders Nice and ninth-placed St Etienne.

Friday 18 November

3/1 Lorient | Draw 26/10 | Monaco 9/10 (20:00)

This seems a rather cut and dry fixture on first glance but a bit of investigation work seems to indicate that a Monaco win may not be the only result on the cards. The statistics for this one make for extremely interesting reading with the last four games being won by the away side. On top of this, the last five results between the sides have seen two Monaco wins and two Lorient wins as well as a draw. The only constant in these games has been goals with the last five fixtures seeing 15 goals at an average of three per game. With the aforementioned in mind, the Both Teams to Score - Yes and Totals Over 2.5 Goals market looks a shrewd bet at 21/20.

37/20 Lille | 43/20 | Lyon 16/10 (20:45)

The second and final Friday fixture of the week pits a somewhat resurgent Lyon side against relegation battlers Lille. Lyon recently arrested a horrid sequence of form, that saw them only garner three points from four fixtures, with a 2-1 victory over Toulouse in gameweek 11. That result seemed to instill some confidence in the lads from France’s Rhone-Alpes region as they managed another 2-1 victory the following gameweek. Lille, on the other hand, have lost their last two fixtures and look like they will be spending the majority of their campaign trying to stave off relegation. My money is on Lyon furthering Lille’s woes this Saturday! Get on a Les Gones win at 16/10.

Saturday 19 November

2/9 PSG | 52/10 | Nantes 11/1 (18:00)

On to Saturday now and the first game of the day sees the defending champions host 16th-placed Nantes. PSG are priced up at a rather short price of 2/9 and I fully understand why the bookies have made them such strong favourites as the Parisians have won the last 12 games played between the two sides. Nantes are also on a poor run of form and have only won three of the 12 fixtures they played this season. PSG have won their last four games against Nantes by two goals or more, which has made me lean towards the PSG -1 Handicap market which is available at the reasonable price of 6/10.

23/20 Rennes | 2/1 | Angers 11/4 (21:00)

We move on from the French capital to the northwest of  France for a tie between high-flying Stade Rennes and mid-table Angers. The two sides come into this one off the back of conflicting results with Bastia going down to Lyon in gameweek 12 and Angers managing a 1-0 victory over Lille. Moving swiftly on to the recent head to head stats now, and they do make for comforting reading for those of a Rennes persuasion. The hosts for Saturday’s fixture have won four of the last five games between the sides. And while one of these fixtures was a friendly match, their domination of these recent games mean the only market I will be backing is a Rennes victory at 23/20.

15/10 Bastia | 2/1 | Montpellier 2/1 (21:00)

This is a rather interesting fixture as both sides, after great starts to the season, have gone off the boil somewhat. Of the two, Montpellier are in better form having won their last fixture against Marseille by a 3-1 scoreline, while Bastia went down 2-1 to Lyon. The last meeting between the two sides was a rather heated affair with each team receiving a red card. The last five head to head results have seen Bastia win three and Montpellier win two. Only one of these victories was claimed by the away side, however. I’m going to follow the trend and tip a Bastia home victory at 15/10.

23/20 Nancy | 22/10 | Dijon 26/10 (21:00)

Saturday’s penultimate game sees two of the new kids on the block go head to head at the Stade Marcel Picot. Last season’s two Ligue 2 fixtures saw a 2-0 away victory for Nancy and a 0-0 draw. These two sides have enjoyed contrasting starts to life in the highest tier of French football with Nancy currently sitting in 19th-place and Dijon occupying a cushy mid-table position. In terms of recent results, Dijon have managed a win and two draws from their last three Ligue 1 outings while Nancy have managed a win, a draw, and 6-0 loss. I reckon we’ll see goals in this one and as such the Totals - Over 2.5 Goals market at 5/4 is my recommended bet.

5/10 Toulouse | 31/10 | Metz 57/10 (21:00)

We close the day out with a fixture between Toulouse and Metz. The hosts haven’t been in the greatest form lately only claiming two points from their last three outings. Metz have also dropped off somewhat with their last victory coming six gameweeks ago. I am going to negate the stats for this one and go with my gut instead. Metz are long overdue a win and I have a feeling that they’ll get it against Toulouse. This is certainly not one to stake the house on but a R20 stake on a Metz win may prove a highly profitable investment.

Sunday 20 November

29/20 Guingamp | 43/20 | Bordeaux 2/1 (16:00)

On to Sunday’s first fixture now and this one should be rather tasty with two sides who know how to find the back of the net squaring off. Guingamp have already found the back of the net on 17 occasions this term and are scoring at an average of 1.4 goals per game. Bordeaux have also been impressive going forward and have bagged themselves 15 goals. With the aforementioned in mind, I strongly recommend backing the Totals – Over 2.5 Goals market at a healthy 23/20.

7/10 Marseille | 28/10 | Caen 39/10 (18:00)

Our next fixture sees Marseille host Caen. The hosts for this encounter have registered five draws this term while the visitors have only drawn one of their fixtures. I tend to lean towards tipping a draw whenever Marseille are involved. And despite the last five head to head results only seeing one draw, my money is still on this one ending in a stalemate. Get on the 28/10 draw!

23/20 St. Etienne | 22/10 | Nice 5/2 (21:45)

League leaders Nice close out the gameweek with a tricky away trip to ninth-placed St. Etienne. The hosts were held to a 0-0 draw in gameweek 12 while the visitors were beaten 1-0 by lowly Caen in the shock result of the round. The aforementioned defeat has seen Nice’s lead at the top of the standings cut to only three points. With PSG and Monaco breathing down their necks, Les Aiglons will be desperate to get a win here. These games tend to see red cards and a boatload of goals. The last two fixtures have seen two red cards in each and a total of seven goals scored. I reckon we’ll be in for goals and a Nice victory this Sunday. Get on the Matchbet + Totals – Away and Over at an incredible 15/4.

TREBLE @ 19/1
Lyon Win 16/10
Guingamp vs Bordeaux Over 2.5 Goals 23/20
Nice Win 5/2

Written by Darry Worthington