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Joint-leaders Monaco and Nice lock horns on Saturday in the biggest tie of Gameweek 23.
Joint-leaders Monaco and Nice lock horns on Saturday in the biggest tie of Gameweek 23.
We are well past the midway point in the season and there’s still only three points separating third-placed PSG from leaders Monaco. Things will get even tighter at the top of the standings with Monaco and Nice locking horns this weekend. A draw in this week’s premiere game coupled with a PSG win would move the Parisians within a point of both of their rivals. Needless to say, we’re in for a big weekend in France’s top tier.

Friday 3 February

29/10 Metz | Draw 5/2 | Marseille 9/10 (21:45)

The gameweek kicks off with Metz taking on Marseille. The hosts were rather uninspiring against Angers last week going down 2-1, while the visitors shrugged off their 'impotent in front of goal mantle' by putting five past Montpellier. The bookmakers seem to have overreacted off the back of last weekend’s results affixing a huge price to Metz. With a massive price on offer and Metz at home, I can’t help but back them. My advice is to get on a home win at 29/10.

Saturday 4 February

6/10 Monaco | 29/10 | Nice 17/4 (18:00)

Saturday’s action gets underway with an absolute blockbuster between Monaco and Nice. These two sides currently top the standings on 49 points apiece; so there's an awful lot to play for here. The duo experienced contrasting results last week with Nice hammering Guingamp 3-1 and Monaco held to a 1-1 away draw by PSG, which wasn’t the worst of results considering how good the Parisians have been at home. The recent head to head results between the two sides makes for interesting reading with Monaco winning three of the last four games. There have also been red cards shown in all of the aforementioned fixtures. I suspect we could see the red card trend continue as this is likely to be a rather heated and hard fought affair. My money is on the home side shading it by a narrow scoreline.

15/2 Dijon | 17/4 | PSG 3/10 (21:00)

PSG will be looking to capitalise on Monaco and Nice playing each other when they take on Dijon. They may not have it all their own way, however, as the hosts for Saturday’s fixture will be high on confidence after claiming eight points from their last four games. Dijon may be in decent touch but I can’t see them getting one over PSG, as the Parisians simply have too much to play for. My advice for this one is to get on the straight PSG win at 3/10.

8/10 Montpellier | 24/10 | Bastia 7/2 (21:00)

Moving on to Saturday’s third fixture now, where Montpellier will be wanting to bounce back from last week’s heavy defeat when they take on Bastia. They could be aided in their quest to claim the full three points by former Mamelodi Sundowns man Keagan Dolly who signed a four-and-a-half-year deal with the club last week. The hosts are in for a tough night, however, as Bastia are a rather stubborn side who have bagged some big results this term. Bastia make the trip to Montpellier off the back of a disappointing 1-1 draw with Caen. That was Bastia’s second consecutive 1-1 draw - the previous coming against Angers. The draw actually looks a big runner here with the last game between the two sides ending in a 1-1 draw. Have a punt on a draw at 24/10.

17/20 Guingamp | 49/20 | Caen 33/10 (21:00)

Guingamp were extremely disappointing last weekend going down 3-1 to Nice. Caen, on the other hand, managed a respectable 1-1 draw away to Bastia. This game could prove to be rather tight with four of the last five games between the two sides seeing fewer than three goals scored. As such, the Totals – Under 2.5 market looks extremely enticing at 15/20.

15/20 Lille | 26/10 | Lorient 36/10 (21:00)

Lille will be on a high after beating Lyon 2-1 last weekend. The result came as somewhat of a shock with Lyon going into the match as heavy favourites. Lorient, on the other hand, were humbled by Dijon 3-2. The recent head to head results between these sides make for interesting reading with Lille winning three out of the last five games contested by the duo. Lorient have also struggled at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy; last managing a win at the ground back in 2010. My money is on that record being further extended this Saturday. Get on a home win at 15/20.

9/10 Bordeaux | 47/20 | Rennes 3/1 (21:00)

Saturday’s final fixture sees Bordeaux host Rennes in a mid-table clash. There are only two points separating the sides at present with Bordeaux in sixth-place on 32 points and Rennes in ninth on 30 points. The hosts come into this one off the back of a 2-0 victory over Nancy, which was their second successive victory, while the visitors make the trip to ‘Wine Country’ off the back of a 1-1 draw with Nantes. Both teams average just over a goal per game and have an average concession rate slightly above the one goal mark. With stats like that, I reckon the Both Teams to Score market – Yes – is the way to go. Get on at 21/20.

Sunday 5 February

1/1 Toulouse | 43/20 | Angers 29/10 (16:00)

The first of Sunday’s games see Toulouse take on Angers. The hosts were downed by a rampant St. Etienne last week, while the visitors bagged a 2-1 victory over Metz. This should prove to be a rather tight affair with both sides struggling for goals this term. As such, I recommend backing the Totals – Under 2.5 Goals – Yes - market at 9/20.

11/10 Nantes | 2/1 | Nancy 28/10 (18:00)

The penultimate fixture of gameweek 23 sees Nantes and Nancy lock horns at the Stade de la Beaujoire. The hosts come into this off the back of a 1-1 draw with Rennes while the visitors will be looking to bounce back from a 2-0 home defeat to Bordeaux. I won’t go into too much detail here as I think the hosts should canter to a win. They have been great on their own patch this term and they should have too much firepower for Nancy. Get on a home win at 11/10.

51/20 St. Etienne | 23/10 | Lyon 21/20 (22:00)

Lyon will be looking to bounce back from their shock defeat to Lille when they take on St. Etienne in gameweek 23’s final fixture. They will be hard tasked to do so though as St. Etienne were brilliant last week, putting three past a much-fancied Toulouse side. Clashes between the two sides tend to end in home victory with the last three games all being won by the hosts. I’m going with the stats again here and will be backing St. Etienne at a very kind price of 51/20.

TREBLE @ 7/1
Metz Win 29/10
Monaco Win 6/10
PSG Win 3/10

Written by Darry Worthington