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French Ligue 1 Preview

Nice dropping points has seen the title chase narrowed into a two-horse race between Monaco and PSG.
Nice's downfall has seen the title chase narrowed into a two-horse race between Monaco & PSG.
Nice dropping points last weekend has seen the Ligue 1 title chase narrowed into a two-horse race between Monaco and PSG. And whilst PSG do sit level on points with league leaders Monaco, the latter certainly have the advantage as not only do they have a game in hand over the Parisians, but they also have an easier run-in. It's not all about the top of the table action however as there are a few epic relegation dogfights set to go down this weekend as well!

Friday 28 April

16/10 Angers | Draw 51/20 | Lyon 19/20 (20:45)

Angers and Lyon get things underway this week at the Stade Raymond Kopa. The hosts come into this one off the back of a 3-2 defeat to Dijon, while the visitors make the trip having gone down 1-2 to Monaco in gameweek 34. Angers have lost their last four league games and have a horrid record against Lyon. And while the visitors have gone off the boil somewhat, there were encouraging signs for them during last Sunday’s defeat to Monaco. My money is on Lyon claiming the spoils here.

Saturday 29 April

3/10 Monaco | 17/4 | Toulouse 8/1 (17:00)

Monaco will be looking to put some early pressure on PSG by claiming the full three-point haul when they take on Toulouse in Saturday’s early kick-off. The hosts struggled for segments against Lyon last week but still managed to get the job done running out 1-2 victors. Toulouse also gave a decent account of themselves during gameweek 34 as they held third-placed Nice to a 1-1 draw. I really can’t see Monaco slipping up here as they know they have the chance to go further ahead of PSG. While 3/10 may not be the best value you’ll ever find, it’s certainly worth backing.

27/20 Guingamp | 43/20 | St. Etienne 2/1 (20:00)

Saturday’s second fixture sees Guingamp host St. Etienne. The former come into this one off the back of a 3-0 defeat to Lille while the latter were held to a 1-1 draw by Rennes. Guingamp have been solid at home this term winning the last three fixtures played at the Avant de Guingamp. The home win looks a solid bet here at 27/20.

17/10 Bastia | 22/10 | Rennes 31/20 (20:00)

We travel from the north-western region of Brittany to the island of Corsica for our third fixture of the day, which sees Bastia entertain Rennes. The hosts were plunged further into the relegation mire after last week’s 2-0 defeat to Bordeaux while the visitors remain comfortably placed in mid-table after a 1-1 draw with St. Etienne. Bastia are pretty much done for and I cannot see them getting up for this game. Which means the away win at 31/20 offers some marvelous value.

21/20 Nantes | 47/20 | Lorient 5/2 (20:00)

Nantes and Lorient go head-to-head in our next fixture. The visitors have been in decent form of late winning four of their last five fixtures. Nantes have been less impressive, winning only one of their last three fixtures. Lorient really are in great touch at the moment and I can see them giving Nantes a hard time here. While I’m not confident enough to back the away win, I will certainly have a strike on the Double Chance – Lorient + Draw – which is available at 7/10.

31/20 Metz | 22/10 | Nancy 7/4 (20:00)

Metz will be looking to strengthen their grip on an extended stay in the French top tier when they play host to a Nancy side, who look set to drop back into Ligue 2. These two sides had contrasting fortunes during gameweek 34 with Metz going down 5-1 to Lorient and Nancy holding Marseille to a 0-0 draw. I’m going to avoid the straight win market here as either side could snatch a victory. Instead, I’m going for the Totals market – Over 2.5 Goals – at even money.

11/10 Montpellier | 23/10 | Lille 5/2 (20:00)

Saturday comes to a close with a game between Montpellier and a Lille outfit who seem to have turned the corner. The hosts were beaten 2-0 by PSG last week while the visitors come to town off the back of an impressive 3-0 home victory over Guingamp. Lille have been nothing short of spectacular during the run-in and I can see them claiming another victory here despite Montpellier being solid at home. The away win is currently trading at 5/2, which is brilliant value – get on!

Sunday 30 April

24/10 Caen | 23/10 | Marseille 11/10 (15:00)

Sunday’s action kicks off with a tie between relegation fighters Caen and a Marseille side that look set to qualify for a Europa League berth. The hosts come into this one off the back of a disheartening 2-0 defeat to Nantes while the visitors drew 0-0 with Nancy last Friday. This is another game where the straight win market seems way too big a risk. Instead, back the First Team to Score Market – Caen – at a solid 13/10.

2/1 Dijon | 9/4 | Bordeaux 13/10 (17:00)

This week’s penultimate fixture pits Dijon up against Bordeaux. The hosts come into this one off the back of a 3-2 victory over Angers, while the visitors also managed a win, seeing off Bastia by a 2-0 scoreline. Bordeaux have been a bit of a surprise package this term and currently occupy fourth spot on the log. And while Dijon have produced a few upsets this term, I can’t see them providing a shock here. Get on the away win at 13/10!

47/10 Nice | 32/10 | PSG 11/20 (21:00)

It seems the Ligue 1 officials are believers in the old adage of saving the best for last as Nice and PSG will bring the curtain down on gameweek 35. The visitors come into this one as strong favourites mainly due to their healthy head-to-head record which has seen them win eight of the last nine games contested by the two sides. While PSG should take this one, I don’t feel like it’s the right play as there’s similar value floating around a few of the other markets. My money is going on the Totals - Over 2.5 Goals - market as the last four games have seen three or more goals scored – get on at 11/20!

TREBLE @ 7/2
Monaco Win 3/10
Bordeaux Win 13/10
Nice vs PSG Over 2.5 Goals 11/20

Written by Darry Worthington