French Ligue 1 Preview

PSG's dominance is set to come to an end as champions-elect Monaco have a superior goal difference.
PSG's Ligue 1 dominance is set to end as champions-elect Monaco have a superior goal difference.
The title race is effectively over, with Monaco’s massive goal difference all but assuring them top honours. That’s not to mean we are in for a dour conclusion to the season. Far from it in fact, as there is still an almighty battle to avoid relegation that will play out this Saturday. There’s also some great value floating around with most of the mid-table sides likely to field weakened teams.


Saturday 20 May

7/10 Guingamp | Draw 28/10 | Metz 33/10 (21:00)

The first game we’ll take a look at is a bit of a dead rubber with Guingamp and Metz both assured of survival. As such, we could see each club field a few youngsters in their starting line-ups. I quite fancy a high scoring affair here. Both teams have shipped a plethora of goals this term – Metz have conceded 71 while Guingamp have conceded 53 – while also netting quite a few themselves. The Totals - Over 2.5 Goals is my tip here. Get on at 6/10!

15/10 Lorient | 5/2 | Bordeaux 16/10 (21:00)

There’s a hell of a lot on the line for Lorient this Saturday as they currently find themselves a point off safety heading into their crunch tie against high-flyers, Bordeaux. The visitors could actually claim the final Europa League berth should PSG win the Coup de France. This game could be rather feisty with both teams needing nothing short of a win in order to achieve their aforementioned goals. My money is on the hosts sneaking a win in front of their home faithful.

15/20 Lyon | 3/1 | Nice 31/10 (21:00)

Lyon and Nice are next up and neither side has much to play for here as they are both assured of European football. The two sides endured contrasting fortunes in the penultimate gameweek with Lyon beating Montpellier 3-1 and Nice going down to Angers by a 2-0 score line. Nice looked extremely uninspired last week and I think they are going through the motions at this point. As such, my money is on a much more spirited Lyon side capping off their season with a home victory - get on at 15/20!


27/20 Toulouse | 24/10 | Dijon 19/10 (21:00)

Dijon are another side involved in this mass relegation battle. While they do have an advantage heading into this weekend – they currently sit on 36 points and are three points clear of 18th placed Lorient – a loss could well see the drop down to the second tier. Toulouse, on the other hand, have nothing to play for, as they sit in mid-table. Neither of these sides has been prolific in front of goal this term, and I can see that trend continuing here. Get on the Totals – Under 2.5 Goals – market at 21/20.

28/10 Rennes | 26/10| Monaco 9/10 (21:00)

By the time this game rolls around, Monaco could have secured the league. A midweek result could lead Leonardo Jardim to field a significantly weakened side against Rennes. If they lose on Wednesday, they are still unlikely to surrender the title as they have a huge advantage over PSG when it comes to the goal differences.
As such, I’m quite tempted to have a go on a Rennes win, which is available at a tasty 28/10.

5/4 Lille | 23/10 | Nantes 21/10 (21:00)

This is another one of those games that borders on exhibition match with both Lille and Nantes sitting inside the top 12. There may be a bit more money on offer for finishing higher up the table but I honestly can’t see these sides taking this one as seriously as they would have should the game have been played a couple of weeks ago. This is another game that may not see a lot of goals as both teams have struggled to find the back of the net. With that in mind, I will be backing the Totals – Under 2.5 Goals – market at 17/20.


12/10 Nancy | 24/10 | St. Etienne 21/10 (21:00)

So Nancy were the first team to have their relegation confirmed after they went down to Dijon last week. While they will still be rather distraught about this inconvenient fact, I would not be surprised if the hosts turn on the style against St. Etienne on Saturday as the shackles are now well and truly off. St. Etienne have a rather busy week with a Wednesday tie against Monaco to negotiate before they travel to Nancy.
As such, my money is on Nancy ending their short-lived jaunt into the top tier of French football with a win over a fatigued St. Etienne side.

3/10 Marseille | 9/2 | Bastia 15/2 (21:00)

I said Bastia would need to pull a Houdini act to remain in the top tier and after they beat Lorient last week, they may just be able to pull a rabbit out of the hat. They will need to beat Marseille away if they are to complete this minor miracle, however. Unfortunately for Bastia, they will be taking on a full strength Marseille side, as the hosts need a win here to guarantee European football for the 2017/18 season. While I think it will be a tight affair, my money is on Marseille edging it!


2/11 PSG | 6/1 | Caen 11/1 (21:00)

With second place sewn up, it could be a case of going through the motions for PSG in the final gameweek. Caen, on the other hand, have it all to play for as they sit only a point clear of the drop. While Caen will be desperate for the win here, I just can’t see them knocking over PSG, even if the Parisians have nothing to play for. I think Caen will be picked off on the counter here and may end up on the wrong side of a large score line. Get on the PSG (-1) Handicap at 9/20.


5/4 Angers | 47/20 | Montpellier 21/10 (21:00)

It’s the last game I’ll look at for the next few months and I’m pretty keen to make sure it’s a winner. The two sides come into this one off the back of contrasting results with Angers beating Nice and Montpellier going down to Lyon. Angers have only beaten Montpellier once in the last 11 meetings between the sides with four of these games ending in draws. I’m going to go with my gut here and back the draw at a solid 47/20.


TREBLE @ 3/1
Guingamp vs Metz Over 2.5 Goals 6/10
Lyon Win 15/20
PSG (-1) Handicap 9/20

Written by Darry Worthington