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French Ligue 1 Preview

French Ligue 1 2017/18
The French Ligue 1 gets underway on Friday with defending champions Monaco hosting Toulouse
We are in for an extremely interesting start to the French top tier with the likes of PSG and Monaco wanting to lay down markers this coming weekend. The former will be looking to reclaim the title after the latter ended their four-year winning streak last season. This weekend will also offer a chance for the three newly-promoted sides to impress, although, Amiens FC face the unenviable task of taking on PSG in Saturday’s opening fixture. So which sides will get off to a rollicking start and which will be left wishing the season kicked off a week later? Let’s see if we can find out.

Friday 4 August

3/10 Monaco | Draw 17/4 | Toulouse 15/2 (20:45)

The defending champions have the honour of getting the season underway against a Toulouse side that could only muster up a 13th-place finish last season. Monaco’s success came at a cost with the likes of Manchester City pillaging their squad during the off-season. As it stands, however, the team from the French Principality have managed to keep a hold of talismanic striker Kylian Mbappe and midfield dynamo, Thomas Lemar. While I think Monaco are going to struggle when they inevitably lose Mbappe to one of Europe’s glamour clubs, they should be able to get a win against a sub-standard Toulouse outfit.

Saturday 5 August

1/8 PSG | 7/1 | Amiens 17/1 (17:00)

Saturday’s action gets underway with a clash between last year’s runners-up and new boys, Amiens. I’m not going to go into any further detail here as I can only see one result - a massive PSG win. Get on the PSG (-1) Handicap at 7/20!

4/10 Lyon | 15/4 | Strasbourg 6/1 (20:00)

Lyon face new boys Strasbourg in Saturday’s next fixture. The hosts had an about average campaign last year with a strong finish adding respectability to their lacklustre campaign. They face another tough season as they've lost star striker Alexandre Lacazette, who moved to Arsenal during the off-season. Despite losing their star striker, Lyon should have way too much firepower for new boys Strasbourg to cope with. Get on the home win at 4/10!

31/20 Troyes | 2/1 | Rennes 37/20 (20:00)

The final game featuring one of the promoted sides will see Troyes entertain a Stade Rennes outfit that finished mid-table in Ligue 1 last year. I’m actually quite perplexed as to why Rennes have such a decent price affixed to their names as they are a competent side who should have little trouble seeing off Troyes. The Rennes win should be added to all multiples!

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

Metz will be looking to get another Ligue 1 campaign off to a solid start when they take on a Guingamp side that finished 10th last season. The hosts were the surprise package of 2016/17 with not many pundits giving them a chance of retaining their status in the French top tier. And while they did flirt with relegation near the close of last season, they were never in any real danger of dropping back to the second tier. As avid readers of these Ligue 1 previews will know, I’m a bit of a sucker for a punt on Metz. I won’t be having a crack on them in the opening week, however, as there’s really little value on the home win here for the risk you will be taking. Instead, I suggest backing the Both Teams to Score – Yes – market which is currently available at 8/10.

12/10 St. Etienne | 21/10 | Nice 24/10 (20:00)

There’s some incredible value on offer here with Nice, who finished third last season, priced up at a crazy 24/10 for the win. And while St. Etienne were impressive at times during the 2016/17 campaign, I just think the visitors are in a different class to their opponents. The Nice win is another one of my standout bets for the weekend.

9/10 Montpellier | 24/10 | Caen 31/10 (20:00)

In the final Saturday fixture, we’ll take a look at the clash between Montpellier and Caen. The hosts dropped off rapidly during the tail end of the 2016/17 season while the visitors just managed to stave off relegation, finishing a point off the drop. The bookies have them installed as massive favourites and I’m in total agreement here. Get on the Montpellier win at 9/10!

Sunday 6 August

5/4 Lille | 2/1 | Nantes 23/10 (15:00)

Sunday’s opening fixture will see Lille take on Nantes. Both sides enjoyed decent campaigns last term with Lille arresting their horrid early season form to finish mid-table and Nantes managing a highly impressive seventh-place finish. It’s quite strange to see the hosts at such a short price here as I think this will be a rather tight affair. As such, I’m avoiding the straight win and instead going for the Totals – Under 2.5 – Goals market.

15/10 Angers | 2/1 | Bordeaux 2/1 (17:00)

Next up we have a tasty tie between Angers and Bordeaux. The hosts claimed 12th place last season while the visitors impressed with a sixth-place finish. And while the opening line of this segment may have you running to back the visitors, it must be remembered that Angers have won four of the last five encounters between the sides. I’m going to stick with the trend here and back Angers to get another victory over their opponents. Get on at 15/10!

4/10 Marseille | 7/2 | Dijon 13/2 (21:00)

Marseille and Dijon will bring the curtain down on the opening week of the Ligue 1 season. The hosts were a bit of a hit and miss last term but a strong finish saw them claim fifth spot on the log. Dijon also lacked consistency last season and at times flirted with relegation. I think Marseille will have a much better campaign this year. Their youngsters are more experienced and they should have way too much firepower for the visitors to handle. The home win at 4/10 is my tip here.

TREBLE @ 25/2
Lyon Win 4/10
Rennes Win 37/20
Nice Win 24/10

Written by Darry Worthington