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French Ligue 1 Preview

PSG suffered their first setback last weekend, drawing to Keagan Dolly's Montpellier side.
PSG suffered their first setback last weekend, drawing to Keagan Dolly's Montpellier side.
PSG were held to a shock 0-0 draw against Montpellier last week as the Parisians saw their three-point lead at the top of the table cut down to one following Monaco’s impressive 4-0 win over Lille.

We’re in for yet another full round of fixtures this weekend with Friday’s clash between Monaco and Montpellier looking particularly interesting following Michel Der Zakarian’s team’s draw with PSG. Unai Emery’s men will face a tricky home tie against Bordeaux while Marseille’s trip to Nice should prove interesting.

Friday 29 September

1/4 Monaco | Draw 5/1 | Montpellier 19/2 (20:45)

Monaco capitalised on PSG’s slip up last week in emphatic style as they crushed Lille 4-0 at Stade Pierre-Mauroy. Falcao grabbed two second goals after Stevan Jovetic and Rachid Ghezzal each grabbed one in the first stanza. The men from the principality have now cruised through their last two league games, scoring seven times without conceding in the process. They’re hot favourites for Friday’s clash with Montpellier and should come away with the points. Having said that, Montpellier were excellent at the weekend against PSG as they managed to grab a 0-0 draw against the current log leaders. They didn’t create much themselves but defended brilliantly throughout the 90 to keep the likes of Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe quiet. Pedro Mendes was particularly impressive, blocking a goal bound effort from Mbappe before an inch perfect challenge prevented Cavani from having a shot on goal in the box. Despite their performance last week, Montpellier shouldn’t get anything out of this match. Take the home win at 1/4 – one for all the weekend multiples.

Saturday 30 September

1/7 PSG | 7/1 | Bordeaux 16/1 (17:00)

It’s been a few weeks to forget for PSG as the Parisians have become engulfed in the Cavani vs Neymar penalty storm that has seen the likes of Dani Alves come out in support of his Brazilian compatriot. There have even been rumours of a 1 million Euro fee offered to Cavani by the owners in order to let Neymar take spot kicks going forward which the Uruguayan allegedly turned down. The controversy has clearly affected their football with last week’s stalemate at Montpellier a warning of things to come. Bordeaux continued their fine start to the season with a well-deserved 3-1 win over Guingamp. They were given an early scare as the visitors missed a penalty. They would miss their own spot kick a few minutes later, however, Francious Kamano was on hand to turn the ball in. Guingamp would equalise straight after the second half kicked off, however, strikes from Alexandre Mendy and Jonathan Cafu secured the points as Bordeaux climbed into third. PSG need to put all of this nonsense behind them lest they want to let another league title slip away. Bordeaux are a strong team and will sense the Parisians’ vulnerability. Take the away side on the (+1) Handicap here at 9/2.

6/10 Nantes | 26/10 | Metz 47/10 (20:00)

Nantes climbed up to sixth on the Ligue 1 standings following their 2-1 away win over second-bottom Strasbourg. They were made to work hard for the points though, having to come behind from an early Nuno Da Casto strike. Claudio Ranieri’s men have now won their last three on the spin and will look to build on early season form to perhaps sneak into the European spots. Metz had their hearts broken by Troyes at the weekend as 10-man Troyes stole the points in the 90th minute. This despite Metz completely and utterly dominating in every facet of the match, with 63% of the possession and a slew of gilt-edged chances failing to find the back of the net. Last week’s smash and grab by Troyes won’t help Metz’s already shattered confidence at the bottom of the division. Nantes to win here for me – another for the weekend multiples.

17/10 Amiens | 43/20 | Lille 17/10 (20:00)

Amiens were condemned to their fifth defeat of the season as they were beaten 1-0 away at Caen. Ivan Santini grabbed the only goal of the game early in the second half from the penalty spot following what appeared to be a harsh handball call. Amiens will be keen to return to home and arrest a brief run of form which has seen them lose their last two matches. They’ll be confident of doing just that as they welcome a Lille side who have failed to win any of their last five league matches. They’ll also head into this game off the back of a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Monaco last week. Amiens for me all day here – Lille have been shocking this season and should be brushed aside by their weekend opposition.

21/20 Guingamp | 23/10 | Toulouse 11/4 (20:00)

Guingamp were comprehensively beaten by Bordeaux at the weekend, however, things could have turned out different had they converted a penalty they were awarded with the scores locked at 0-0. Despite this, they played pretty well against third-placed Bordeaux and will look to bounce back against struggling Toulouse. The men in purple were subjected to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Marseille at the Stade Velodrome. The goals were scored by Florian Thauvin and Lucas Ocampos. They should, however, have scored five or six as they were wasteful in front of goal, Alban Lafont also making a string of impressive saves. Guingamp are rightfully favourites here and should cruise to victory. Good value here at 21/20.

9/10 Rennes | 47/20 | Caen 31/10 (20:00)

I was actually pretty impressed with Stade Rennais here as they managed to grab a credible 2-2 draw with St. Etienne who have been one of the surprise packages this season. The highlight of the match had to be Benjamin Bourigeaud’s audacious chip to open the scoring. Having said all of that, they’ve only won once in their last five matches. Caen have been in brilliant touch of late, winning four of their last five matches. They’ve only conceded three times in the process and may well fancy themselves against a Stade Rennais side who haven’t been particularly good of late. Caen offer massive value here at 31/10 – get on!

23/20 Dijon | 9/4 | Strasbourg 5/2 (20:00)

Dijon were involved in the game of the week last time out as they snatched a 3-3 draw away at Lyon. That draw would have done them a world of good, having lost both of their previous matches. The draw also saw them climb out of the relegation zone as Lille dropped below them following their defeat against Monaco. Strasbourg, on the other hand, remain second from bottom and without a win in their last five matches, losing each of their last four clashes. They’ll be desperate to turn things around against Dijon, however, it looks unlikely following their opposition’s rousing display last week. Back the home side here at 23/20.

Sunday 1 October

22/10 Troyes | 22/10 | St. Etienne 13/10 (15:00)

Troyes claimed a smash and grab win against Metz at the weekend, having survived and absolute barrage from their opposition. While the win would have given them a bit of confidence, it’ll be difficult to come away with anything against St. Etienne who have made a brilliant start to the season. Despite their 2-2 home draw against Stade Rennais at the weekend, St. Etienne still find themselves in the top four ahead of the likes of Marseille and Nantes. They have one of the best defensive records in the division and will be confident of shutting out one of the worst attacks in the league. Back the visitors to Win To Nil at 49/20.

22/10 Angers | 47/20 | Lyon 5/4 (17:00)

Angers have endured a rather strange start to the season. They’ve only lost once, won once and drawn the remaining five fixtures. They’d have been annoyed not to have grabbed all three points against Nice last time out after they took a 2-0 lead in the first 34 minutes. A penalty from Mario Balotelli pulled one back, before an own goal from by Ismael Traore. Lyon played out to a disappointing 3-3 draw against Dijon last week. Dropping points against these lesser teams has hamstrung in their last few seasons. They have it all to do now against an Angers side who have proven to be one of the most difficult sides in the league to defeat. I like the draw here. Angers have become experts in grinding out these sort of results and will look to frustrate their much more illustrious opposition.

5/4 Nice | 47/20 | Marseille 21/10 (21:00)

We round off the week’s action with a potential thriller as Nice welcome Marseille to the Allianz Riviera. The hosts head into this game having to fight their back from 2-0 down to grab a share of the spoils against Angers. They’ve not really hit the heights of last season which saw them challenge the likes of Monaco and PSG for the title. Marseille appear to have turned a corner this season. They’ve played an attractive brand of football and have won their last two league fixtures. They’ll be desperate to break back into the Champions League and could signal their intent with a big win away at Nice. Marseille for me here, they’re a team on the up and should do well against a fading Nice.

TREBLE @ 31/1
St. Etienne Win To Nil 42/20
Angers vs Lyon Draw 47/20
Marseille Win 21/10

Written by Jason Dewey