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French Ligue 1 Preview

Monaco lost even more ground on Paris Saint-Germain as they slipped up against Lyon last Friday.
Monaco lost even more ground on Paris Saint-Germain as they slipped up against Lyon last Friday.
Monaco lost even more ground on PSG as they slipped up against Lyon last Friday evening with the Parisians battling their way to a 2-1 away win over Dijon. Elsewhere, there were wins for Toulouse, St. Etienne, Angers, Guingamp and Montpellier. This week sees a couple of tasty fixtures headlined by Marseille’s Sunday evening showdown with PSG in the south of France.

Friday 20 October

23/20 St. Etienne | Draw 21/10 | Montpellier 11/4 (20:45)

St. Etienne were forced to come from behind against a spirited Metz side at the weekend. The win saw Óscar García Junyent’s men leapfrog Marseille into third place following their 3-3 draw with relegation-threatened Strasbourg. Les Verts remain undefeated at home this term and will be confident of putting Montpellier to the sword. It’ll be easier said than done, however, as Montpellier head into this tie off the back of a magnificent 2-0 win over Nice. They’ve been a mixed bag in terms of results this season and have only picked up a single win away from home. St. Etienne are one of the divisions form sides and should be backed at 23/20.

Saturday 21 October

3/10 Monaco | 9/2 | Caen 15/2 (17:00)

It seems the wheels are coming off for the men from the Principality. Following an electric start to the season they’ve gone winless in their last two league matches, drawing at home against Montpellier and suffering a 3-2 away defeat against Lyon last time out. They’re now six points off PSG with their title defence in tatters barely a quarter of the way through the season. They’ll be desperately hoping that Marseille can do them a favour against PSG this Sunday. Caen have enjoyed an excellent run of results this season – all things considered – and find themselves keeping company with some of the division’s bigger boys in eighth place. They did have a run of two straight wins halted last time out as goals from Karl Toko Ekambi and Angelo Fulgini were enough to secure a 2-0 win for Angers. Back at home, I simply don’t see Monaco slipping up again. Back them here at 3/10 to get back winning ways.

19/20 Angers | 9/4 | Toulouse 31/10 (20:00)

Angers finally managed to get themselves a win at the weekend, with their last victory coming back on matchday 2 against Amiens. They were – as the French would say, magnifique – at the weekend away at Caen. They’ll look to make home advantage count this weekend to get their first back-to-back wins of the campaign. Toulouse were full value for their 1-0 home win over Amiens at the weekend. In truth, they could have won by a few more but will no doubt have been happy to settle for the three points. It’s worth noting that their only three wins this season have come at home. Something else to look at: they’ve played PSG, Monaco and Marseille – three of the top four – away this season already, losing those ties. Their other two away fixtures have seen them draw with Guingamp (1-1) and Troyes (0-0). The draw looks the likeliest of results here and offers decent value at 9/4.

11/10 Nantes | 43/20 | Guingamp 28/10 (20:00)

Next we’re off to the beautiful medieval town of Nantes where the home side prepare for a tasty-looking encounter against Guingamp. Nantes have enjoyed a stellar 2017/18 campaign thus far, going unbeaten after losing their first two matches. They managed a very credible 1-1 draw with Bordeaux at the weekend and will look to go one better against ‘lesser’ opposition this Saturday. Guingamp will make the trip south full of confidence after beating Stade Rennais 2-0. They dominated their opposition and could have won by four or five but for some tame first half finishing. They turned it on after the break, however, helping themselves to two unanswered goals. I expect a pretty tight affair here, get on Under 2.5 Goals at 11/20.

23/20 Stade Rennais | 22/10 | Lille 26/10 (20:00)

Stade Rennais will be looking to avoid a third defeat on the spin when they welcome a struggling Lille side to Stade de la Route de Lorient. The home side have struggled to put together any sort of run this season and find themselves 15th on the standings as a result. They’ve yet to win at home either this term, something that will have to change if they’re to finish in the top half of the table. Lille have had a shocker so far this season and find themselves floundering in 16th place on the Ligue 1 standings. They almost held out for what would have been their first win in seven attempts, however, Les Dougues’ hearts were broken in the 93rd minute as Senegalese centre-forward Adama Niane equalised from the penalty spot. Both sides have been pretty average this season. A draw looks likely here.

4/1 Amiens | 51/20 | Bordeaux 15/20 (20:00)

Amiens will have it all to do this weekend as they welcome Bordeaux to Stade de la Licorne on Saturday. The northerners have struggled this term, losing all but two of their matches thus far – a run of form that could well see them slip into the relegation zone this weekend should they suffer defeat. Bordeaux have been rock solid this season, only tasting defeat on one occasion with that loss coming away at PSG. They were only able to get a draw out of their fixture with high-flying Nantes last week, putting an end to Les Canaris’ four-game winning streak. There’s only one winner here, get on Bordeaux to get the points without much fuss.

15/10 Metz | 23/10 | Dijon 18/10 (20:00)

We’re off to northeast France next for a battle of the basement dwellers as Metz welcome Dijon to Stade Saint-Symphorien. The hosts sit bottom of the standings on three points, having lost eight of their nine fixtures. The pressure is mounting on Philippe Hinschberger and he’ll know that nothing less than a win will be required against fellow strugglers Dijon this weekend. Dijon were desperately unlucky against PSG at the weekend, going down 2-1 to the Parisian giants who ultimately sunk them via a 90th-minute Thomas Meunier winner. They’ll take a bit of heart from that performance, though and will be keen to put a bit of distance between themselves and the rest of the clubs near the bottom of the standings. Take the away win here, good value at 18/10.

Sunday 22 October

11/20 Nice | 32/10 | Strasbourg 47/10 (15:00)

Nice have now lost their last two matches on the trot against Marseille and Montpellier respectively as memories of last season’s title push quickly evaporate. They will have a chance to get their fourth win of the season this weekend, however, as they welcome a struggling Strasbourg side to the Allianz Riviera. Strasbourg have really battled to assert themselves in the league this season, winning just once in nine attempts. They have managed three draws, however, with a 3-3 stalemate against Marseille arguably the result of the season for the club. The hosts should prove far too strong for Strasbourg and should be backed at 11/20 – one for all weekend multiples.

38/10 Troyes | 3/1 | Lyon 13/20 (17:00)

Troyes have gone on a decent little run of late, beating Metz and St. Etienne while grabbing a 2-2 away draw against Nice. They find themselves on 12 points down in 12th position and will be looking to break into the top half of the table. Jean-Louis Garcia’s men have been one of the better defensive outfits this term and will need that side of their game to come to the fore as they prepare to welcome free-scoring Lyon to Stade de l'Aube. Lyon were full value for their 3-2 home win over the reigning champions over the weekend. It took a 95th-minute Nabil Fekir free-kick to secure the points as Les Gones moved up into sixth place on the standings. Lyon – and their array of stars – should prove far too strong for Troyes this weekend.

11/2 Marseille | 4/1 | PSG 4/10 (21:00)

Marseille and PSG go head to head in the headline clash of the weekend. The hosts struggled to a 3-3 draw against lowly Strasbourg at the weekend, needing an 88th-minute Kostas Mitroglou equaliser to come away with a share of the points. PSG also battled at the weekend and were made to wait for 92nd-minute winner from Thomas Meunier to claim all three points against lowly Dijon. The scoreline doesn’t tell the full story, however, as the Parisians dominated the game and wasted a whole host of chances to wrap the game up earlier. PSG actually offer a bit of value here at 4/10. Definitely one to add to all weekend multiples despite the fact that this goes down as one of France’s biggest derbies.

TREBLE @ 34/10
Bordeaux Win 15/20
Nice Win 11/20
Lyon Win 13/20

Written by Jason Dewey