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French Ligue 1 Preview

Things in the French Ligue 1 are really heating up as we head into the 13th round of action.
Things in the French Ligue 1 are really heating up as we head into the 13th round of action.
Things in Ligue 1 really are heating up as we head into the 13th round of action. PSG still lead the way from Monaco with Lyon and an ever improving Marseille making up the top four. The pick of this week’s fixtures will see PSG welcome Nantes to Paris while Sunday’s tie between Bordeaux and Marseille should prove a feisty affair.

Friday 17 November

27/20 Lille | Draw 21/10 | St. Etienne 22/10 (20:00)

We kick things off in Lille where the hosts will be looking to climb out of the relegation zone when they welcome St. Etienne to Stade Pierre-Mauroy. Lille claimed only their second win of the season when they beat bottom side Metz 3-0 at the start of November. Don’t be fooled by that result, though. Metz are terrible and would probably battle to beat Crystal Palace at the minute. St. Etienne were absolutely battered by their bitter rivals Lyon before the international break. The 5-0 scoreline perfectly reflected how far Les Verts are behind the bigger boys in French football. Lille will face much stronger opposition this week in the form of St. Etienne. Back the away side on the Win/Draw at 11/20.

5/1 Amiens | 32/10 | Monaco 11/20 (21:45)

Despite going unbeaten in three league matches, Amiens still hover perilously close to the bottom three, just a point clear of 18th-placed Strasbourg. They grabbed a solid 1-1 draw last time out against a good Montpellier side but will need to be twice as good to deal with a Monaco outfit who very much recovered from an early season wobble. Monaco have been brilliant of late, winning all three of their last league matches without conceding. More telling perhaps is the fact that they’ve scored 10 in those games with six coming on 4 November against Guingamp. Monaco are red-hot right now and should be backed on the (-1) Handicap at 27/20.

Saturday 18 November

1/10 PSG | 17/2 | Nantes 22/1 (18:00)

Like Monaco, PSG have also been back to their very best, which is bad news for Nantes. The Parisians brushed Angers aside in a 5-0 win before the internationals and will look to do the same against a plucky Nantes side. Nantes have been the surprise package of this season and find themselves up in fifth-place off the back of their excellent defence. That back four will certainly be tested pretty extensively when they visit PSG. I very much doubt they’ll be able to keep out the likes of Neymar and Edinson Cavani for 90 minutes. While Nantes are excellent defensively, they simply don’t score very many. Take PSG to Win To Nil here at 13/20.

5/4 Guingamp | 9/4 | Angers 9/4 (21:00)

Guingamp are one of the sides who’d have welcomed the timing of the international break. They’ve not been in good touch of late and need to start stringing a run of wins together if they’re to launch and assault on the top half of the table. ‎Antoine Kombouare’s men were spanked 6-0 last time out by Monaco, a result which would no doubt have dented their confidence. They should have an easier time of things against Angers this weekend though. Les Scoistes also caught a hiding in the last round of fixtures, going down 5-0 against PSG. They’ve only managed one win in six and don’t look like getting the three points this weekend. Back the home team at 5/4.

17/20 Dijon | 5/2 | Troyes 32/10 (21:00)

Dijon could well drop into the bottom three if they fail to win and certain results go against them this weekend. Olivier Dall'Oglio certainly won’t want to see his side drop any more points, regardless of where it leaves them on the table. They did grab a morale-boosting win before the internationals against Nantes and will look to carry that form into Saturday’s clash. Troyes come into this match with a pretty solid looking away record in the league. Two wins, two losses and a draw is actually pretty good for a team of their stature. Whether or not they’ll be able to overturn a Dijon side who are wildly unpredictable at home. Not really sure which way to go here, I’m leaning toward the Away Double Chance at 17/20. Avoid if possible, though.

13/10 Strasbourg | 22/10 | Rennes 43/20 (21:00)

Strasbourg will look to move out of the relegation play-off spot when they welcome Stade Rennais to Stade de la Meina. I’m not entirely sure why they’ve been priced up as favourites for this encounter following a run which has only seen them win once in six attempts. Stade Rennais, on the other hand, have been brilliant of late winning three on the trot against Lille, Montpellier and Bordeaux – hardly rubbish teams. I have to say that I’m leaning toward an away win, although you’d probably be better off backing the Totals Under 2.5 Goals at 7/10 following Rennes’ three consecutive 1-0 victories.

7/10 Toulouse | 26/10 | Metz 4/1 (21:00)

I’m going to keep this segment of the preview pretty short. Back Toulouse to win here against a woeful Metz side. Not much else I can say other than 7/10 is probably the price of the weekend.

Sunday 19 November

16/10 Caen | 21/10 | Nice 18/10 (16:00)

Caen will look to continue building on their fine start to the season when they play host to a struggling Nice outfit on Sunday. Although they’ve lost three times in their last four matches, it’s worth noting that two of those defeats came at the hands of Marseille and Monaco. The big worry will be how few goals they’ve scored this season, they’ve only managed eight in 12 matches – the third lowest in the division. Nice managed to arrest a terrible run of four straight defeats before the international break by beating Dijon 1-0. They’ve done really well in the Europa League this season but simply haven’t managed to translate that form into domestic success. As much suggests that there is quality in the squad, perhaps they’re just struggling with the weight of expectation after such a fine 16/17 campaign? I don’t see many goals here. Play it safe and back Under 2.5 Goals at 6/10.

4/10 Lyon | 38/10 | Montpellier 6/1 (18:00)

Another one we can keep short and sweet. Lyon have been in magnificent form. They lashed St. Etienne 5-0 last time out away from home and should have no problem turning Montpellier over at home. Get on at 4/10.

13/10 Bordeaux | 49/20 | Marseille 2/1 (22:00)

We round the week’s action in Bordeaux with a southern derby. Unfortunately the home team have struggled for results after a bright start to the season and have slipped down to ninth on the table. They’ve not won in five in the league and may well struggle to contain a free-flowing Marseille outfit. Marseille, on the other hand, haven’t lost in five, winning four and drawing once. They smashed Caen last time out, winning 5-0 and will be extremely confident heading into this weekend’s tie with their neighbours. Get on Marseille at excellent odds of 2/1. Definitely something you’ll want to add to weekend multiples beef them up a bit!

TREBLE @ 11/1
Monaco (-1) Handicap 27/20
Toulouse Win 7/10
Marseille Win 2/1

Written by Jason Dewey