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French Ligue 1 Preview

Paris Saint-Germain will look to go further clear at the top of the table when they host Monaco this weekend.
PSG will look to go further clear at the top of the table when they host Monaco on Sunday.
We had a bit of a nightmare last week in terms of our tips for Ligue 1 last week with Monaco dropping points against Amiens, Lille beating St. Etienne, as well as Marseille and Lyon both failing to win. Looking ahead, the biggest fixture in matchweek 14 will see PSG travel to Monaco. Elsewhere, a resurgent Lille will look to grab their second win on the spin, while Metz will want to build on last week’s draw with Toulouse when they welcome Amiens to Stade Saint-Symphorien.

Friday 24 November

17/20 St. Etienne | Draw 49/20 | Strasbourg 32/10 (21:45)

We kick things off with a Friday evening clash between St. Etienne and Strasbourg. The hosts really have struggled of late following an excellent start to the season. Their 5-1 home drubbing at the hands of Lyon was followed up by a 3-1 defeat away at second bottom Lille. They absolutely have to win this weekend to restore an increasingly hostile fan base’s trust, and what better way to do so than to spank relegation-threatened Strasbourg? That’ll be easier said than done. You never really know which Strasbourg side is going to turn up. They’re a team that goes from drawing with Lyon to beating Nice to getting thrashed by Troyes. Thierry Laurey’s side certainly is the league’s biggest enigma at the moment, something that will have to change if they want to start moving up the table. I’d advise you to avoid this game, but if you must have a go, take the home win at 17/20.

Saturday 25 November

14/10 Rennes | 2/1 | Nantes 43/20 (18:00)

Stade Rennais disappointingly had their three-match winning streak snapped by Strasbourg last week with things set to get even more difficult as they prepare to host Nantes. Prior to their loss last week, they beat Bordeaux, Montpellier and Lille 1-0. As much suggests they don’t score very many. It was strange to see just how badly Nantes defended against PSG last week in their 4-1 defeat. This is especially true when you consider the fact that they’ve built their reputation this season around being defensively sound. Perhaps it’s something we can put down to nerves – playing away at the club that many believe will win the Champions League is no easy task. A side that battles to score against one of the best defences in the league? Get on the Under 2.5 Goals market at 5/10.

5/4 Dijon | 22/10 | Toulouse 9/4 (21:00)

Dijon have actually surprised me of late. They’ve put together a number of good results, winning three of their last four matches. They were excellent last time out despite going a goal down against Troyes, running out 3-1 winners. I was so disappointed with Toulouse at the weekend. They were unable to break down a lowly Metz side who played 69 minutes of the fixture with 10 men after Falloi Diagne was sent off. They’re now three matches without a win and may well struggle against a Dijon side who have put together a good run of form. Back the hosts here.

43/20 Troyes | 22/10 | Angers 13/10 (21:00)

Troyes are another one of those sides that have battled for consistency this term. They’re brilliant one week and awful the next. Dijon breezed past them last time out, claiming a 3-1 win despite going a goal down early on as Troyes crumbled and fell away. Angers grabbed a decent 1-1 draw away at Guingamp last week, although they’ll need more than that to put their fears of being sucked into a relegation fight to bed. They have a great opportunity to do just that this weekend, where three points could potentially see them move from 16th to eighth on the standings. This is yet another game I’d avoid have a go on. Angers probably shade it for me though and look decent value at 13/10.

12/10 Montpellier | 21/10 | Lille 26/10 (21:00)

Montpellier have played out to back-to-back draws over the last two match weeks but will be confident of getting back to winning ways against a lowly Lille side. They’re not too far off the top six and a good run now could see them break into the top four before the season is out. Wishful thinking for their fans, I know, but there definitely is enough quality in the squad for a push. Lille were soundly beaten by Amiens last week, despite winning their two previous games. They are still within touching distance of safety, with three points likely to bump them out of the bottom two. I just don’t see it happening though. Montpellier are too good a side to lose out against Lille. Home win for me at 12/10.

14/10 Metz | 43/20 | Amiens 21/10 (21:00)

Metz have been absolutely terrible this season, having only won once this season. They did manage to pick up their fourth point of the season with a combative 0-0 draw away at Toulouse. I still don’t see them picking up a win this weekend though against an Amiens side who are unbeaten in six. Back the away side at 21/10.

9/4 Caen | 21/10 | Bordeaux 27/20 (21:00)

Behind the Monaco vs PSG match, this looks to be the fixture of the weekend! Caen are flying high in sixth position despite a run which has seen them win only once in their last five matches. Their home form, on the other hand, has been excellent. They’ve only lost once in six at Stade Michel d'Ornano, and will be confident of turning over Bordeaux on Saturday evening. The men from the south of France were somewhat lucky to escape with a point against Marseille last week. They were decidedly second best and probably should have been two or three behind when their neighbours snatched an injury-time equaliser. Bordeaux are without a win in six and will likely battle at Caen. Take the home side on the Win/Draw at 11/20.

Sunday 26 November

9/4 Nice | 5/2 | Lyon 23/20 (16:00)

Nice finally look as though they’re coming right after a shocking start to the season. They’ve not lost in two fixtures, beating Dijon 1-0 before earning a 1-1 draw away at high-flying Caen. They’ll have it all to do this weekend, however, when Lyon come calling. Lyon would have been disappointed not to come away with all three points last week as they were held to a 0-0 stalemate at home by Montpellier. They certainly had the better of their opposition, pressing high up the pitch and winning the ball regularly but could not find the breakthrough. Perhaps they missed Nabil Fekir who was serving a one-match suspension. He’ll be back this weekend though. With Fekir in the side, Lyon look a differnet beast. Back them to come out on top here.

5/10 Marseille | 33/10 | Guingamp 47/10 (18:00)

Marseille shot themselves in the foot against Bordeaux last week as they could only manage a 1-1 draw away from home. Sloppy play gifted the visitors a goal in the third minute. They would go on to dominate the match with over 65% possession but had to wait until virtually the last kick of the match to equalise, missing a slew of excellent chances. Guingamp have battled in recent weeks as their slide down the table continues. They could only manage a 1-1 draw with Angers last week and stand very little chance against a Marseille side that will attack them from the start. Back Marseille to come out on top here.

36/10 Monaco | 7/2 | PSG 6/10 (22:00)

Monaco have been exhilarating and frustrating in equal parts this season. They went into last week’s match against Amiens off the back of three straight victories, but could only manage a 1-1 draw in Northern France. The draw means they now sit six points behind PSG, making this weekend’s fixture an absolute must win if they’re to keep their title defence alive. PSG have been in sumptuous form of late and have yet to taste defeat this season in the league. They’ll face a difficult away trip to the Principality but will be confident of bullying their opposition in front of what is normally a pretty docile crowd. PSG are tipped to come away with all three points here.

TREBLE @ 64/10
Amiens Win 21/10
Marseille Win 5/10
PSG Win 6/10

Written by Jason Dewey