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French Ligue 1 Preview

The big result from last week was obviously PSG’s shock 2-1 defeat at the hands of relegation-threatened Strasbourg
Despite losing 2-1 at Strasbourg, PSG still enjoy a nine-point lead at the top of the standings
The big result from last week was obviously PSG’s shock 2-1 defeat at the hands of relegation-threatened Strasbourg. While certainly and oddity, the outcome hasn’t really had much of an impact on the league, with the Parisians still enjoying a nine-point lead atop the standings.

St. Etienne’s trip to Marseille is probably the pick of this weekend’s results while it’ll definitely be worth keeping an eye on Bordeaux vs Strasbourg on Friday and Nantes vs Nice on Sunday.

Friday 8 December

13/20 Bordeaux | Draw 28/10 | Strasbourg 17/4 (21:45)

Bordeaux suffered their fourth defeat in six outings last week against Dijon. Despite taking a 16th-minute lead thanks to Jonathan Cafu, they would still end up going down 3-2 as the slip into the bottom half of the table for the first time this season. They face a potential banana peel this weekend in the form of Strasbourg. Strasbourg produced the result of the season so far last weekend, running out 2-1 victors against PSG. As you’d imagine, the north-eastern club needed a fair amount of luck to claim the points. They faced 29 shots and only finished with 26% possession – a freak result if ever there was one. Whether or not they’ll be so lucky this week is another story. Back Bordeaux to claim the points here.

Saturday 9 December

1/8 PSG | 7/1 | Lille 17/1 (18:00)

One gets the sense that all is not well at PSG with Neymar arguably the root of all the problems. Factionalism within the squad is taking its toll, and while log leaders are likely to canter to victory in the league, they will need a concerted team effort to claim the big one – the Champions League. They should have far too much firepower for Lille though. The northern club have managed to climb out of the relegation zone with back-to-back wins over Lyon and Toulouse, although PSG are a completely different kettle of fish. The Parisians have won five of the teams’ last six meetings with a single draw coming back at the start of 2016. Back PSG to win on the (-1) Handicap here at 3/10.

3/10 Monaco | 9/2 | Troyes 17/2 (21:00)

Monaco got back to winning ways last week against Amiens with a 1-0 victory in front of what was a pretty terrible crowd. It really does baffle me how few people actually turn up to the reigning champions’ matches every week. Enough about that, though. The men from the Principality need to start winning consistently now if they are to stand any chance of retaining their title. Troyes just can’t seem to nail down any sort of consistency at the moment as they hover just above the relegation zone. They’ve suffered back-to-back defeats against PSG and Guingamp and are likely to go down against Monaco this weekend. Home side on the (-1) Handicap here at 15/20.

15/10 Angers | 2/1 | Montpellier 2/1 (21:00)

Angers have been on a terrible run of late, losing three league fixtures on the trot. As a result, they find themselves second-bottom and three points from safety. They actually did okay against Monaco last week, only going down as a result of a second-minute header from Falcao. They’ll have it all to do again this weekend as they welcome the miserly Montpellier to Stade Raymond Kopa. Montpellier’s season has been hampered by their toothless displays in front of goal, but saved somewhat by their watertight defence. They’ve only scored 13 in 16 fixtures but have conceded just nine. Unfortunately, it generally means that they draw more often than not. These sides have drawn more than any of the other teams in the division. Hunting for a bit of value here, take Under 0.5 First Half Goals at 23/20.

21/20 Guingamp | 47/20 | Dijon 26/10 (21:00)

Guingamp arrested a pretty dire run of form which saw them go six matches without a win last week by beating Troyes away from home. While that win will have given them confidence, they know full well that one of the division’s form teams will come calling on Saturday. Dijon have rocketed up the table in recent weeks off the back of five wins in seven games. The most recent of these saw them defeat Bordeaux at home last week despite going down early on. Antoine Kombouare’s men have looked world class over the last few weeks and represent excellent value here at 26/10 – get on the away team!

12/10 Toulouse | 21/10 | Caen 5/2 (21:00)

A terrible run of results since 29 October which has seen them fail to win a Ligue 1 match in six attempts. Toulouse were beaten last week by a resurgent Lille and before that by both Nice and Dijon. They desperately need to start finding a few results lest they find themselves plying their trade in Ligue 2 next season. Caen have had a blinder of a season and currently find themselves sitting pretty in seventh place on the log. While they’ve not been in the best of form of late, the men from Normandy will still be confident in coming away with a result here. Back the away side at 5/2.

47/20 Metz | 2/1 | Stade Rennais 13/10 (21:00)

Metz have been awful this season, winning just once in the 16 outings. They’ve drawn a further one and lost 14 in a doomed campaign which will almost certainly end in relegation. Stade Rennais, on the other hand, have won six of their last seven matches in the league. Get on the away win at 13/10 – that is a massive price and not one to be missed out on.

Sunday 10 December

17/4 Amiens | 31/10 | Lyon 4/10 (16:00)

We’re off the Amiens next where the home side will face an uphill battle against a red-hot Lyon team. Amiens were soundly beaten away at Stade Rennais last weekend off the back of three straight wins against Dijon, Mets and Lille. Lyon got back to winning ways last week with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Caen. In many ways it was the perfect response following their shock 2-1 home defeat the week before against Lille. They’re the second highest scorers in the league this season but will do well to break down an Amiens side who have defended brilliantly this term. Back the away side here to edge the hosts here at 4/10.

12/10 Nantes | 2/1 | Nice 26/10 (18:00)

Nantes have been splendid at home of late, winning five matches on the spin at Stade de la Beaujoire. They’ll have that record properly tested this weekend when they host a resurgent Nice side. Claudio Ranieri’s men scrapped to a 1-1 draw away at St. Etienne last week but claimed an excellent 1-0 win over Monaco the week before. Nice have put their poor start to the season behind them. They’ve enjoyed back-to-back wins over the last two match weeks against two of the bottom three clubs. Whether or not they’ll be able to go to Nantes and put an end to their home dominance is another story. All signs point toward a home win here.

11/20 Marseille | 32/10 | St. Etienne 9/2 (22:00)

We round off the matchweek with an interesting tie between Marseille and St. Etienne. The hosts haven’t tasted defeat in their last 11 league matches and will be extremely difficult to break down – especially in front of their own fans. They earned a solid 1-1 away draw at Montpellier last week but will likely get back to winning ways this weekend. St. Etienne’s brilliant start to the season will seem like a distant memory now. The men from central France haven’t won a league match in seven attempts, and that victory came against lowly Metz. This should be a simple enough win for Marseille, back the hosts at 11/20.

TREBLE @ 7/1
Stade Rennais Win 13/10
Nantes Win 12/10
Marseille Win 11/20

Written by Jason Dewey