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French Ligue 1 Preview

PSG extended their lead at the top of the standings last week with a massive 4-0 win over Montpellier
PSG extended their lead at the top of the standings last week with a massive 4-0 win over Montpellier
PSG extended their lead at the top of the Ligue 1 standings last week with a massive 4-0 win over Montpellier in Paris with Lyon, Marseille and Monaco all dropping points. This week’s biggest fixture sees Lyon travel to the principality to face Monaco on Sunday evening. It’ll also be worth keeping an eye on Marseille’s home fixture against Metz.

Friday 2 February

Marseille 1/4
Draw 5/1
Metz 17/2

We kick things off this week with what could be one of the fixtures of the round as Marseille welcome a resurgent Metz outfit to the Stade Velodrome. Marseille were held to a 2-2 draw last time out by Monaco. While not the best result in the world, Rudi Garcia would have been happy to come away with something and will look to his side breeze past Metz. Metz’ resurgence has been nothing short of phenomenal. They were winless after 17 rounds of action and were well adrift of safety. They were excellent last week as they beat Nice at the Stade Saint-Symphorien. While they’re a team on the up, I just don’t think they’ll be able to compete with this Marseille side, especially away from home. Take Marseille to win at 1/4 – you can even back them on the (-1) Handicap at 13/20 if you’re looking for more value. Rather be on the safe side though and go for the straight win.

Saturday 3 February

Montpellier 19/20
Draw 43/20
Angers 34/10

Montpellier were smartly beaten last week by PSG at the Parc de Princes. The defeat was only their second in 12 outings, so Keagan Dolly and co. should be able to bounce right back, especially against a struggling Angers outfit. Angers did manage to grab a win last time out as they beat Amiens 1-0 thanks to an early goal from Pierrick Capelle. While the win moved them out of immediate relegation danger, they’ll do well to be weary of a Montpellier side who have been very strong at home this season. Get on Montpellier to get the job done here at 19/20.

Lille 13/1
Draw 6/1
PSG 2/11

You really can’t see any other result here other than a pretty comfortable win for PSG. I won’t get into the nitty-gritty as it hardly seems necessary for this fixture. Take the away side on the (-1) Handicap at 5/10.

Nice 8/10
Draw 5/2
Toulouse 36/10

Nice fans would have been raging last weekend as their team went down away at bottom club Metz. That defeat put an end to a run of three games without defeat. They won’t have time to dwell on the result though with a trip to second-bottom Toulouse on the horizon. Toulouse will take heart from Metz’ performance last week. If the bottom club can get over Balotelli and co. there’s absolutely no reason the second-bottom club can’t come away with something. Mickael Debeve’s side do come into this match off the back of a solid 1-0 against Troyes but will face a much sterner test this weekend – a test they’re likely to fail. Nice to win here at 8/10.

Troyes 15/10
Draw 9/4
Dijon 37/20

Troyes have been on a terrible run of late and have very much been dragged into a relegation scrap. They’ve only picked up three points out of a possible 15 and were beaten by fellow strugglers Toulouse last week. They go up against Dijon who have done pretty well since their 8-0 mauling at the hands of PSG a couple of weeks ago. They got back to winning ways last weekend, beating Stade Rennais 2-1 at the Stade Gaston-Gerard. It’s worth keeping in mind that they’ve only managed a single win away from home this season. With this in mind, take the hosts on the Double Chance at 4/10.

Strasbourg 2/1
Draw 43/20
Bordeaux 29/20

Strasbourg were sunk last week by a 91st minute Edgar Le goal as they lost for the first time in three matches. They’ll be happy to return home this weekend where they’ve been solid for the most part. Bordeaux picked up the result of the week last time out with a superb 3-1 over Lyon. Unfortunately, the match will be remembered more for Tottenham and Arsenal target, Malcolm’s ridiculous penalty-winning dive in the first half. The away win is tipped here – Bordeaux have turned a corner and are flying back up the table. Big value here at 29/20.

Amiens 31/20
Draw 2/1
St. Etienne 39/20

There always seems to be one of those games that you really should be avoiding in Ligue 1, and this is one of them. There really is no form to show between these sides and the betting seems to suggest that even the bookies are concerned. Avoid this one at all costs. Back the draw if you must have a go.

Sunday 4 February

Stade Rennais 19/20
Draw 47/20
Guingamp 29/10

I was pretty disappointed with Stade Rennais last week as they went down 2-1 away at Dijon. They had been excellent before that defeat, winning against Angers, Lille and Toulouse in recent weeks. They will, however, most certainly fancy their chances against a woefully out-of-form Guingamp. Antoine Kombouar√©’s men are in freefall at the moment, losing all four of their most recent matches in all competitions. They put up very little fight last week as they were comprehensively rolled at home by Nantes. The home win is tipped here with confidence.

Caen 18/10
Draw 2/1
Nantes 17/10

Caen’s horrible run of form continued as they were beaten 2-1 by St. Etienne last week. They’ve now only managed a single league win in 10 attempts as their earlier form has all but abandoned them, a couple more losses and they could well find themselves in the relegation zone. Nantes, on the other hand, are a team on the up and should really have very little trouble against Caen. Despite losing two of their last four matches (against Bordeaux and PSG), they have proven this season that they’re ready to run with the big boys under the leadership of Claudio Ranieri. Back the away side here – probably one of the best bets of the weekend.

Monaco 29/20
Draw 5/2
Lyon 7/4

We wrap up this weekend’s action with a tie between Monaco and Lyon. Monaco managed a 2-2 draw away at Marseille last weekend. That result put an end to Rudi Garcia’s six-match winning streak across all competitions. A win here for the men from the Principality will also see them climb back into the Champions League spots so expect a big performance. Lyon were surprisingly thumped 3-1 away at Bordeaux last weekend. Very few saw the result coming, especially after Bruno Genesio’s men defeated both PSG and Monaco in January. You simply can’t ignore Monaco’s excellent home record. Back them to come out on top here at 29/20.

TREBLE @ 11/2
Marseille Win 1/4 
Stade Rennais Win 19/20
Nantes Win 17/10

Written by Jason Dewey