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French Ligue 1 Preview

French football could really catch its breath following Monaco’s dramatic 3-2 victory over Lyon
French football could really use this week to catch its breath following Monaco’s dramatic come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Lyon last week in what was a truly breathless encounter. There isn’t much in the way of marquee fixtures this week with all of the top four coming up against what would be perceived as weaker opposition. Still, there should be plenty of value on offer this week, let’s jump in!

Friday 9 February

St-Etienne 3/1
Draw 26/10
Marseille 17/20

We kick things off with what looks to be one of the more interesting fixtures of the week as Marseille make the trip to St-Etienne. The hosts will be in a confident mood heading into this tie following back-to-back wins over Caen and Amiens. They’ll need to draw on all of that confidence this week, though, as they welcome high-flying Marseille to the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard. Marseille head into this tie in buoyant mood after a 6-3 dismantling of Metz last weekend. It should also be noted that Metz only added a bit of gloss to the scoreline toward the end of the match, scoring two late goals after the Ligue 1 hopefuls took their foot of the gas. Back the away side here at a valuable 17/20.

Saturday 10 February

Toulouse 11/1
Draw 11/2
PSG 2/9

These are the sort of games that are a breeze to tip – short and sweet with minimal fuss! Despite two consecutive wins over Troyes and Nice, Toulouse are in for a torrid afternoon this Saturday when PSG come visiting. Back the Parisians on the (-1) handicap at 11/20.

Guingamp 12/10
Draw 43/20
Caen 49/20

Guingamp pulled off one of the results of the week last time out as they beat Stade Rennais 1-0 away from home. This was their first league win in four attempts and will stand them in good stead as they look to move back up the table following a mid-season slump. Caen are another side who pulled off a bit of a surprise victory last week as they beat the surprise package of the season, Nantes, 3-2 at the Stade Michel d’Ornano. Still, you struggle to see them winning again this week. Their recent form across all competitions reads LWLWLWLW. With Caen’s lack of consistency and the very obvious pattern that has emerged of late in mind, back Guingamp here at 12/10.

Bordeaux 5/10
Draw 3/1
Amiens 13/2

Bordeaux have been superb recently bouncing back from six straight defeats toward the end of last year to taking 12 out of a possible 15 points of late. What has been particularly pleasing is their newfound defensive solidity. Just three goals conceded in five matches bodes well for the Southern club as they look to make a late charge up the table. Things are looking increasingly desperate for Amiens who simply can’t escape the pull of the relegation zone. They’ve lost their last two matches against Angers and St-Etienne without scoring, a run that looks set to continue against Bordeaux and their recent defensive record. Home side is the way to go here.

Angers 47/20
Draw 24/10
Monaco 23/20

Angers are another side who are struggling to keep their heads above water with inconsistent performances keeping them well within reach of the sides currently occupying the relegation zone. Last week’s defeat would have been made all the more difficult to swallow by the fact that they took a deserved lead in the 20th minute only for Lasne and Mbenza to pull it back for Montpellier. Monaco were absolutely fantastic last week against Lyon. Despite going 2-0 down after 27 minutes, they fought back brilliantly to via goals from Keita Balde, Falcao and Rony Lopes to claim all three points and leapfrog their opposition into third place on the standings. Confidence will be high in the Principality with Monaco tipped to carry that into Saturday’s fixture – 23/20 is a top price here – get on!

Metz 21/10
Draw 2/1
Montpellier 14/10

Metz’s mauling at the hands of Marseille might well have been the nail which seals the coffin so to speak. They enjoyed a mini-revival of sorts but were promptly brought crashing back down to earth by the Southern giants and remain seven points away from safety. Montpellier’s impressive season continued as they came from behind to beat Angers at the weekend with Keagan Dolly providing an assist for the equaliser. Michel der Zakarian’s men have been magnificent against the smaller teams but have been rolled over too easily against the big guns. With this in mind, they should have no real problems against Metz. Take the away win at 14/10.

Dijon 33/20
Draw 23/10
Nice 33/20

Here’s a tough one to call. It seems like every week this division throws up at least one game that you shouldn’t be throwing any of your hard-earned money at. Dijon arrested a torrid run of form last week as they crept over the line against Stade Rennais. While they needed the win desperately, it was anything but a convincing performance. Nice’s inexorable charge up the table has now very much come to halt following back to back defeats against lowly Metz and Toulouse. Defeat against Dijon this weekend could prove disastrous as they desperately look to turn things around. Not sure here really. Play it safe and for the home side on the Win/Draw at 9/20.

Sunday 11 February

Strasbourg 9/10
Draw 24/10
Troyes 23/10

Strasbourg’s league form has been absolutely horrendous lately losing five of their last six matches. They’ll need to turn that form around when they face fellow strugglers Troyes at the weekend. Troyes are in deep trouble at the minute. They sit second-bottom of the log on 24 points and need to put a run together lest they want to be cut adrift. This is another one of those games you really want to be avoiding. Back the home win if you must have a go.

Nantes 17/20
Draw 9/4
Lille 15/4

Claudio Ranieri would have been furious after seeing his side slip to a 3-2 defeat against Caen last week. I too was pretty annoyed as the result put me out of my Ligue 1 treble – but that’s a different story. A marked improvement will be needed this weekend when relegation-threatened Lille come calling. It’s easy to see why Lille are struggling by looking at their recent form. Four defeats from five matches in all competitions sees the 2010/11 Champions struggling in the play-off/relegation place at the moment. Nantes are tipped to come away with the points here.

Lyon 5/10
Draw 34/10
Stade Rennais 5/1

Short and sweet here again: despite losing their last two league matches, Lyon will prove far too strong for Stade Rennais and should cruise to a pretty straight-forward victory. Take the (-1) Handicap for extra value at 12/10.

TREBLE @ 9/1
Marseille Win 17/20
Montpellier Win 14/10
Lyon (-1) Handicap 12/10

Written by Jason Dewey