French Ligue 1 Preview

This weekend’s action is headlined by Le Classique as PSG welcome Marseille on Sunday
This weekend’s action is headlined by Le Classique as PSG welcome Marseille on Sunday
Lyon blew it again last weekend as they let a two-goal lead slip as they drew with Lille in what was the shock result of the week. PSG, Monaco and Marseille all claimed wins. Things got direr for Angers and Metz at the bottom of the table with both sides losing. This weekend’s action is headlined by Le Classique as PSG welcome Marseille on Sunday’s headline fixture. Elsewhere, Bordeaux play host to Nice while Monaco make the trip to Toulouse.

Friday 23 February

Strasbourg 37/20
Draw 2/1
Montpellier 33/20

Strasbourg would have been confident of upsetting PSG after they took a shock sixth-minute lead last weekend but would ultimately go down 5-2. The Parisians roared back into the match scoring three times in the space of 12 minutes to end Strasbourg’s hopes of an unlikely win. The defeat sees them remain just four points clear of the relegation zone, a win this weekend is a must then. Despite getting a point at home against Guingamp, Montpellier would have been annoyed not to come away with more against what would have been perceived to be inferior opposition. Despite this, they’re still sixth on the standings and are tipped to squeak past Strasbourg at 33/20.

Saturday 24 February

Toulouse 3/1
Draw 51/20
Monaco 9/10

You feel as though Toulouse just need to keep their young squad together for another season before they really kick on and start pushing for the top half of the table. The relegation cloud remains above their heads at the moment and last week’s 0-0 draw away at Amiens did very little to alleviate the tension around the club. Monaco’s fine run of form continued as they cruised past Dijon 4-0 last week. You feel as though they won’t really have to get out of second gear this weekend as they travel to struggling Toulouse. The away side is the only way to go here – they’ve won their last two league matches 4-0 and should take the points on Saturday.

Nantes 7/10
Draw 51/20
Amiens 9/2

Nantes are without a win in their last three league matches as they begin to wobble under the pressure. Back-to-back draws against Nice and Lille were preceded by a shock 3-2 defeat at the hands of Caen. They have the ideal opportunity to get back to winning ways this weekend against relegation-threatened Amiens. Amiens are now without a win in their last four matches and will do well to get anything out of this weekend’s tie with Nantes. They did snap a run of three straight defeats last weekend as they drew 0-0 with fellow strugglers Toulouse. I simply don’t see Amiens being able to overcome Nantes, despite the fact that the hosts have no real form to speak of. Get on the home win at 7/0.

Guingamp 9/10
Draw 24/10
Metz 31/10

Guingamp remain in 10th spot on the standings following their 1-1 draw with Montpellier last weekend. In many ways it was a positive result, especially against one of the better sides in the league. Still, they’ll want to convert more of their draws into wins if they are to start challenging for top six honours. They have the opportunity to do just that as bottom side Metz come calling. Metz suffered their fourth-straight league defeat at the hands of Troyes last weekend and remain nine points adrift of safety. Guingamp should be far too good here for a Metz side who look resigned to the fact that they’ll be playing Ligue 2 football from next season.

Lille 5/4
Draw 21/10
Angers 24/10

No matter how hard they try Lille just can’t seem to get clear of the relegation zone. As it stands, they’re one point clear of 18th-placed Amiens. They showed they have the fight required to survive last week as they came from 2-0 down against Lyon to draw 2-2. Could that result be the catalyst they need to kick on? Time will tell. Angers are in deep trouble at the moment, and sit second bottom of the Ligue 1 standings. They will know, however, that a win against Lille will see them leapfrog their opposition and possibly climb out of the bottom three depending on whether or not other results go their way. Lille have the momentum coming into this match and should claim all three points.

Dijon 12/10
Draw 23/10
Caen 23/10

Dijon unsurprisingly had their two-match winning run brought to an end by a dominant Monaco side last week. Olivier Dall’Oglio will need to write that result off and focus on a very winnable fixture against Caen. Caen are undefeated in their last three league matches – a run they’ll look to extend when they make the trip to Dijon. They earned a very credible 2-2 draw against Stade Rennais last week, a week after being held to a 0-0 stalemate against Guingamp. Their fans will be hoping to see them convert more of these draws into wins, starting this weekend. Back the away side on the Double Chance here at 6/10.

Stade Rennais 7/10
Draw 26/10
Troyes 17/4

Stade Rennais followed up their fine 2-0 victory over Lyon with a rather disappointing 2-2 draw away at Caen. They’ll be confident of getting back to winning ways this weekend though with Troyes set to arrive at Roazhon Park on Saturday. Despite claiming a 1-0 win over Metz last weekend, Troyes still find themselves in a relegation scrap, and things are only set to get more difficult with fixtures against Stade Rennais, PSG and Nantes on the horizon. A win this weekend is key then, however, unlikely it may seem. Stade Rennais are a much better side and should have the measure of Troyes.

Sunday 25 February

Bordeaux 21/20
Draw 23/10
Nice 26/10

Despite coming unstuck against Marseille last week, Bordeaux still look good value to grab the points against Nice. Prior to that defeat, they had won four on the spin beating both Nantes and Lyon in the process. Nice are on a terrible run at the moment, losing five and drawing one of their last six matches. They have it all to do this weekend against Bordeaux who have started to stir after a disappointing first half of the season. Take the home side to win here.

Lyon 5/10
Draw 7/2
St. Etienne 9/2

Lyon’s dreadful run continued last weekend as they threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with relegation-threatened Lille. I’m not quite sure what’s going on over there. They’re the one side who looked as though they could challenge PSG’s dominance this season. Memphis Depay and co seem nervous at the moment, even in commanding situations against the weaker clubs in the division. St. Etienne will smell blood then when they visit the Groupama Stadium. They’ve not tasted defeat in four matches, including last weekend’s solid 1-0 away win against Angers. Jean-Louis Gasset has definitely turned a corner with his side and will be confident of at least a draw on Sunday. Take St. Etienne on the Win/Draw here with confidence at 14/10.

Paris Saint-Germain 1/4
Draw 11/2
Marseille 8/1

Le Classique rounds off the weekend’s action as Marseille make the trip to Paris to face PSG. It’ll be the first of two matches between the sides in the space of four days with the French Cup Quarter-Final taking place on Wednesday. PSG bounced back well from their 3-1 defeat at the hands of Real Madrid in the Champions League as they brushed Strasbourg aside, winning 5-2. Of course, Marseille are a different prospect altogether. They smashed Braga 3-0 in the Europa League before claiming the three points against Bordeaux on Sunday evening. They’re in fine fettle at the moment, having not tasted defeat in eight fixtures. This fixture will have goals in it, take Both Teams to Score here at 11/20 – absolute banker this.

TREBLE @ 7/1
PSG vs Marseille BTTS 11/20
Monaco Win 9/10
Montpellier Win 33/20

Written by Jason Dewey