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French Ligue 1 Preview

PSG recorded a massive 3-0 win over Marseille last week as they extended their lead atop the standings
PSG recorded a 3-0 win over Marseille last week as they extended their lead atop the standings
PSG recorded a massive 3-0 win over Marseille last week as they extended their lead atop the standings with Monaco and Lyon all dropping points. Looking ahead to this weekend’s fixtures, Bordeaux’s trip to Monaco looks to be the fixture of the round while Marseille and Nantes round the weekend’s action off with what could be a cracking tie.

Friday 2 March

Nice 15/20
Draw 49/20
Lille 38/10

Nice have earned two hard-fought draws in a row against strong opposition but now need to kick on against relegation-threatened Lille. While they’ve not got much left to play for in the league, Lucien Favre will be all too aware how important it is to finish the season strong. Lille suffered a devastating loss in the context of their season last weekend, going down 2-1 at home against Angers. The result leaves Lille floundering in 19th place on the standings although they are just two points from safety. Nice – buoyed by two good results against top opposition – should prove too strong for a struggling Lille side.

Monaco 13/20
Draw 3/1
Bordeaux 4/1

Leonardo Jardim will be wondering how on earth his team managed to blow a 3-1 lead in the last 12 minutes against a talented, but underperforming Toulouse side at the weekend. The 3-3 draw left them 14 points adrift of leaders PSG and will almost certainly relinquish the title they won last season. Bordeaux were held to a 0-0 draw by Nice last time out in a game they were widely expected to win. Still, a point isn’t the worst result in the world against such unpredictable opposition. They will need to step it up this weekend though as they prepare to visit a Monaco side who will be smarting following their wobble against Toulouse last weekend. Monaco are tipped to get back to winning ways at home where they’ve been so strong this term.

Saturday 3 March

Troyes 9/1
Draw 5/1
PSG 1/4

We’ll keep this segment short. Troyes – barring a miracle – will not come away with anything here, even against a Neymar-less PSG. Take the home side on the (-1) handicap at 13/20.

Metz 31/20
Draw 43/20
Toulouse 37/20

Metz halted their run of four losses on the spin with a 2-2 draw away at Guingamp last week in a game they would have been disappointed not to have won. An 86th-minute equaliser from Lucas Deaux meant it was two points dropped rather than one gained for the bottom club. Toulouse were magnificent last weekend, overturning a 3-1 deficit to draw 3-3 with the defending champions at Stadium Municapal. The result would have no doubt lifted the players who will now look to put a bit of space between themselves and the rest of the relegation scrappers. A cagey affair is expected, but I think that Toulouse’s quality should come to the fore here. The away win is tipped at 37/20.

Amiens 21/10
Draw 2/1
Stade Rennais 29/20

Amiens took a step toward safety last week as they beat high-flying Nantes in what was arguably the result of the matchweek. Their form prior to that win saw them pick up just one point from a possible 12. They’ll have it all to do once again this weekend when Stade Rennais come calling. Sabri Lamouchi’s men picked up a regulation 2-0 over Troyes at the weekend as they moved into seventh place. They’ll be looking to make it two in a row as their push to be crowned “the best of the rest” behind PSG, Monaco, Marseille and Lyon. You don’t see many goals in this fixture, and while I think Rennes should edge it, err on the side of safety and take Under 2.5 Goals at 5/10.

St. Etienne 15/20
Draw 26/10
Dijon 37/10

We’re off to Stade Geoffroy-Guichard next where St. Etienne are set to do battle with Dijon on Saturday evening. St. Etienne have been on an excellent run of late, picking up 11 points from a possible 15 after a terrible mid-season slump. They’re back at home this weekend after picking up a credible away draw against Lyon at the weekend and will be confident of grabbing three points here. Dijon have also been on a good run, only losing once in five – a defeat that came away at second-placed Monaco. They were utterly dominant last weekend as they brushed Caen aside with minimal fuss. This weekend’s fixture will prove the real test though, as St. Etienne look to break into the top half of the table. You simply can’t ignore the home side’s form here. As such, they should be backed to win.

Angers 11/10
Draw 22/10
Guingamp 11/4

Angers moved out of the relegation zone last weekend with a superb 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Lille. It was their first win following three consecutive defeats and they’ll hope that they can gain another valuable three points with fixtures against Bordeaux and PSG on the horizon. Guingamp have become draw specialists over the last three rounds after stalemates against Caen, Montpellier and Metz. They’ll now be looking at converting these promising positions into wins, something I expect them to do against Angers at the weekend.

Sunday 4 March

Caen 11/10
Draw 22/10
Strasbourg 26/10

Caen have struggled of late after a mid-season purple patch saw them rocket up the table. Draws against Guingamp and Stade Rennais were most recently followed up by a 2-0 defeat away at Dijon. Things will get slightly easier this weekend as an inconsistent Strasbourg come calling. In 14th place and realistically one result away from being pulled into the relegation zone, Strasbourg need to find some consistency from somewhere. They will look to get the balling rolling against Caen with very winnable fixtures against Toulouse and Metz to look forward to. This is not the sort of game I’d generally have a go on. No real form to speak of here, however, Caen do look a decent enough bet to claim the points here. Not one for the weekend multiples this.

Montpellier 39/20
Draw 9/4
Lyon 29/20

This should be an absolute cracker of a tie with Montpellier coming into the clash having only tasted defeat twice in 16 league matches. They were held to a 0-0 draw last time out against Strasbourg but will be confident of turning over a Lyon side who have simply crumbled over the last few weeks. It’s incredible to think that Lyon haven’t won in five matches and are now a massive 21 points off of league leaders PSG. It wasn’t all that long ago when they looked the most likely to catch the Parisians if they were to slip up. Both sides have drawn their last two matches, a trend that is tipped to continue this weekend at 9/4.

Marseille 11/20
Draw 31/10
Nantes 5/1

We round off the weekend’s action with a tasty clash between Marseille and Nantes. Marseille were disappointingly turned over last weekend by PSG but will be confident of bouncing back against a Nantes side who haven’t been in the best form of late. Claudio Ranieri’s men haven’t managed a win in their last four matches and will be desperate to upset the odds away at Marseille. That seems unlikely, however, if last week’s tame 1-0 defeat against Amiens is anything to go by. Get on the home win here at 11/20.

TREBLE @ 7/1
Nice Win 15/20
PSG (-1) Handicap 13/20
Toulouse Win 37/20

Written by Jason Dewey