French Ligue 1: Gameweek 35 Preview

Kylian Mbappe and  Giovani Lo Celso  celebrating

With just four weeks of the French Ligue 1 season left, there’s still much to play for. The two Champions League spots are still up for grabs with Monaco, Lyon and Marseille all in the running. At the bottom of the table, Metz are all but gone while Lille and Troyes need to start picking up points now unless they want to face the ignominy of relegation. There are no real standout fixtures this week, however, there’s plenty of value to be had. Let’s get into it:

R100 FICA
Friday 27 April

Montpellier 15/10 
Draw 21/10 
St. Etienne 19/10
(20:45)


Montpellier have lost their last two encounters heading into this game. A 3-1 defeat at home against Bordeaux was followed up by a 1-0 loss against Nice last week. Michel der Zakarian will demand more from his charges heading into their final four games of the season. They’ll face stiff opposition, however, in the form of St. Etienne. Les Verts have won two on the spin against Strasbourg and Troyes. Those victories were preceded by a magnificent 1-1 draw with PSG – a match which they completely and utterly dominated. They’re undefeated in 11 games and appear to be cresting right at the end of the campaign. The away side have all of the momentum here – back them at 19/10.

Saturday 28 April

Lyon 3/10  
Draw 17/4 
Nantes 15/2 
(17:00)

Lyon are the form team in the league at the moment having won each of their last six league encounters, scoring 19 times in the process. Nantes’ form has gone off a cliff in recent weeks, having picked up three points from a possible 15. With all of this in mind, take Lyon to clear the (-1) Handicap at 8/10.

Strasbourg 21/10 
Draw 23/10 
Nice 13/10 
(20:00)

Although not mathematically safe, Strasbourg will be pretty confident of beating the drop. Another win won’t do their chances any harm, though. They’ve struggled to pick up wins in the latter part of the season which has seen them slip down the standings. Their last win came in mid-February when they defeated Troyes 2-1. Nice are on a completely differnet trajectory at the minute. They find themselves in fifth place as the best of the rest following an excellent 1-0 win over a strong Montpellier side last week. This is a game that Lucien Favre will be targeting along with their home tie against Caen in two weeks. Their other two remaining fixtures see them face Marseille and Lyon away from home. Nice should prove too strong for Strasbourg here, big value at 13/10.

Monaco 2/9  
Draw 52/10 
Amiens 11/1 
(20:00)

Monaco have suffered two stinging defeats in their last two matches. A 7-1 thrashing at the hands of newly-crowned champions, PSG, was followed by a 3-1 demolition at the hands of mid-table Guingamp. Failure to win this week could see them drop out of the Champions League places altogether. If you look at the teams around them at the moment, Amiens are red hot. They’ve won three of their last four league matches and have suffered just one defeat in six matches. That one defeat came against in-form Lyon. They’ll be quietly confident heading into Saturday’s fixture. Although I’d like to see Amiens win this, I just think Monaco will be too good at home. Back the men from the Principality to claim all three points at 2/9.

Troyes 12/10  
Draw 43/20 
Caen 24/10 
(20:00)

Troyes are in very real danger of falling into the automatic relegation places if they don’t start picking up points. They’ve lost four on the spin against Nice, Guingamp, Marseille and St. Etienne. Of course their cause isn’t helped by the fact that after this weekend’s fixture against Caen, they face Lyon, Montpellier and Monaco. Caen are another side whose form has all but abandoned them of late. They’ve picked up just one point in their last six matches and have tumbled down the standings as a result. They appear to just be fulfilling fixtures at this point before going again next season. It’s a shame really, as they really were pushing hard in the top half of the table not so long ago. Troyes are fighting for their lives and could definitely come away with the points here. Speculative, but back the hosts to come out on top.

Bordeaux 11/20  
Draw 3/1 
Dijon 47/10 
(20:00)

Bordeaux head into this week’s fixture against Dijon off the back of a narrow 1-0 loss against PSG. Gus Poyet’s men would have taken plenty of heart from the result despite the loss. They had won their last two matches prior to last week’s defeat and will be confident of finishing the season on a high. Dijon have experienced a mixed bag in terms of results of late and will do well to come away with anything from this weekend’s fixture. They shipped five against Lyon at the weekend and now have the worst defensive record in the division – something else to be mindful of when looking at punting on this fixture. I’ve looked through all of the exotics and nothing really jumps out at me. Take the home side on the straight win at 11/20.

Lille 9/10  
Draw 49/20 
Metz 3/1 
(20:00)

Make no mistake, this is a massive fixture for Lille. A win here could well see them move out of the automatic relegation places into the promotion/relegation spot. It really has been a miserable season for the 2010/11 champions who will have their sights set on Metz this week and Toulouse next week. Failure to win at least one of those two games will likely see them finish 18th at best. Metz aren’t quite done and dusted yet. They can still survive this season but need to start converting more of their draws into wins. They’ve only lost once in five matches, drawing three and winning one. There have been brief sparks of hope lately, but a big win against Lille this weekend will bring the belief back to a team who looked dead and buried at the midway point of the season. Get on the Away Win/Draw here at 8/10.

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Sunday 29 April

Stade Rennais 17/20  
Draw 49/20 
Toulouse 33/10 
(15:00)

Stade Rennais are without a win in their last four matches and risk falling even further down the standings as the season winds down. They did manage a 1-1 draw against Nantes last week after being shocked by a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Metz two weeks ago. Toulouse had yet to play their midweek fixture at the time of writing, however, they did manage to pick up a precious three points against Angers at the weekend. I can’t really comment here until we get work of their result against Caen on Wednesday evening. If I were to put my head on the chopping block, I’d back Toulouse on the Win/Draw at 5/10.

Angers 33/10  
Draw 11/4 
Marseille 8/10 
(17:00)

Angers look very much like a team who are going through the motions at the moment. They’ve not really got anything to play for at the minute and it’s shown in recent results. They were soundly beaten by Toulouse at the weekend. Marseille on the other hand are playing like a team who want to qualify for the Champions League. They’ve picked up 10 points from a possible 12 of late and will be desperate to finish second and gain automatic qualification into the Europe’s showpiece event. Massive value on Marseille here at 8/10 – make sure to add to all weekend multiples.

PSG 1/12  
Draw 9/1 
Guingamp 25/1 
(21:00)

Guingamp did well to beat Monaco last week but will battle when they come up against the new Champions. PSG are yet to drop a single point at home this term and have conceded just 11 times at the Parc des Princes. Take the home side to Win to Nil at 13/20.

TREBLE @ 8/1
St. Etienne win 19/10
Lyon (-1) 8/10
Marseille win 8/10

Written by Jason Dewey

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