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French Ligue 1: Gameweek 20 Preview

PSG boast a massive 17-point gap at the top of the Ligue 1 standings despite playing two games less than Lille in second place as league action returns after the festive season break. 

PSG are away at Amiens on Saturday, while Lyon are at home against Reims. Elsewhere, Montpellier and St. Etienne will be confident of bagging away wins against Guingamp and Dijon respectively, while the weekend’s action is rounded off by Monaco’s trip to Marseille. 

Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore

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Friday 11 January

Lyon 9/20 
Draw 7/2 
Reims 6/1 

Lyon’s patchy domestic form has all but crippled them in a season which promised so much before a ball was kicked. As it stands, the best they can hope for is a Champions League spot. They’ve only managed to pick up two wins in their last five league fixtures, with two draws as well as a shock home defeat against Stade Rennais, which is exactly the sort of results that have held them back this season. Minnows Reims will be all too aware of Lyon’s tendency to wobble domestically. David Guion’s men have enjoyed a superb return to the big time after securing promotion last season. They’ve only been beaten twice in their last nine league outings and will be quietly confident of grabbing at least a draw on Friday. Despite this confidence, I still expect the hosts to triumph at 9/20.

Saturday 12 January

Amiens 15/1 
Draw 6/1 
PSG 1/6 

PSG remain undefeated this season, winning 15 and drawing two. Amiens, meanwhile, sit 17th on the standings with just 17 points. This one isn’t rocket science. Take PSG on the (-1) Handicap at 9/20 and add to all weekend multiples.

Nice 23/20 
Draw 43/20 
Bordeaux 26/10 

Nice have endured a pretty average run of results in recent gameweeks. Three draws and a defeat in their last three games have left last season’s surprise package languishing in 10th place on the standings.  Improvement is certainly needed following the festive season break, although they caught an absolute hiding in the cup last week away at Toulouse, going down 4-1. Bordeaux also suffered a surprising exit from the cup at the weekend, going down 1-0 at home against Ligue 2’s Le Harve. Before the festive break, however, they were drawing too many games. Five stalemates in their last six league encounters sees them languishing down in 12th place. It’s worth mentioning too though that one of those draws came at home against PSG. Not sure there will be too many goals in this one with two teams low on confidence. Perhaps backing Under 2.5 Total Goals is the way to go at 11/20.

Caen 5/2 
Draw 43/20 
Lille 12/10 

Caen have been pretty abysmal this season and subsequently find themselves in 16th place. They actually did pretty well prior to the Christmas break, grabbing five points from three league encounters. They also progressed to the next round of the cup with a 1-0 win over second-tier Red Star. Lille are flying high at the minute in second place. Like their Saturday opposition, they also completed a 1-0 win over Ligue 2 opposition, dumping Sochaux out of the cup. They did wobble slightly toward the end of last year before the festive break with a 2-1 home defeat against Toulouse. They would have no doubt come back refreshed and should be far too good for out of sorts Caen. 12/10 is a great price.

Nimes 5/4 
Draw 9/4 
Angers 23/10 

Nimes have endured a torrid run of form dating back to the middle of December. They’ve lost four on the spin, which included being knocked out of both cup competitions. They suffered a humiliating hammering at the hands third-tier Lyon Duchere who dished out a 3-0 spanking to the Ligue 1 outfit. Angers suffered a similarly embarrassing defeat in the cup as they went down 1-0 away at fourth-tier Viry Chatillon. They also find themselves languishing toward the wrong end of the table. To be fair, their league form had been okay toward the end of last year, with four draws and a win keeping the relegation fight at arm’s length for the time being. Tough one to call this, with both teams returning to action with shock cup defeats. Nimes probably edge it for me, though.

Guingamp 43/20 
Draw 43/20 
St. Etienne 27/20 

I’ll keep this segment relatively short. St. Etienne have been one of the more impressive teams in the division this season while Guingamp find themselves rooted to the bottom of the standings, six points away from safety. St. Etienne at 27/20 represents wonderful value, get on!

Dijon 49/20 
Draw 9/4 
Montpellier 23/20 

It’s quite remarkable to think that Dijon were one of the early pace-setters this season. They now occupy the promotion/relegation play-off place and have won once in the league in 15 outings which tells you everything you need to know about David Linares’ team. Montpellier are enjoying another pretty good season, even if they have been a touch inconsistent. That problem seems to be affecting everyone in the league aside from PSG which is why the gap between first and second is so big. Montpellier’s league form started to fall off in mid-November after a fine run which saw them go 11 unbeaten in the league. Big value on Montpellier to get the job done here.

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Sunday 13 January

Nantes 31/20 
Draw 43/20 
Stade Rennais 37/20 

Nantes – like Nice – are also struggling to reach the heights of last season. They sit in 14th place at the minute with just five wins from their 17 fixtures. There is reason for optimism, however. Before the festive break they managed a 3-2 home win over Marseille before narrowly losing out against PSG. Stade Rennais have exceeded many people’s expectations in the first part of the season. They’ve won their last three league encounters without conceding a goal, including a stunning 2-0 away victory over Lyon. They also claimed a penalty shootout win over Brest in the cup last week. The away side should be backed on the Double Chance at 9/20. 

Toulouse 14/10 
Draw 21/10 
Strasbourg 2/1 

I’ve been pretty impressed with Toulouse this season after a very poor 2017/18 campaign. They’re in the bottom half of the standings at the moment but definitely look to be heading in the right direction. The bagged an excellent 2-1 away triumph over high-flying Lille before the festive break. Strasbourg are another side who have turned things around after a disappointing 17/18 season. They’re flying high in seventh place in the league and are one of just two teams to take points of off PSG. Another tough one to call here, but I reckon Strasbourg at 2/1 is too good a price to ignore. 

Marseille 6/10 
Draw 32/10 
Monaco 17/4 

Unfortunately, Monaco’s spectacular fall from grace means this fixture lacks the star quality that Ligue 1 organisers would have hoped for at the start of the season. Marseille have been magnificent at home this season, picking up 17 points from a possible 24 at the Orange Velodrome. They’ll make it 20 after this weekend against a very, very poor Monaco side.

TREBLE @ 6/1
PSG (-1) Handicap 9/20
St. Etienne Win 27/20
Montpellier Win 23/20

Written by Jason Dewey