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French Ligue 1: Gameweek 2 Preview

Marseille talisman Dimitri Payet

The French league will resume this weekend with 18 teams in action and plenty of value on offer from a betting perspective. Don’t miss out on our 8/1 double as well as some other selections that are well worth adding to your multiples. Good luck and happy punting!

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Standings provided by SofaScore LiveScore

Friday 28 August

Lyon 7/20
Draw 4/1
Dijon 15/2 

Lyon were impressive in the past few weeks while competing in the UEFA Champions League and upset the applecart against the likes of Juventus and Manchester City, before falling to eventual champions Bayern Munich in the semi-finals. Rudi Garcia will be sweating in the transfer market with a few top clubs linked to their hot property, 22-year old French midfielder Houssem Aouar amongst others. Lyon can’t provide European football this campaign after finishing seventh courtesy of the controversial points per game system used to complete last season, making it more difficult for their players to resist the allure of playing for the best clubs in Europe. Dijon managed to survive relegation by the skin of their teeth despite having the worst away record last season, scoring just seven times in 14 games on their travels. Last April the visitors pulled off a shock 3-1 victory at the Groupama Stadium and Les Gones will be out to avenge the humiliating defeat, my money is on Home to Win Both Halves (Yes) at 39/20.

Saturday 29 August

Rennes 19/20 
Draw 47/20
Montpellier 29/10

Rennes enjoyed a fantastic 2019/20 season qualifying for the Champions League following a third-placed finish and were unfortunate not to reach the Coupe de France final, losing 2-1 to St. Etienne in the semi-finals. Veteran Steven Nzonzi and 17-year old Eduardo Camavinga offer the Red and Blacks the perfect blend of pace, power and determination in midfield to get attacks started off in the right tempo. M'Baye Niang will be aiming to better last season’s league tally of 10 goals in 28 appearances for coach Julien Stephan. Montpellier endured poor away form winning just once in 14 matches on the road and will be keen on improving that record this campaign. South African fans will be hoping midfielder Keagan Dolly features more regularly for La Paillade, the stage is set for the 27-year old to cement first team football. Rennes did the double over the visitors last season and the winning streak is expected to continue at 19/20.

Sunday 30 August

Reims 2/1
Draw 2/1
Lille 15/10

Reims return to the Stade Auguste-Delaune II stadium after effectively letting two points slip at Monaco in a 2-2 stalemate. The Red and Whites were 2-0 up but succumbed to the pressure conceding either side of the half time whistle to settle for a share of the spoils. On home soil, David Guion’s men were tough to break down, conceding just seven goals past goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic in 14 Ligue 1 games. Lille will come into the clash without their first choice left-back Reinildo Mandava who was shown red last time out and centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes who is on the verge of joining Arsenal. Top goal-scorer Victor Osimhen has already been signed by Napoli which will further compound issues for Christophe Galtier who needs a squad that is capable of competing in both Ligue 1 and the UEFA Europa League. Under 2.5 Goals is a banker in this matchup at 5/10 but the draw is also well worth a punt a 2/1 odds.

Angers 23/20
Draw 43/20
Bordeaux 51/20

Angers kicked their 2020/21 season off with a 1-0 win at Dijon thanks to an Ismael Traore strike in the first half. Goalkeeper Paul Bernardoni will face his former-employers for the first time after signing for Angers two months ago. Bordeaux had to settle for a share of the spoils in a goalless draw against Nantes. Midfielder Mehdi Zerkane was shown a straight red card just 20 minutes into matchday one following his potential leg breaking tackle that left Les Girondins on the back foot for the rest of the match, a man down with 70 minutes to play. The hosts have won the previous two encounters between these sides and are expected to edge this game. The home win is tipped at 23/20 odds but if you’re looking for more value have a punt on Angers by 1 Goal in the Winning Margins market at 26/10.

Saint-Etienne 13/10
Draw 22/10
Lorient 22/10

Coupe de France runners-up Saint-Etienne will begin their Ligue 1 campaign when they host newly-promoted Lorient, who return to the top division after a four-season absence. Claude Puel’s Saints will be without highly-rated centre-back William Saliba who left the green of Les Stephanois for the red of Arsenal. Ryad Boudebouz and Yann M'Vila are now experienced heads in the dressing room and will need to help nurture talents like Denis Bouanga. The Gabon international was the leading goal-scorer last season and it may prove to be a good omen for Saint-Etienne, the last Gabonese forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang represented this team with distinction. Lorient returned to the top-flight with a 3-1 win against Strasbourg thanks to three goals in the second half. The visitors have Julien Laporte at the heart of their defence, brother of Man City’s Aymeric Laporte. A cagey and hard-fought affair is expected, red cards feature heavily when these sides meet. Take Draw in the Half Time market at even money, get on!

Nantes 9/10
Draw 47/20
Nimes 34/10

Nantes safely navigated out of relegation and eventually beat the drop by a 10-point margin despite struggling before the season was prematurely ended because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nimes on the other hand just managed to escape by finishing 18th and will be hoping not to get caught in another relegation dog fight like last season. The visitors need to improve on their record away from home having just picked up one win in 14 games on their travels. The last time these sides met at this stadium, Nimes reigned victorious, 4-2 winners, however expect a more tightly-contested match this time around as both sides will look to give nothing away. I fancy Nantes to edge the matchup but my money is on Both Teams to Score (No) at 6/10 odds.

Metz 26/10
Draw 24/10
Monaco 21/20

Metz were fortunate to beat the drop considering their poor record of scoring just 27 goals in 28 league games, it was last season’s second-worst, only side that were poorer was the rock bottom Toulouse who were relegated to Ligue 2. Monaco salvaged a point against Reims last time out, Nico Kovac’s men were 2-0 down after 21 minutes but fought admirably to get something out from the game. Cesc Fabregas and Stevan Jovetic are doubts ahead of this clash, if the pair are included in the starting line-up, my money will be on the away win. Go into the Total Goals (Aggregated) market and select 2-3 Goals at 19/20 odds, get on!

Strasbourg 23/20
Draw 47/20
Nice 23/10

Strasbourg suffered a 3-1 defeat last Sunday at newly-promoted Lorient, while Nice beat the other newcomers Lens by a 2-1 score-line. The hosts might have the advantage in this fixture seeing as both sides excelled on home soil but found it more difficult on their travels. Ludovic Ajorque and Adrien Thomasson will be tasked with getting the goals for the Racers as South African striker Lebo Mothiba recovers from his knee injury. Amine Gouiri’s brace helped Nice to victory last time out but Kasper Dolberg is expected to get in the goals for the Eagles as well in the upcoming matches. Under 2.5 Goals is the way to go at 8/10.

Brest 5/2
Draw 26/10
Marseille 1/1

Brest come off a 4-0 thumping at Nimes and will now hosts one of the best teams in the division. The Pirates will need to pull up their socks and defend very compact to contain a potent Marseille team. Andre Villas-Boas’ visiting team will be looking to start their campaign off on the right foot before taking on the only team that finished above them PSG in two weeks’ time. Let’s keep this one short and sweet, back the away win confidently at even money.

DOUBLE @ 8/1 
Lyon - Home to Win Both Halves (Yes) 39/20
Reims vs Lille – Draw 2/1

Written by Bryan Naicker