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French Ligue 1: Gameweek 5 Preview

Kylian Mbappe

Ligue 1 has been a constant buzz with the arrival of Lionel Messi and now he has made his first appearance with the league breaking viewership records.

The defending champions make the trip and then the walk this Friday against a well-organized Lorient.

Saturday boasts the excitement of the gameweek with Messi, Neymar, and Mbappe up first against newly promoted Clermont, so we anticipate a flurry of goals followed by the match of the weekend Monaco versus Marseille in the French Riviera.

Sunday sees the bulk of the action taking place with value upon value in each of the matchups.

Get stuck in and cheers to those bet slips pulling through!

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Friday 10 September

Lorient 26/10
Draw 47/20
Lille 21/20

In the Friday night action, we have defending champions Lille travelling to Lorient. Lille started off the season on the backfoot with two draws and a loss to ex-boss Christopher Galtier who now manages Nice. In their last fixture however they were able to pick up a win against a 10-man Montpellier. Lorient have struggled for form winning just one match, drawing two and losing one, but one consistent is getting on the scoresheet in each of their fixtures. Last season when Lille were on top of their game, they triumphed over Lorient 4-0 and 1-4, but things have not been as smooth sailing under new manager Jocelyn Gourvennec. Back Lille and Under 3.5 Goals in this fixture at 7/4.

Saturday 21 August

Paris Saint-Germain 1/4
Draw 5/1
Clermont 8/1

Paris Saint-Germain seem to be back to “regular scheduling” in Ligue 1. The Parisians are the only team to win every single fixture sitting on 12 points a top the table. The long-awaited moment of seeing Lionel Messi make his PSG debut has finally come and gone, and the anticipation for his first goal now makes its presence better known. With all the hype and intrigue surrounding Messi, many seem to be overlooking Kylian Mbappe, and with three goals in his last two fixtures he is up and running again fighting for that golden boot. Newly promoted Clermont has had a stellar start to the season in topflight football winning two and drawing two. However, coming up against the biggest team in French football is a tall order. After scoring two or more goals in all of their fixtures, I expect another big result for PSG, and you can back them on the (-2) Handicap at 7/4.

Monaco 21/20
Draw 51/20
Marseille 24/10

Match of the weekend has to be Monaco versus Marseille.

Last season Niko Kovac did an excellent job of getting the team into a brief moment of title contention. Kovac has however started quite shakily to the season failing to qualify for Champions League final stages, and with just one win in the last four Ligue 1 matches. The team will now be able to solely focus on the league and results may start improving, but they have taken a blow with key attacking midfield player Aleksandr Golovin picking up a hip injury.

Olympique Marseille have been the total opposite having made exceptional signings, as well as collecting good results with solid performances. The Olympians have yet to lose a fixture winning two and drawing one with their match against Nice being suspended due to unrest from Nice fans. One falter would have to be the Marseille defence, lacking a clean sheet and new centre-back signing from Borussia Dortmund Leonardo Balerdi suspended after picking up a red card against Bordeaux. Jorge Sampaoli will have to consider major squad rotations with his first Europa League fixture next Thursday.

Monaco’s Champions League aspirations took a toll on their Ligue 1 focus and with that out of the way a fully fledged team can be fielded against rivals Marseille. The Olympians have been enjoying a fluidity of play and a confidence I did not see last season. I cannot find the difference in the teams and a moment of individual brilliance might be the answer. Whether it be Marseille’s Matteo Guendouzi, or Monaco’s Wissam Ben Yedder I do feel both teams will have what it takes to find a goal at 7/10.

Sunday 22 August

Montpellier 29/20
Draw 24/10
Saint-Etienne 18/10

Both these teams have not impressed me in terms of results. But Montpellier going down 2-3 to Marseille at home on the opening day does gave me confidence in them. They followed that up by almost stealing an away win at Reims, winning 3-1 convincingly over Lorient, and falling ever so short 2-1 at Lille. Montpellier have managed a goal in each of their fixtures and Gaetan Laborde has registered three goals in four matches, so we know they have an inform attacking threat. The visitors on the away end have yet to secure a win and travelling fixtures are proving quite difficult for teams on the lower end of the pecking order. Comfortably put faith in Montpellier to secure their second successive home victory of the season.

Bordeaux 43/20
Draw 5/2
Lens 12/10

Bordeaux have managed two draws and two losses holding the worst goal difference in the league to date. The Girondins hoped for a brighter future before the season started with new owners and backing from the state, but plans don’t seem to be going accordingly. Lens are on a better track managing to avoid losing in their first four fixtures, with one win over Monaco and three draws. Bordeaux are definitely there for the taking and with inform Ivorian midfielder Seko Fofana pulling the strings netting three goals in his four matches played the away team to win is big value and a great bet to consider some proper money on.

Brest 16/10
Draw 47/20
Angers 33/20

The away team have had a cracking start to the season winning three fixtures with each by way of a clean sheet and drawing 1-1 to Bordeaux away from home. Brest however are on two wins and two losses conceding in each fixture. Angers sit second on the table, and we all know five games is the better reflection of form, so this will be the ultimate test for Angers. Some might say you are only as good as your last game and in that regard put everything you have on the away team at 33/20.

Metz 5/4
Draw 9/4
Troyes 22/10

Troyes have had a harsh welcome back to topflight football and sit bottom of the table with one point to their name after drawing with Strasbourg 1-1 in match week three. Metz are not in the best of shape themselves without a win but being able to secure three points has them further up the table in 15th. If something doesn’t change from either team the odds are they’ll be fighting for survival later on in the season. I’d back a deadlock at 9/4 here with both teams struggling to find form.

Rennes 13/20
Draw 26/10
Reims 44/10

Rennes are known for producing quality out of their Henri Guerin Training Academy and recent departure form the club Eduardo Camavinga who signed a deal with LaLiga giants, Real Madrid. The Red and Blacks are known to always produce so while it may be a gain financially and big loss in personnel for the club, they are used to finding players to fill the shoes of departures on a regular basis. Form wise, Rennes are hitting stride but suffered their first defeat in the league after playing a midweek Conference League fixture which may need to be assessed going forward from the new Italian manager Bruno Genesio. Reims however have yet to find a victory in four matchdays and failing to score in two fixtures is a cause for concern in the camp. Rennes will surely take the three points after being able to regroup during international break.

Nantes 18/10
Draw 22/10
Nice 31/20

Nice travel North-West to Nantes where they found fortune last season winning two goals to one home and away. After scoring 15 last season Amine Gouiri is still flying high for The Eaglets netting three goals in three games so far. New manager Christopher Galtier has manged to sort out the defence of Nice keeping three clean sheets. The style of play might not possess the most flair and excitement, but it gets the result desired. Nice is already priced up at appealing odds, but if you want to make bank, bet on The Eaglets To Win To Nil at 26/10.

Lyon 17/20
Draw 51/20
Strasbourg 31/10

To close out the show in Ligue 1, Lyon look to secure their second win of the season. Spirits in the camp might be at a higher octane after the arrival of Swiss national Xherdan Shaqiri from Liverpool. Peter Bosz has not had the best of starts at the helm of Lyon, but his new addition is sure to bring some excitement for the fans when they welcome Strasbourg to Groupama Stadium. The Racing team are also in a similar position as their opposition winning their last fixture, drawing the previous and losing before that. Travelling will be a difficult ask for Julien Stephan and his players after failing to win any away matches thus far. I am not convinced of any team taking this win so backing a draw is the play.

QUAD @ 24/1
PSG (-2) Handicap 7/4
Montpellier Win 6/10
Angers Win 33/20
Rennes Win 12/10

Written by Joshua Gaillard