After another close call in midweek, Dermot has eyes on a 15/1 that leans towards good showings from the away sides.
Montpellier Vs Lille – Sun 4th Aug 12:00 GMT
I’ve been pro Montpellier most weeks but this week I think their injury crisis will catch up to them. Even with five of the starting XI injured, plus one suspended, they beat AC Ajaccio 2-0 in midweek. That doesn’t tell the whole story as goals aside, the bottom placed club were the better team.
Lille will hopefully be able to pick themselves up after a mid-week reversal to Nice. Nice had 3 shots on goal, 1 blocked and 2 on target, the 2 on target were both penalties. Remy Cabella will more than likely be missing but they should have a full squad otherwise. A repeat of the midweek performances for both sides would result in an away win here I feel.
Reims Vs Lens – Sun 4th Aug 14:00 GMT
Reims opened the season terribly but draws with Lyon and Strasbourg, followed by a midweek 4-2 win over Angers, show an unexpected depth to Les Rouges et Blancs squad. Summer signings Junya Ito and Folarin Balogun have added dynamism to the home sides attack that last year was over reliant on Hugo Ekitike. Their defence is still a huge area of concern, especially for boss Óscar García who favours a compact, cautious approach.
Lens were the 6th highest spenders in the transfer window. As usual, the board at RC used the funds incredibly well. Having sold stars Cheick Doucouré and Jonathan Clauss, they have reinvested the money (and turned a profit) to arguably create a better side. Salis Abdul Samed’s arrival from Clermont has allowed star Seko Fofana to have even more influence in every game, without him over working like last season. Florian Sotoca is averaging a goal a game and Les Sang et Or sit joint top with PSG and Marseille after 5 games. Reims have improved a little, but Lens have improved a lot. An away win and both teams to score is the call for me. Lens are 5/4 just to win when based on talent, performance and Franck Haise’s magic they should an odds on shot.
Clermont Vs Toulouse – Sun 4th Aug 14:00 GMT
Les Lanciers have started the season really well. With the exception of the PSG game they’ve only been beaten by a goal. Last season’s Clermont weren’t very good at keeping games tight after conceding and tended to go all out to equalise which cost them a huge amount of points. Whilst the squad isn’t great, Komnen Andric and Muhammed Cham are showing that the home side have enough firepower to trouble sides outside of the top 7.
Toulouse have started the season with the swagger and confidence of a team who scored 82 goals in Ligue 2 last season. PSG didn’t obliterate them as they have done with other teams. With a bit more Ligue 1 experience they may have gotten something from the game. Philippe Montanier’s tactical know how may have given teams a blueprint to take on the Paris giants as Les Violets repeatedly targeted the space behind PSG’s fullbacks, drawing the centrebacks to the sidelines. This game will be a fascinating tactical battle to watch. That said, neither defence is solid enough to keep a clean sheet, so both teams to score is the bet.
Montpellier Vs Lille – Lille Win (2pt win @ 23/20)
Reims Vs Lens – Lens Win & Both Teams to Score (1pt win @ 100/30)
Clermont Vs Toulouse – Both Teams to Score (1pt win @ 8/11)
Above in a treble – 1pt win @ 15/1