Ligue 1 returns after the international break and Dermo has three nicely priced selections for the weekends French football action
There are some mouth-watering Ligue 1 matchups this weekend with Nice v Marseille the pick of the bunch. The Mediterranean Derby sees second-place Nice host a Marseille side marred in controversy on Saturday night. There is also a bottom against second-last matchup between Lyon and Clermont that very few would have predicted to be a relegation six-pointer.
Nice v Marseille Prediction
Sat 21 Oct 20:00
Both sides managed to come through the international window unscathed but Nice have some in-house disciplinary issues to deal with. The league leaders have suspended influential right back Youcef Atal indefinitely which will disrupt Francesco Farioli’s preparations. Atal has been to Nice what Hakimi has been to PSG, a winger listed as a fullback (even if they are quite a bit apart in terms of overall quality).
Gennaro Gattuso has so far managed a month at Marseille without any major dramas. To his credit, OM should have beaten EPL 6th placed Brighton in the Europa League. They also put Ligue 1 upstarts Le Havre in their place in their previous league outing with a 3-0 win. Nice are so rigid and dour that I don’t think the Atal situation will put them out of sync enough to lose the game. Likewise I don’t think they or Marseille will have enough to win. Nice to make it 4 wins and 5 draws in 9 games is nicely priced at 12/5.
Draw @ 12/5
Lorient v Rennes Prediction
Sun 22 Oct 12:00
Another week, another Derby de la Bretagne in Ligue 1. Whilst Rennes have been comfortably the better team over the past three years, Lorient have won the last two league meetings. I think they can make it three on the spin this weekend. Régis Le Bris has gone from possibly being the next Marseille or Monaco boss to maybe holding onto his job until Christmas. He is a shrewd tactician though. Like nearly all French clubs he doesn’t sign or sell the players so the sales of Terem Moffi, Enzo Le Fee and Dango Ouattara is starting to catch up with Les Merlus. They still have one major Ligue 1 talent in Romain Faivre. Technically a Bournemouth player, the elegant attacking midfielder can completely take over a game if in the mood, and that can be a big if.
Rennes will be delighted to have Martin Terrier back but it could be a couple of months before he finds the form he had before his ACL tear last January. The sale of Jeremy Doku is really hurting Bruno Genesio’s favoured style. With the likes of Nemanja Matic and Amine Gouiri in the side, the transition from the back to the front is not as quick as the former Lyon head coach would like. This could be the key to a Lorient win. If Rennes won 3-0 I’d be surprised but not shocked. There is however no way that Lorient should be 3/1 in a derby that they have historically taken very seriously.
Lorient to win @ 3/1
Lyon v Clermont Foot Prediction
Sun 22 Oct 19:45
A year ago getting Lyon @ 4/5 to beat Clermont would have seemed like madness but here we are. OL have only mustered 3 draws in 8 Ligue 1 outings and still await their first victory of the season. This is the game I fancy them to do it. Clermont were getting beaten 4-2 at Montpellier before the game was abandoned in 97th minute when goalkeeper Mory Diaw was hit with a firework by the home fans. They have had more possession in every game bar one but currently sit bottom of the table. If ever a stat highlighted how poor they are defensively that is it.
Fabio Grosso having the international break to improve on the 3-3 draw with Lorient should be enough to see the home side get the three points. They aren’t in the “too good to go down” category as they could well get relegated but Rayan Cherki along with Alexandre Lacazette should be enough to outscore the visitors. Given how shaky both defences are, it’s anyone’s guess what the number of goals needed for a home victory could be. Home win and BTTS is tempting but this game could easily be 7-0 as it could be 5-4.
Ligue 1 Betting Tips
Nice and Marseille Draw @ 12/5
Lorient to win @ 3/1
Lyon to win @ 4/5
Above in a treble (best priced): 22/1