After back-to-back weeks of 2 picks from 3 coming in, Dermot looks to some big clashes in Ligue 1 to complete the set in game week 8.
Last week was one of the strangest Ligue 1 game week’s in recent memory. There was only 2 games in which both teams scored. Half the teams not scoring in a league that averages 2.78 goals per game is very rare. Turning to this week, there a number of big games. Reims and Monaco is a top-of-the-table clash on Saturday evening. Lens and Lille is a battle of 2 teams who will still be aiming for Champions League football next season. The week ends with Rennes welcoming PSG to the Riazhon. A home win could make the title race a very open affair for 2023/24.
Strasbourg v Nantes Prediction
Fri 06 Oct 20:00
Nantes winning streak in Ligue 1 came to an end at Rennes. Worse than the loss of the game is the loss of star striker Mostafa Mohamed who was sent off for dissent. The enigmatic Egyptian has scored 5 goals in 7 league games including a stunning free kick at Lorient.
Strasbourg sit 8th after the opening 7 games. It’s a slightly false position given they have a -2 goal difference. Only Clermont (17th) and Lyon (18th) have scored less than Le Racing this season. They are 11th in the goals conceded table. The key to Patrick Vieira’s side is they have beaten the teams that they should beat (or draw with) on paper. This game is another they should win (23/20). Don’t expect fireworks though, the home team haven’t scored more than 2 goals in any game this season whilst the away side have only 2 goals on the road.
Metz v Nice Prediction
Sat 07 Oct 16:00
Metz has their first really poor game since week 1, losing 3-0 at Toulouse. This will be a tough assignment to get their first home win of the season. Nice have proved incredibly solid defensively under Francesco Farioli. The Italian has a similar mantra to Pep Guardiola – in the first two-thirds of the pitch play exactly this way but anything goes in the final third. The big difference is the lack of quality build-up play in Farioli’s system. With Metz issues scoring at home and Nice not quite clicking in the final third yet, a 1-0 win to the away side (13/2) is a tempting play.
Reims v Monaco Prediction
Sat 07 Oct 20:00
This is possibly one of the toughest 3rd Vs 1st matches in Ligue 1 to weigh up. Reims have been equally as good on the road as at home. Monaco however have shown far stronger form in the Stade Louis II. Even though Les Monégasques haven’t lost away from home yet, draws at Lorient and Nantes hardly inspire confidence. They have also given up 7 goals in those games. With a mounting injury list for Monaco, this game might be another Will Still masterstroke. Bet365 are offering 17/10 to those who believe the Belgian tactician can engineer another unexpected victory.
Marseille v Le Havre Prediction
Sun 08 Oct 12:00
The chaos surrounding Marseille the past few weeks shows no signs of slowing down. They threw away the lead twice in last week’s derby with Monaco and ultimately lost the game. Gattuso’s all action, all aggression style will be interesting to monitor in the weeks to come. OM play Brighton of the English Premier League in Europa League on Thursday.
Le Havre let the column down last week when they didn’t score at home for the first time this season. Lille did what they have done to most teams this season and dominated the middle of the field. Les Club Doyen have excelled a creating scoring opportunities from the space between the defence and midfield. Paulo Fonseca’s side didn’t give them a sniff of goal all game. They could face a similar scenario this week even if Marseille’s midweek trip produces some tired bodies late on. I don’t see the away side winning but neither do I see the home side keeping a clean sheet. Bet365 are again best priced for over 2.5 goals and BTTS. There have been lots of late goals in Ligue 1 this season which is why I’d prefer this play than a home win and BTTS.
Over 2.5 goals & BTTS @ 5/4
Montpellier v Clermont Foot Prediction
Sun 08 Oct 14:00
These are two sides I know I’ll repeat the same things about all season. Montpellier are great at scoring on the break and Clermont a great at conceding to the counter attack. La Paillade had 3 counter attacks last week at Lorient and scored twice. It’s becoming hard to track the number of goals Clermont are conceding on the break this season. I’ve not made many plays in the Ligue 1 handicaps this season but the 9/4 that SkyBet offer for this is a great price. I’d have Montpellier at 5/4 -1. If the home score early this could get very ugly for Pascal Gastien’s side.
Montpellier to win -1 @ 9/4
Lyon v Lorient Prediction
Sun 08 Oct 14:00
Fabio Grosso’s tenure ended with a 2-0 loss at Reims. There were a lot of positives to take from a very even game. On the balance of play OL were the most competitive they have been this season. Scoring goals has become a serious issue though. Seven games in and Lyon have only scored 3 goals in Ligue 1. That being said, they may have found the best game to play at this time other than home to Clermont.
Lorient’s defensive masterclasses from the opening 3 weeks seem so long ago already. In the past 4 games they have shipped an incredible 13 goals. The past 2 Ligue 1 games have seen Le Havre score 3 and Nantes score 5 against Regis Le Bris’ side. I fancy the home side to record their first win of the season but they have been priced up like they are the 2020/21 Lyon team.
Brest v Toulouse Prediction
Sun 08 Oct 14:00
Brest continue to defy expectations after an impressive showing at Nice last week. The game ended 0-0 but Brest were arguably the better side. Their home form has been immaculate with only Rennes leaving Le Blé with any points. It was a game Eric Roy will have felt his side should have won which shows the massive progression Les Pirates have made this season.
Toulouse produced their best display of the season without their best player. Zakaria Aboukhlal has been ruled out for the season with a knee injury. It will be interesting to see if Les Violets can build on that result. Given the form of the home side, there is still plenty of juice in the 17/20 offered by Unibet for what should be a 1/2 shot.
Lens v Lille Prediction
Sun 08 Oct 16:05
Lens season has finally taken off with back-to-back wins in the league and a magnificent victory over Arsenal in the Champions League. Normally you’d err on the side of caution after a European game but Franck Haise finally have his side in their groove.
Lille have a midweek European game as they travel to the Faroe Islands to play surprise packets KÍ Klaksvik. That travel may well be enough to disrupt Paulo Fonseca sides preparation for this game. LOSC continue to dominate the midfield battle in almost every game but that is also Lens speciality. With Elye Wahi finding his stride at his new club, this might be the last time other than playing PSG that Les Sang et Or are odds against at home in Ligue 1 this season. Skybet and Bet365 both offer 5/4 on a home win.
Lens to win @ 5/4
Rennes v Paris S-G Prediction
Sun 08 Oct 19:45
Lots of life’s fortune is derived from simple timing – or “being in the right place at the right time”. Unless something dramatic happens injury wise in PSG’s trip to Newcastle, this game couldn’t have come at a worse time to Bruno Genesio’s side. Having finally broken a run of 5 draws in a row by beating Nantes last weekend, Rennes face the toughest Ligue 1 home fixture possible. On a positive note Arnaud Kalimuendo returned from injury last week. Also on the mend is Martin Terrier. The Frenchman has missed 32 games in since his ACL tear last January. Prior to that he had scored 30 goals in 53 Ligue 1 games.
Luis Enrique is still looking to figure out his best side. Tactically the Spaniard needs to have a Plan B when tiki-taka doesn’t work. Clermont have been hopeless against counter attack all season but Enrique insisted on pushing them as close to their own goal as possible. This completely negated the speed forwards like Mbappé, Dembele and Kolo Muani possess. Marquinhos fitness will be a deciding factor in the Parisians UCL and Ligue 1 aspirations this season. A neutral would love to see a PSG Vs Nice type game but this game could be a lot cagier than anticipated. Given the away sides pedigree, this may the only game they in the league where they are odds against. Lots of firms have 21/20 for a PSG win.
Marseille Vs Le Havre – Over 2.5 goals & BTTS @ 5/4
Montpellier to win -1 @ 9/4
Lens to win @ 5/4
Above in a treble (best priced): over 15/1