A conservative 5/1 treble as managerial distruption plagues Ligue 1
The transfer window has opened in Ligue 1 but it’s the managerial moves that have caught the headlines so far. Julien Stephán has been given the boot by Strasbourg after last season’s 6th place finish. Joining him is Lucien Favre at Nice. The INEOS owned club brought in a lot of signings from the UK and most haven’t worked out. Kasper Schmeichel’s decline early last season has accelerated, Aaron Ramsey is a shadow his former self, there’s rumours of Joe Bryan’s loan being cut short and Nicolas Pepe has been vocal about how things aren’t what he was sold. Favre himself had to ask what position Ross Barkley played as he couldn’t figure it out.
At the top of the table Lens are keeping things interesting. They beat PSG 3-1 at home at the weekend to move within 4pts of the league leaders. The game week ends when Marseille travel north to Aube to face Troyes in an attempt to keep tabs on the top 2.
Nantes Vs Lyon
Wed 11th 18:00 GMT
Nantes haven’t hit the heights of last season but are still a formidable proposition at the Louis Fonteneau. Les Canaris have only been beaten once at home all season and should have a full squad to choose from. Opponents Lyon are still the same inconsistent Lyon no matter the head coach. They have lost 5 of 8 games on the road but their quality makes it tough to back them to lose. In this game I’ll favour both teams to score as OL’s shaky defence can’t be relied on to keep a clean sheet. With the away sides attacking options, not scoring rarely occurs.
Strasbourg Vs Lens
Wed 11th 20:00 GMT
An interesting story has emerged at the time of writing – Lens have completed a deal to sign Strasbourg’s midfielder Adrien Thomasson. The Frenchman was an important cog last season when Le Racing finished 6th. He ranked 2nd in yards ran per game and whilst he won’t be registered in time for this game, it’s a big loss to a team languishing in 19th place. Add in the sacking of manager Julien Stephán, it’s been a turbulent week in Alsace. Lens on the other hand go from strength to strength. They’ll be disappointed to not be only 2pts behind PSG after drawing with Nice away and then beating the Parisiens at Stade Bollaert-Delelis 3-1. An away win is surely on the cards given the fortunes of each team at present.
Troyes Vs Marseille
Wed 11th 20:00 GMT
As predicted earlier in the season by the column, Troyes’ season has taken awhile to settle. They have stemmed the volume of goals conceded but have still have only one clean sheet on the board. They are 5pts off the relegation spots with win over OM potentially putting them into the top 10. The away side have a mounting injury list that threatens to derail their run of 4 Ligue 1 wins in a row. Dimitri Payet picked up a knock midweek to add to injuries to Jonathan Clauss and Amine Harit. Nuno Tavares misses the game through suspension meaning a relatively thin squad will be tested by a home team that only knows how to attack. I’d lean backing a draw here but Troyes defence frailties coupled with Marseilles injuries means I expected both team to score.
Nantes Vs Lyon – Both Teams to Score @ 4/6 (1pt win)
Lens to Win @ 21/20 (2pt win)
Troyes Vs Marseille – Both Teams to Score @ 8/11 (1pt win)
Above in treble (best priced): 5/1 (2pt win)