Strasbourg and Lille open game week 11 and that’s the destination of our first selection of the week. All eyes will be on Paris once again but not all for the spectacle of PSG taking on Marseille. Instead, it will be to see how Mbappé plays under a cloud of off-field drama in which reports suggest he will try to leave the capital side in January.
Strasbourg Vs Lille
Fri 14th 20:00 GMT
Strasbourg will be almost back to a full complement of players after weeks of struggling with a huge injury list. Ludovic Ajorque will miss the game meaning the ageless Kévin Gameiro and Habib Diallo will lead the line for Le Racing. After starting the season with 5 draws and 4 losses, the home side got their first win on an away trip to Angers. Head coach Julien Stéphan returns from COVID as Strasbourg look to climb back up the table after last season’s 6th placed finish.
Paolo Fonseca has Lille back on an even keel after last season’s hangover from winning Ligue 1 in 2021. That said their form is incredibly erratic even if they are doing okay against supposedly inferior opposition. Strasbourg’s current league position masks their ability and they are not the inferior side in this game. Every Lille win has been followed by a loss (with a draw at Nantes in week 2 the exception). I expect this trend to continue as LOSC could suffer a “bounce factor” from the high of Derby du Nord victory over Lens last week. Strasbourg to win the game at 2/1 is an incredible price in the circumstances.
Lorient Vs Reims
Sat 15th 16:00 GMT
Lorient landed the column a nice winner last week and I expect this season’s surprise package to continue their form when Reims come to Le Moustoir. A 2-1 come from behind victory might not seem like great form but winning in that manner is generally the sign of a decent side. Terem Moffi’s form sees him sit top of the Ligue 1 scoring table alongside global superstars Kylian Mbappé and Neymar with 8 goals. With Moffi as a focal point, Lorient has a perfect home record this season after 4 games.
Reims continue to be a difficult side for any team to play even though they have managed only a single victory so far. They probably should have beaten PSG last weekend after the Parisiens played 49 minutes of the game with 10 men. Being difficult can only get a team so far and the numbers of goals scored and conceded continues to go the wrong way for Les Rouges et Blancs. With that in mind, and growing injury list for the away side, Lorient being odds against is a must back here. Home win is a simple call.
Toulouse Vs Angers
Sun 16th 12:00 GMT
Toulouse are finally starting to get the hang of the nuances of Ligue 1 after steamrolling the 2nd tier last season. They are showing less respect to the sides deemed better than them and playing with a lot of belief against those seen as worse. This game will certainly be seen as the former as Les Violets look to establish themselves as a top 10 side.
Angers were unlucky to not get something from last week’s visit of Strasbourg. They were the better team but were ultimately undone by the lack of depth (and quality) in their squad. They made an attempt to sign Bamba Dieng from Marseille in the ‘Joker Window’ but even with him training in Marseille’s reserves, the task of leading the line at Angers didn’t appeal. Le SCO will undoubtedly give it their all (and have an ace up their sleeve in Boufal) but ultimately a home win should be the outcome in this game.
Strasbourg to win @ 21/10 (1pt win)
Lorient to win @ 13/10 (3pt win)
Toulouse to win @ 8/9 (2pt win)
Above in treble (best priced): 12/1 (1pt win)