Ligue 1 Tips: Matchday One

Ligue 1 Tips: Matchday One

Dermot publishes his Ligue 1 tips every Thursday. Follow Dermot and TheACCAdemics to get all our weekly football betting tips first! 

Dermot is back with another season of French Fancies from Ligue 1. Every week he brings an unrivaled knowledge of French football and shares his best bets and tips here.


Marseille v Stade Reims

Sat 12 Aug 4:00 pm

Only PSG outspent OM over the summer and new manager Marcelino will be expected to start the season on a positive note at the Vélodrome. Marseille were beaten midweek by Panathinaikos of Greece after new signing Geoffrey Kondogbia was sent off early in the second half. Whilst not ideal, it will give Marcelino enough information as to who will best fit his rigid 442 system. A winning start in this game in front of a raucous home crowd will likely have been more important to him than the midweek UCL game.

Reims were Ligue 1’s surprise package last season. After 30yr old Will Still took over in October, the two times European Cup runners-up went 17 games unbeaten, eventually losing to this game’s opponents. Amine Salama is the man chosen to try and replace Folarin Balogun’s 21 league goals. He is out for this game though and it’s hard to see where Reims’ goals will come from. In what will likely be a pretty dour game for a league that averaged 2.81 goals per game last season, I see the home side edging this one.

Stade Brestois v Lens

Sun 13 Aug 12:00 pm

Another game, another missing talisman. Franck Honorat has moved to Germany from Brest who haven’t improved a lot as an attacking unit. Jonas Martin joins from Lille to make them harder to beat.

Likewise, Lens will be without two key men from last season. Seko Fofana (and Lens) have taken the Saudi money whilst top scorer Lois Openda has joined RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga. Franck Haise side have plugged the loss of Fofana with numbers rather than like for like. Angelo Fulgini and Florian Sotoca will likely rotate being the lead striker until Wesley Said’s return from injury. Given he has missed 34 games over the past 2 seasons I fully expect them to sign a striker before the transfer window closes. They should have more than enough for Brest in this game though. Should Lens get the lead, it may well be easy to hold it against a team who only managed 44 goals in 38 games last season.

Montpellier v Le Havre AC

With Elye Wahi still on the books at La Paillade it’s much the same side that finished the season in 12th place. The key boost to this season though is starting with Michel Der Zakarian at the helm. After joining in February, he guided Montpellier to 30 of their 50 points in just 16 games. A continuation of that form could see more Jekyll and less Hyde this season from one of Ligue 1’s most entertaining sides.

Le Havre return to Ligue 1 for the first time since 2009 after an incredible defensive display in the second tier last season. Le Club Doyen conceded just 19 goals over 38 games. Scoring goals will be more of an issue for the away side. And in this game, it’s almost given that they will need to score as Montpellier only failed to score 3 times in 19 home games last season. Whilst it might take time, the flair the home side have should be enough to win this one.

Sat 30 Dec 2:00 pm

Smart Bets

Marseille v Stade Reims: Marseille to win @ 4/6

Stade Brestois v Lens: Lens to win @ 19/20

Montpellier v Le Havre AC: Montpellier to win @ EVS

Above in a treble (best priced): 11/2


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French football connoisseur and Irish racing power house. He brings a certain je ne sais quoi to The Accademics with his flair for hidden gems in Ligue 1. When he’s not absorbed in all things France, Dermot is a Sunday warrior who splits his time between Irish horse racing and the NFL. Makes up one half of the unofficial SRD 49ers fan club.
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