FANCY a bet from France this weekend? We got Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) to study the coupon and pick out his two favourite punts.
Nantes v St Etienne | Sunday 13.00
Nantes are my second favourite side in France (Lille are tops, if you’re asking). I don’t really have a reason behind it – might be the kit, might be their former glories or maybe they were just a cool, exotic and quality team back on FIFA 95 on the Nintendo.
Anyway, the Canaries are flying high in fifth with just two defeats to their name this season. Michel Der Zakarian’s side are unbeaten in eight (W4-D4) and have suffered just the one reverse at their La Beaujoire-Louis Fonteneau base (W3-D3-L1) in 2014/15.
Yet BetVictor are giving us the option to back Nantes at 22/23 with a 0 start in the Asian Handicap market on Sunday for the visit of St Etienne. Taking this bet means we’d receive our stake back should the game end in a draw and be paid out in full should the home side win.
Having lost only 2/13 (15%) of their Ligue 1 games this season, the bet already looks to have legs. But throw in St Etienne’s wobbly record on the road and we could be onto something.
The Greens have W3-D1-L2 of their six away games with their three victories coming at sides currently occupying the relegation places in France. Christophe Galtier’s team have long done their best work at home and despite a strong finish in last season’s championship, St Etienne have only won 11/25 (44%) games on their travels since the start of last season.
And the Greens have been surprisingly shot-shy this term – failing to score more than one goal in their last 11 outings! I’m willing to throw my eight behind the Canaries at a shade of odds-on in the Asian Handicap market – 22/23 with BetVictor.
Bastia v Lyon | Saturday 16.00
Seven wins in nine have propelled Lyon into the title race but with six of those games coming at their Stade Gerland home, there’s a feeling Les Gones haven’t been playing too far out of their comfort zone.
With just one victory in five on their travels, Hubert Fournier’s side can expect a fiery reception on Saturday afternoon when they head to the island of Corsica and a meeting with Bastia.
The hosts have struggled to turn positive performances into results this term and that led to Claude Makelele’s dismissal. But a 2-0 victory against Montpellier at their Stade Armand Cesari before the international break has lifted spirits and the Blues can be dangerous opponents on the island.
Since winning promotion back to the top tier for the 2012/13-season Bastia have only lost 13/45 (29%) fixtures played in Corsica, making the 5/6 (BetVictor) available on the home side +0.50 in the Asian Handicap very attractive.
However, Lyon’s winning spree is their best for over six years and I’m not willing to fully commit on Bastia just yet. Ghislain Printant and Herve Sekli remain in caretaker charge of the Corsicans so instead, I’ve eyed up a bet on Both Teams To Score at 10/11 with Coral.
Lyon have only failed to trouble the scoresheet once this campaign, scoring in 16/17, and have fired in two or more goals from six of their last nine outings. Les Gones have also notched in their last seven on the road but are yet to keep a clean sheet when playing away.
If we include last season, 17/24 (71%) Lyon league games on the road have seen Both Teams Score. They’ve kept just five clean sheets during that spell and I’d be surprised if Bastia can’t manage at least a goal in front of their adoring home fans – they’ve done so in 6/8 already this season.