Ligue 1 Tips | 13th-14th December 2014

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LIGUE 1 has thrown up plenty of surprises this season. Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) has a look at the best bets from France this weekend.

Lorient v Metz | Saturday 19.00

Lorient twice took the lead at Bordeaux before sliding to a 3-2 defeat in their last Ligue 1 outing but Les Merlus can get back on track in Saturday night’s showdown with Metz.

Sylvain Ripoll’s men have struggled since losing star striker Vincent Aboubakar before the end of the transfer window but there has been signs in recent weeks of a recovery. Lens and Toulouse were downed in successive games before Lorient held table-topping Marseille on the artificial surface at their Stade du Moustoir home.

Having failed to score in seven of nine games through August and September, Ripoll’s charges have now netted in seven of their last eight including games against PSG and the aforementioned fixtures with Marseille and Bordeaux.

The hosts can be backed at 20/21 with BetVictor and it’s a price that could look a touch too big come Saturday night.

Metz bagged four wins in their first eight league games since winning promotion back to France’s top tier but Albert Cartier’s team have picked up just five points from their last 27 on offer.

And Les Grenats have been awful on their travels, scoring only two goals in nine away Ligue 1 matches, losing seven.

Monaco v Marseille | Sunday 20.00 | BT Sport 2

The game of the weekend in France arrives on Sunday night when Monaco entertain Marseille at the Stade Louis II. The home team are on a high having secured Champions League last-16 qualification in midweek and will be hopeful of throwing a spanner in the works of L’OM’s title challenge.

But with the bookmakers expecting a low-scoring clash, it could pay to go against the grain and have a dabble on Both Teams To Score with Ladbrokes dangling 19/20 in our direction.

Monaco have scored in 15 of their 17 league games this season including their four toughest tests – away to PSG, Lyon, St Etienne and Bordeaux and have now recorded consecutive Ligue 1 wins for the third time this campaign.

And the hosts have a rock solid record for notching on home soil. Monaco have now netted in 24/25 Ligue 1 matches at the Stade Louis II.

Rivals Marseille continue to buck French football trends under Marcelo Bielsa’s tutelage with 10 of their 17 games already providing winners in the Over 2.5 Goals column. L’OM have only failed to trouble the scorers in three of those fixtures and kept just one clean sheet in seven.

With both Monaco and Marseille looking capable of scoring, we could be in for a surprising treat on Sunday night with L’OM looking to extend their best start to a Ligue 1 season since 1998.

Best Bets

Lorient v Metz – Lorient to win (20/21 BetVictor)

Monaco v Marseille – Both Teams To Score (19/20 Ladbrokes)

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After starting his career in newspaper journalism, Mark soon found his way into the online betting world, forging a career in content, social media and marketing production. With a huge passion for stats, the Football League and European football, Mark’s other interests include playing rugby, following his beloved QPR and travel.

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