Ligue 1 Tips | 20th-21st December 2014

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IT’S the final round of Ligue 1 fixtures before the winter break. So we asked Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire), how do we make profit?

PSG v Montpellier | Saturday 16.00

Both Marseille and PSG lost last weekend to blow the French title race wide open. Lyon’s win has made Ligue 1 a three-way race and neutrals can only hope the suspense and intrigue continues until May.

But despite flopping at Guingamp, punters shouldn’t walk away from PSG this weekend. The defending champions are available at 7/8 (Bet365) with a -1.5 Asian Handicap start for the visit of Montpellier and should be trusted to do the business.

Backing this selection will see you profit should the capital club win by two goals or more at the Parc des Princes. With four of their six league victories coming by a margin of two goals or more this season,

PSG can be relied upon in front of their home fans. In fact, since Laurent Blanc took charge, PSG have been ruthless in front of their home fans. They’ve won 21/27 (78%) of home league games and won by a margin of two goals or more in 18/27 (67%).

Montpellier have upset the odds a few times already this season but remain fragile when playing away. La Paillade have lost 10 of their last 12 away to top-six finishers in Ligue 1 and been beaten by two or more goals in seven of their last 10 trips to top-six finishers.

St Etienne v Evian | Sunday 16.00 | ESPN

St Etienne have cemented their place in fourth after extending their unbeaten record to nine games last weekend. Les Verts were held to a 0-0 draw in Nice but have ran out winners in five of those unbeaten nine fixtures.

But what’s proved most impressive is St Etienne’s defensive resilience during that spell. Christophe Galtier’s charges have leaked just twice in nine outings and have also kept five clean sheets from their nine games as hosts this season (W5-D3-L1).

On Sunday St Etienne can be backed at 10/11 (BetVictor) with a -1 start on the Asian Handicap market. This means, should the hosts only win by a one-goal margin, we’ll get our cash back. However, a victory by two goals or more will see us in profit.

Visitors Evian have already lost six of their eight away games despite yet travelling to any side in the top-four. Five of those losses have come against top-half teams with three by a margin of two goals or more.

Leaking goals continues to be a problem for Evian. They’ve conceded three goals in each of their last two matches and five of their eight away outings have resulted in their opponents notching at least twice.

With the hosts’ solid defensive record, two goals should be enough for Les Verts to deliver an Asian Handicap winner for us on Sunday afternoon.

Bordeaux v Lyon | Sunday 20.00 | BT Sport 2

Arguably the game of the weekend is Sunday night’s showdown between fifth-placed Bordeaux and third-placed Lyon and there’s plenty of reason to suggest Both Teams To Score could win us some Christmas cash at 10/11 with Coral.

Bordeaux flew out of the blocks with Willy Sagnol’s side top of the tree in August thanks to taking 10 points from their first 12 on offer. But since September, Les Girondins have only bagged back-to-back victories once in the league.

What has proved a constant is goals. Six of Bordeaux’s last eight and 11/18 (61%) of their overall matches have proved winners in the Over 2.5 Goals market – an unusually high figure for the French top tier.

But we’re chasing a Both Teams To Score winner. Well Sagnol’s side have scored in all bar three of their games this term and kept only three clean sheets – that’s led to a whopping 13/18 (72%) Ligue 1 outings featuring goals at both ends.

It’s now 10 wins from 14 games for Lyon as they continue to breathe down the necks of Marseille and PSG but like Bordeaux, Les Gones continue to do the business for goals-based punters.

Since Hubert Fournier took the reigns in the summer, 12/18 (67%) of Lyon’s league games have seen three goals or more with 10/18 (56%) featuring Both Teams To Score. Similar to Les Girondins, Lyon have netted in all bar three of their matches and can boast just six clean sheets.

With two teams more comfortable going forward, we should be in for a rare high-scoring treat in Sunday’s game of the weekend in France.

Best Bets

PSG v Montpellier – PSG -1.5 Asian Handicap (7/8 Bet 365)

St Etienne v Evian – St Etienne -1 Asian Handicap (10/11 BetVictor)

Bordeaux v Lyon – Both Teams To Score (10/11 Coral)

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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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