IT’S been a busy week for French football and Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) runs the rule over the best bets from this weekend’s Ligue 1 action.
Rennes v Montpellier | Saturday 19.00
I’m still kicking myself for not backing Rennes in midweek. I wrote about them only last weekend and rightly tipped them to collect a result against Monaco and they extended their unbeaten run to eight games after seeing off Nice.
Philippe Montanier finally seems to have cracked it with Les Rouges et Noirs and they’ve been playing some exhilarating stuff. Rennes have recorded six wins in that eight game unbeaten streak and bagged four victories on the bounce.
Wing wizard Paul-Georges Ntep has proved sensational for Montanier and the France U21 starlet has been involved in seven of the last 10 goals scored by Rennes players. But they’ve also been rock solid defensively, keeping clean sheets in six of their last eight matches.
Saturday night sees Montpellier travel to the east of Brittany hoping to end a winless run of seven games on the road. Goals have also become a big issue for Rolland Courbis’ charges – they’ve failed to net in four of their past seven games.
La Paillade tend to get found out on their travels against Ligue 1’s best. They’ve been beaten in 10/11 away games to top-six sides and lost by two or more goals in 7/9 trips to top-six teams. Gobble up the 11/10 from BetVictor on a home win.
Reims v Guingamp | Sunday 16.00
A 5-1 win for Guingamp over Caen lifted EAG off the bottom of France’s top tier on Wednesday evening but don’t read too much into the one-sided victory.
Jocelyn Gourvennec’s side were neck-and-neck with their visitors until the hour mark when Jean-Jacques Pierre’s red card turned the tide against Caen. The floodgates then opened and Guingamp took full advantage to record their biggest Ligue 1 win of the season.
But this weekend we should expect the Coupe de France holders to return to form as they face a tough trip to Reims. With five defeats from seven on the road, the 13/10 on offer from William Hill on a Reims success looks too good to turn down.
Reims showed on Thursday night how far they’ve come this season, holding Lyon in the Stade Gerland until a stoppage-time error from goalkeeper Johny Placide handed the hosts victory.
It was Reims’ first league loss in two months and table-topping Marseille are the only side to stop Jean-Luc Vasseur’s charges winning at their Stade Auguste Delaune home since August.
In fact, they’ve bagged four wins on the spin in front of their home supporters and kept clean sheets in four of their last six at their base in the Champagne region.
Guingamp face a crucial Europa League meeting with PAOK on Thursday and they’re likely to be heading into that on the back of another defeat. They’re winless in six against Sunday’s hosts, losing four of those fixtures.
Evian v Lyon | Sunday 13.00
Evian made it six wins in nine to come from behind and beat Bastia on the island in midweek. Having taken just a solitary point from their first 18 on offer this season, the Savoy Crosses have found their feet under the leadership of coach Pascal Dupraz.
They return home to the Parc des Sports on Sunday and look underrated in the Asian Handicap market. You can back Evian +0.25 at 20/19 (BetVictor) as they host Lyon and that’s a price worth snapping up.
Backing this selection we’ll win half our stake should the fixture end in a draw and receive a full payout if the hosts bag all three points. With Dupraz’s men winning four of their last five in front of their home fans, Evian are bang in form.
Lyon for their part have struggled for results on the road this season. A magnificent home record has propelled Les Gones into top-three contention but with only one victory from seven on their travels, Hubert Fournier’s charges should be opposed in Sunday’s showdown.
Rennes v Montpellier – Rennes to win (11/10 BetVictor)
Reims v Guingamp – Reims to win (13/10 William Hill)
Evian v Lyon – Evian +0.25 Asian Handicap (20/19 BetVictor)