Reims v PSG
Reims go into Saturday’s encounter against PSG off the back of a disappointing run of form, and the prospects of them taking something from the champions appear to be scant. They have lost their last five matches against the Parisian side without even scoring, so backing at least one team to keep a clean sheet is an attractive bet at a price of over evens.
Realistically, it is PSG who are the likelier to have a shutout. When they conceded against Nice in last weekend’s Ligue 1 match, it was the first goal they had conceded in four matches. As the season has progressed, they have become increasingly pragmatic, with head coach Christophe Galtier increasingly managing his squad to win games in a less spectacular manner. This means being tighter defensively.
The capital side may have conceded in their last two games, but goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was in fine form in midweek during a 1-1 draw with Benfica. He will not be easy to beat.
Furthermore, Reims have not been in sparkling offensive form. Although they netted twice in a draw with Troyes last weekend, they had failed to score in either of their two previous matches against Monaco and Toulouse. With frontline striker Junya Ito banned after being sent off last weekend, on-loan Arsenal youngster Folarin Balogun will be given a huge amount of responsibility for the hosts in this game.
The last six between these clubs have seen only one team find the net, and that trend may well continue.
Montpellier v Monaco
Montpellier have split their nine Ligue 1 matches between four draws and five victories, but if their results have been inconsistent, goals have been a constant in their matches. Through just nine games of the season, there have been 40 goals scored in their fixtures – an average of well above four per game.
These have been unrelenting. Away to Toulouse last weekend, they were beaten 4-2, and while they showed quality going forward, there was little of that in their defensive work. The return of Mamadou Sakho should help them in this capacity while head Michel Der Zakaria says he wants to focus on his side’s defensive solidarity, but the prospect of an immediate significant improvement is slim.
Conversely, Monaco are finally running into some form. Philippe Clement’s side have scored seven goals in their two matches since the international break, with Wissam Ben Yedder grabbing five of those having finally had confidence restored by the coach. It is perhaps little coincidence that a switch away from a three-man defence in these fixtures have seen a notable offensive improvement in the principality club.
Meanwhile, an overwhelming number of Monaco’s league matches this season have yielded three or more goals. Six of their nine fixtures have finished in this way, including each of their last three.
History also points to an attractive match. Each of the last three games between these clubs has brought at least four goals. This statistic is even stronger for matches played in Montpellier, with each of the last two bringing five and all of the last four seeing at least three. Expect that run to continue as two offensively strong but defensively suspect teams clash.
Brest v Lorient
There is nothing that points to a home win coming into this derby match between Brest and Lorient, who lie respectively third from bottom and third from top in Ligue 1 at the start of the season.
Brest started the season as a side predicted to battle relegation, and so far that is just what they have been. Their sole victory this season came away to Angers, who were in dreadful form at the time. Indeed, their overall record stands at one win, three draws and five defeats. At home, they have yet to win a game, losing 7-0 to Montpellier and 1-0 against bottom side Ajaccio in two of their last three games.
Conversely, Lorient are punching dramatically above their weight this season and are showing few signs of slowing down. Their latest success against Lille last weekend will only have bolstered their positive feelings. They were 1-1 and down to 10 men going into the closing stages when Theo Le Bris scored a brilliant solo goal to win the match.
Remarkably, they have won seven of their nine matches this term, losing only once, away to an in-form Lens side. Les Merlus do not have a reputation for being good away from home, but they have already picked up three wins on their travels.
Dango Ouattara is suspended for this encounter, which depletes their attack but such is the confidence that is swelling throughout the whole squad currently, this is an absence they can cope with.
Given the respective form of the two sides, plus the fact that Lorient won 1-0 in Brest in February, suggests the odds on them simply avoiding defeat are too good to ignore.
Rennes v Nantes
Rennes should have too much for Nantes in the Breton derby on Sunday afternoon. Bruno Genesio’s men are spluttering into the type of thrilling form that made them Ligue 1’s best side to watch last season and are now undefeated in their last eight matches in all competitions.
At home, they have been especially strong. Since unjustly losing 1-0 to Lorient on the opening day of the season, they have responded with four wins in five in all competitions. The exception was a 2-2 draw with Fenerbahce in a fixture they should have put to bed.
Nevertheless, Rennes are gaining momentum in the league. Prior to the international break, they thumped Auxerre 5-0 before going to in-form Marseille and picking up a 1-1 draw. Last weekend, they returned with a 3-1 win over Strasbourg and backed that up with a 2-1 victory over Dynamo Kyiv.
With a deep squad, Rennes should have the resources to be able to juggle European and domestic commitments, which is a luxury that Nantes simply do not have.
The visitors are already looking a spent force this autumn and simply do not have the required resources to be competitive on two fronts. Indeed, the strain of European football has meant their domestic form has fallen away dramatically.
away from home, they have been in woeful form of late. They have lost their last four on their travels, including a derby with Lorient. Although they only went down 2-0 in Freiburg on Thursday in the Europa League, the gulf between the sides was enormous.
Having conceded at least three goals in three of their last four Ligue 1 matches, look for this to be another chastening event for Nantes.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
18+ please gamble responsibly.
Back the Four & Five Star Selections as an Accumulator on Betfair ⬇️
*Bet link only appears when accessing from mobile.
Haven’t got a Betfair account? You’re in luck…
Sign up to Betfair and get a full refund if your first bet loses. Grab an account through the offer below and place £20 on the 15/2 Ligue 1 Best Bets Accumulator. Here are the two possible outcomes: