Monaco v Lorient
Sunday 13th February – 12:00PM KO
With wins in each of their last three matches, Monaco are a side in form. They have looked especially good at home, where they have picked up four successive Ligue 1 victories, including three by at least two clear goals.
In midweek, they moved into the final of the Coupe de France with a 2-0 home win over Ligue 2 Amiens. They rotated their team for that match, so fatigue should not be a question ahead of Sunday’s game.
Although the dashing offensive team of last season has been lost to some degree, Wissam Ben Yedder is back at his peak, having scored in his last four league matches, which is ominous for Lorient. He and key creative player Sofiane Diop were among those given a breather in the cup so should be at full capacity for this game.
Monaco’s home record, meanwhile, is good, with seven wins from 12 games and 25 goals scored.
The visitors are infamously poor away from home. They have not won on their travels all season and have lost eight successive road trips since a 1-1 draw against Lyon in September.
Although they secured a shock 2-0 win over Lens last weekend, they were up against an opponent struggling for confidence. That will not be the case in this game.
Indeed, Lorient have lost their last three road trips in the league by at least two clear goals, and with key defensive players missing for this game, that trend appears likely to continue in the principality.
Prediction: Monaco -1, 2.10 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Angers v Strasbourg
Sunday 13th February – 2:00PM KO
Strasbourg travel to Angers as one of Ligue 1’s form sides. They did lose in Bordeaux a fortnight ago, but their opponents on that occasion appeared to take virtually every sight of goal they were offered in a 4-3 win.
Racing bounced back last weekend, despite missing key attacking players, and edged Nantes 1-0 at home. It was their sixth win in their previous eight Ligue 1 matches. Five of these have been by at least two goals and in four of them they have kept cleansheets. They are a side operating well at both ends of the field.
Meanwhile, they will welcome back attackers Kevin Gameiro and Habib Diallo for this match. Between them, they have 16 goals for the season, with Gameiro netting four in his last three Ligue 1 games.
Angers, on the other hand, are in something of a rut. They started the season promisingly, but since September have been feeding off scraps by beating the league’s weaker sides. It has been enough to keep them out of serious trouble but insufficient to recover any wins of note.
They did beat Strasbourg 2-0 on the opening day, but with a radically new style, they caught Racing by surprise. Since then, one of their major criticisms has been an inability to adapt to teams who have worked them out tactically. This does not bode well for a home encounter against a team in form.
Angers have lost four of their last six in Ligue 1, including home losses to Clermont and Saint-Etienne, and if they were to beat Racing on Sunday, it would be considered a notable upset.
Prediction: Strasbourg Draw no Bet, 1.60 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Brest v Troyes
Sunday 13th February – 2:00PM KO
Neither Brest nor Troyes have been notable for having exciting matches lately, and it would be surprising if the trend changed when they meet in Brittany on Sunday.
Certainly, this is a game in which backing against both teams to score makes sense. This bet would have been a winner in eight of Brest’s last 12 league matches, including all of the last four. Equally, it would be a winner in three of Troyes’ last four games.
Under Bruno Irles, there continues to be much more of a focus on defensive solidarity for Troyes, which was evident last weekend as they played out an entirely forgettable 0-0 draw at home against Metz. Indeed, they have only scored two goals under their new head coach, whose pragmatic approach has seen them only concede three times.
Brest have been a little livelier, for their part. Remarkably, they were the only Ligue 1 team to score in each of the first 17 matchdays this season but since that run was broken as they lost 4-0 in Montpellier, they have netted in only two of their five league matches.
Despite a reasonable league position, Brest are looking a little lost at present, although as they approach an easier period in the calendar they will hope to get back to some form.
For the moment, though, this period is all about stabilisation, and that should mean a pragmatic approach in the home match against Troyes. These sides drew 1-1 on December 22, and a similarly tight match should follow.
Prediction: Both Teams to Score – No, 1.87 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Clermont v Saint-Etienne
Sunday 13th February – 2:00PM KO
Local pride is on the line when Saint-Etienne face Clermont on Sunday, with the guests aiming to maintain their positive momentum in recent weeks as they fight against relegation.
Head coach Pascal Dupraz is known for his motivational skills, and these have seen spirits around Saint-Etienne improve in recent weeks. This has been reflected in back-to-back league victories over Angers and Montpellier, two sides better than the one they will face on Sunday. When he took charge, it seemed they needed a miracle to survive, now they are motivated by being just a couple of points from safety.
There is a sense of momentum building around the visiting team, which has been aided by numerous players returning from AFCON duty and a sprinkling of January arrivals.
Their spirit was underlined last weekend as they scored twice after the 90th minute to beat Montpellier. Remarkably, they also scored twice in stoppage time to beat Clermont 3-2 when the sides last met.
That result threatened to plunge the home team into the thick of the relegation battle. They have steadied themselves since then, with successive victories over Rennes and Nice giving them a cushion. At home, though, they have rarely convinced, winning only three of their 11 fixtures.
Meanwhile, the Ligue 1 debutants have never won three successive matches in the top flight, which is what they would achieve if they were to overcome Saint-Etienne on Sunday.
If Clermont were to win this derby, it would require them to take a step up, which will not be easy against an opponent finally moving in the right direction.
Prediction: Saint-Etienne +1, 1.62 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Nantes v Reims
Sunday 13th February – 2:00PM KO
Nantes qualified for the semi-final of the Coupe de France with a 2-0 win over Ligue 2 side Bastia on Thursday. It was a match in which they put significant resources, and it was telling that key attacking players Ludovic Blas and Randal Kolo Muani were their scorers.
Victory, though, maintained the strong positive dynamic that Nantes are experiencing right now. They have won eight of their last 11 matches in all competitions, including three of their last four home matches. The exception was a 0-0 draw with Monaco – not a bad result in itself.
Home coach Antoine Kombouare should have a virtually fully fit squad for this match, too, and perhaps his most difficult challenge will be to get his players focused on this encounter as opposed to the trip to PSG next weekend or March’s semi-final with Monaco.
Reims’ price has been inflated thanks to a 5-0 win over Bordeaux last weekend. While it was a success they deserve credit for, it is important to underscore just how poor their opponents were on that occasion.
Recent losses against Bastia in the cup and Metz at home in the league are a better indicator of where they are at present.
Gripped by an injury crisis in their midfield, which has dramatically reduced their options, Reims will be doing well to avoid anything other than a defeat in this game. It would be little surprise to see them simply try to stifle Nantes’ dangerous attack.
Prediction: Nantes to Win, 2.15 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Lens v Bordeaux
Sunday 13th February – 4:05PM KO
Both Lens and Bordeaux have been known for their goals this season, yet these have dried up for both clubs in recent times, with a shortage of confidence apparent at each of these sides.
Lens, for example, have won only two of their last 10 Ligue 1 matches. Last weekend, they went to a Lorient side on a club-record winless streak and turned in an insipid offensive performance en route to a 2-0 loss. It was their second such defeat in succession, having gone down at home Marseille to an identical scoreline.
Indeed, of their four league matches in 2022, only one of these has seen both sides find the net.
Bordeaux, meanwhile, have put head coach Vladimir Petkovic on leave after an embarrassing 5-0 loss at Reims a week ago. It is difficult to underline how badly Bordeaux crumbled in that fixture. With this in mind, it would be no surprise to see the interim management team simply seek to defend in this game and achieve a low-scoring outcome. Bordeaux, after all, have the poorest defence in Europe’s Big 5 leagues.
Worse, Bordeaux’s attack has flopped in recent weeks. While they sparkled briefly in a 4-3 win over Strasbourg at the end of January, they have failed to score in four of their five fixtures in 2022.
Recent form, then, shows that neither side is firing going forward at all and that a game on paper that might be expected to produce goals may, in fact, not.
Prediction: Both Teams to Score- No, 2.15 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Metz v Marseille
Sunday 13th February – 7:45PM KO
Metz host Marseille on Sunday, aiming to put a bad run of home form behind them.
The home side have struggled at Stade Saint-Symphorien all season. Indeed, they have taken just seven points (W1 D4) from their 11 matches this season and have suffered successive losses against Nice and Strasbourg in front of their home supporters. There is no doubt that they have been more effective on the road.
Meanwhile, Metz fixtures have been low scoring in recent times. None of their last four Ligue 1 games has produced more than two goals and last weekend’s 0-0 draw against Troyes was an encounter that was only remarkable for how little action it contained.
Frederic Antonetti’s home side, meanwhile, would surely see a point against Marseille as a decent outcome, so it would be surprising to see them adopt an aggressive attitude in this game.
Marseille, meanwhile, are reeling after a 4-1 loss against Nice in midweek. Although they beat Angers 5-2 the previous Friday, this was the sort of display that could have head coach Jorge Sampaoli retreating into the more defensive mindset that his team showed over the winter months. Certainly, the reaction of OM’s supporters to the thumping derby loss means that they expect their side to achieve a positive result in this game.
Indeed, prior to last weekend’s goalfest, 10 of Marseille’s 12 Ligue 1 fixtures had produced two goals or fewer.
Recent history suggests a low-scoring match, too. None of the last four meetings between these sides, which have incidentally all ended in draws, have produced more than two goals, while the teams played out a 0-0 in Marseille as recently as November.
Prediction: Under 2.5 Goals, 1.91 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️)
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