Nice v Angers
Sunday 20th February – 12:00PM KO
Nice have only once gone on a run of three Ligue 1 matches without winning this season, yet failure to pick up three points against Angers on Sunday would see them replicate this unfortunate achievement.
Head coach Christophe Galtier is known as a master motivator and will use recent defeats to Clermont and Lyon as inspiration for his team to bounce back. Indeed, these losses have come after their best period of the season.
Nice should be too strong for Angers. Indeed, they have won four of the last five between the clubs, netting three times on three occasions during these fixtures, including a 3-0 home victory last season.
Angers, meanwhile, are not a side in form. They have lost six of their last eight matches, including three of their last four away from home. Gerald Baticle’s side raced into a 2-0 lead in Marseille a fortnight ago but crumbled physically late in that game and were beaten 5-2.
Although the visitors have a strong propensity to draw their away games, Nice fixtures, conversely, are rarely drawn. Indeed, only one of their last 18 Ligue 1 fixtures has ended all square.
The hosts find themselves suddenly under pressure to retain a place in the top three and this match will reveal a great deal about their mental toughness. Galtier’s sides can rarely be accused of failing in this capacity, so expect Nice to win this one.
Prediction: Nice to Win, 1.70 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Lorient v Montpellier
Sunday 20th February – 2:00PM KO
No club’s home fixtures have produced fewer goals this season than Lorient. Their 11 home fixtures have seen the ball hit the net only 19 times, which is five fewer than any other Ligue 1 team.
The home side come into Sunday’s fixture against Montpellier in comparatively good form, with only two defeats in their last six. Meanwhile, they are undefeated in three at home, including difficult fixtures against Paris Saint-Germain and Lens.
Lorient’s recent improvement does not owe greatly to the work of their attacking players, though undoubtedly they are improving in that capacity. They have still only managed to score six times in six games.
Montpellier, meanwhile, have gone entirely off the boil. They have lost four of their last five, often melting down in the closing stages of their fixtures due to needless errors.
Although key man Teji Savanier returned last weekend, the other attacking players continue to blow hot and cold, while the ongoing absence of English winger Stephy Mavididi is hurting the team at the top end of the field, where he has top scored with eight goals and has provided three assists.
Montpellier may be one of the most prolific teams in Ligue 1, but equally in the midst of their present run, in which confidence has clearly taken a dip, it would be little surprise to see them adopt a more pragmatic approach for this trip against a struggling opponent.
Prediction: Under 2.5 Goals, 1.75 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Reims v Brest
Sunday 20th February – 2:00PM KO
Reims defied major injury problems a fortnight ago to win their last home match 5-1 against Bordeaux, but results have largely been going against them in recent times. Indeed, they have lost four of their last five.
Last weekend in Nantes, they suffered a 1-0 defeat with 10 men. Although they played a good game, they ultimately lacked the quality to take anything from the fixture.
On Sunday, they will again battle chronic issues when hosting Brest. Five starters have already been confirmed missing because of injury or suspension, including three regular members of the back five.
Brest’s ability to take advantage should not be underestimated, despite losing their last three on the road. Those defeats have come against teams chasing European football – a bracket that Reims certainly do not fall into.
Last weekend, the Breton side dismantled Troyes 5-1 at home and should be on a high after that fixture. On-loan Inter striker Martin Satriano impressed on his first Ligue 1 start by scoring twice and would appear to be the type of player who will bring much to his adopted side.
In contrast to their hosts, meanwhile, they have a full group of players fit for this game.
With Reims struggling to score goals, there is every chance the visiting side could make the trip back west with something to show for their efforts.
Prediction: Brest Draw no Bet, 2.20 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Rennes v Troyes
Sunday 20th February – 2:00PM KO
On paper, Rennes’ recent form looks scruffy. They have lost five of their last seven matches, but all of these defeats have come away from home. Back at Roazhon Park, they have secured three successive wins, albeit against weak opponents.
Lorient, Brest and Bordeaux have all been dispatched without the concession of a goal, and they will hope to add Troyes to that list when they host the Champagne side on Sunday.
Rennes may have been troubled by a number of injury issues in recent weeks, but those players who are set to miss out have not had a big role in the season, with the exception of midfielder Flavien Tait. They should, therefore, have a strong squad on offer.
Troyes, meanwhile, are struggling to get going under new boss Bruno Irles. After winning in Montpellier, they have gone winless in three, including away fixtures against Angers and Brest – opponents substantially poorer than Rennes.
Irles had generally been successful in installing a more robust defence before they caved in to lose 5-1 in Brest last weekend, and no doubt will have been working hard on shape in training this week.
Offensively, they still look short of quality. Gerson Rodrigues has been put on leave for repeated disciplinary breeches, while the versatile Renaud Ripart will miss this game due to injury. On the evidence of recent weeks, it is difficult to see where Troyes could potentially hurt Rennes beyond set pieces. Their primary hope will be to pinch a point with a solid defensive display
Prediction: Both Teams to Score- No, 1.75 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Saint-Etienne v Strasbourg
Sunday 20th February – 2:00PM KO
Two in-form sides meet at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on Sunday, with this an important fixture for both. Saint-Etienne are battling against the drop while Strasbourg are chasing an unlikely spot in the Champions League.
The home side have shown impressive spirit in recent times. They have won their last three league matches but their improvement has dated back longer than that, with decent showings even in defeat versus Lens and Lyon.
Saint-Etienne’s home form has yet to reflect this recent upswing as they have only played two of their last seven in front of their supporters.
Meanwhile, Strasbourg have picked up five wins in six, with the exception a shock defeat against relegation-threatened Bordeaux. Although they only have five away wins for the season, four of these have come in their last five trips.
Although Strasbourg beat Saint-Etienne 5-1 in Alsace in October, a repeat of that outcome seems highly unlikely as Sainté are an entirely different beast now.
One of the things that these two clubs have in common lately, is the frequency in which they have been involved in matches in which either team has failed to score. Six of Saint-Etienne’s last nine matches have ended with one team failing to get on the scoresheet, while six of Strasbourg’s last eight have had a similar outcome. A low-scoring game is, therefore, a probability, with any goal set to be precious in this fixture. Backing against both teams to score at a price greater than evens looks a good value bet.
Prediction: Both Teams to Score- No, 2.10 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Bordeaux v Monaco
Sunday 20th February – 4:05PM KO
Bordeaux and Monaco is a game that should have goals written all over it. After all, Bordeaux’s 24 league matches have produced 97 already this season, while Monaco’s have wrought 63.
Even following the sacking of Vladimir Petkovic a fortnight ago, Bordeaux remain a team that seem determined to play out high-scoring matches. Last weekend, for example, they went down 3-2 in Lens.
New head coach David Guion was officially appointed on Thursday, although he had been taking training since the start of the week and has doubtless been working on defensive solidarity more than anything else.
Nevertheless, Bordeaux have a long road to go to become a solid outfit, and with their strength clearly at the other end of the field, they appear destined to have a reputation as an exciting side to watch until the end of the season.
Monaco, meanwhile, were surprisingly stifled 0-0 by struggling Lorient last time out. That bucked a trend of impressive attacking displays from them. It was also the fourth time in five league games that they have played a match in which backing against both teams to score would be a winner.
Bordeaux, though, leak so many goals at the back and score so many goals going the other way that such an outcome is unlikely at the Stade Matmut-Atlantique, where they have only been shutout twice all season.
Backing over 2.5 goals should be a winner and there is even value in back more goals for those who feel that Guion cannot perform miracles in the space of a few training sessions.
Prediction: Over 2.5 Goals, 1.60 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Marseille v Clermont
Sunday 20th February – 7:45PM KO
With Marseille’s unpredictable home form and Clermont’s recent resurgence, backing goals seems to hold value for Sunday’s final Ligue 1 match.OM may sit second in Ligue 1, but one of the major reasons they are 13 points distant from PSG going into the weekend’s action is that they have won only five of 12 at home this season. Bordeaux, Metz, Brest and Reims – all clubs in the bottom half of the table – have all taken points away from the venue.
Clermont, meanwhile, have form against the league’s better sides. Indeed, in the past three weeks they have beaten European challengers Nice and Rennes, though they lost out late at home to Saint-Etienne a week ago.Marseille, therefore, cannot justify their strong odds-on favouritism, despite having a strong side available.
OM, though, have been involved in high-scoring matches of late, showing the exciting form that made them such a favourite for neutrals at the start of the season. Their last four matches in all competitions have produced a total of 19 goals, with both teams scoring in each of those fixtures.
Three of Clermont’s last four outings, meanwhile, have seen at least three goals scored. Backing both teams to net in those games, though, would only have been a winner twice.
When the clubs met earlier this season, Marseille pinched a 1-0 win in Clermont, but they have a more aggressive mindset presently and are poised to entertain their support in this fixture.
Prediction: Over 2.5 Goals, 1.91 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️)
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