Balotelli the key man

Marseille vs Angers (4th vs 12th)
Live on Betfair Live Video
Sat, 16:00 GMT
Marseille and Mario Balotelli will look to continue their excellent run of form as Rudi Garcia's hosts chase down a Champions League spot. Italy international Balotelli has scored five goals in eight appearances since joining l'OM in January, transforming the side's fortunes over the past two months.
Marseille lost 3-1 at PSG in their last outing a fortnight ago. There was no shame in being defeated by the runaway Ligue 1 leaders, however, and they gave Paris a tougher game than most other Ligue 1 sides have. Marseille's record in their previous six matches was W5-D1-L0. At home to mid-table Angers Marseille will be confident of picking up all three points even though goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, Japan full-back Hiroki Sakai and France youth international centre-back Aboubakar Kamara will miss the game through suspension.
Angers can be awkward opponents but there are fears over their motivation now. They're too far below the top-six positions to harbour realistic hopes of challenging for a European place but are 14 points above the bottom three so already safe from relegation. They have little to play for in the weeks ahead.
Marseille are short odds to win (1.57). With Balotelli in outstanding form and a good supporting cast of Florian Thauvin, Lucas Ocampos and Valere Germain, however, the hosts are a strong Asian Handicap selection. For a full guide to Asian Handicap betting, click here.

Rock-bottom Caen to lose again

Monaco vs Caen (16th vs 20th)
Live on Betfair Live Video
Sun, 14:00 BST
Although only four places separate these two sides in the standings Monaco and Caen have been heading in opposite directions for weeks. The former are now virtually safe from relegation while the latter are in awful form and have fallen to the bottom of the table.
Monaco's league position in no way reflects the quality in their side: on paper they really should be challenging for a top-four spot and almost certainly would be but for their bizarrely disjointed first-half of the season. Since Leonardo Jardim returned as manager in January their form has improved dramatically, however: they're unbeaten in seven games (W4-D3-L0) and underlined their quality by running out 1-0 winners at second-placed Lille in their last match a fortnight ago.
Caen have lost eight of their last 10 matches (W0-D2-L8) and are starting to look simply not good enough to survive at this level. None of their players would get into Monaco's starting line-up and the difference in calibre between the sides ought to be obvious at Stade Louis II this weekend. Monaco are odds-on to win but we're happy to back them with a starting deficit on the Asian Handicap.

Motivation matters at St Etienne

St Etienne vs Nimes (5th vs 11th)
Live on Betfair Live Video and BT Sport ESPN
Mon, 19:30 BST
St Etienne are chasing a European place and should have too much quality for spirited Nimes. The hosts have one of Ligue 1's finest home records and in the end that may prove the difference between the sides.
St Etienne are W9-D2-L3 at their Stade Geoffroy-Guichard but all three defeats came against sides currently above them in the standings. Eliminate results against sides above them and their home record's a more impressive W8-D2-L0, which underlines how much Nimes will have their work cut out this weekend.
Nimes have exceeded expectations following promotion back to the top flight for the first time in 25 years, especially as they have one of the division's smallest budgets. Tucked away in a safe mid-table position, however, you wonder whether the players' motivation will start to wane given they've already achieved their pre-season objective of securing Ligue 1 safety.
Nimes' away record against sides currently above them in the standings is a disappointing W1-D0-L5, too. St Etienne are 1.75 to collect all three points and we're happy to back the hosts at those odds.
RECOMMENDED BETS
Marseille -1.0 Asian Handicap vs Angers @ 2.00
Monaco -1.5 Asian Handicap vs Caen @ 2.20
St Etienne to beat Nimes @ 1.75

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