Ligue 1 Tips: Lyon on course for easy derby win over sorry St Etienne

After securing another profit last weekend James Eastham picks out the smart selections across the latest round of games in France's top flight...

More misery in store for Bordeaux

Bordeaux vs Montpellier (12th vs 9th)
Sat, 16:00 GMT
Live on BT Sport 2 and Betfair Live Video

"Bordeaux are a poor side and are going to be battling to avoid relegation this season." So said Bordeaux manager Jean-Louis Gasset after watching his side's 4-0 defeat at Monaco last weekend.

Whether les Girondins end up battling to avoid relegation remains to be seen, but it's difficult to argue with the first part of his phrase.

Bordeaux are W3-D3-L3 for the season and the only three teams they've beaten - Nimes, Dijon and Angers - all sit in the bottom half of the table, with Nimes and Dijon in the bottom three.

All of which means the 2.5 price on Bordeaux winning this weekend makes little sense. Montpellier are a better side than any of the three teams Bordeaux have beaten and arrive on the back of a morale-boosting 1-0 win at St Etienne last weekend.

Montpellier manager Michel Der Zakarian knows exactly how to set-up his side to frustrate limited sides such as Bordeaux and Montpellier have ability on the break, too: they can be quick on the wings, welcome back star playmaker Teji Savanier (pictured below) after a two-match suspension and in Andy Delort and Gaetan Laborde have an excellent forward partnership.

Montpellier are 3.3 to win. Consider backing the visitors to collect all three points or support them on the Draw No Bet market.


Reims to profit from Lens' rustiness

Lens vs Reims (10th vs 15th)
Sun, 14:00 GMT
Live on BT Sport 3 and Betfair Live Video

This is Lens' first game since October 18th so a lack of match sharpness in the home ranks will be a genuine concern after three weeks without a competitive fixture.

An even bigger issue for the hosts is the absence through injury of four-goal top scorer Ignatius Ganago: the £5.4 million summer signing from Nice has been excellent since moving north and Lens will lack a threat in the final third without him.

Reims go into the game on the back of consecutive victories: they won 4-0 at Montpellier on their last away outing a fortnight ago and followed up with a 2-1 home triumph over Strasbourg last weekend. Six-goal top scorer Boulaye Dia will look to add to his tally while 18-year-old winger Nathanael Mbuku is an outstanding prospect that has been excellent in recent weeks.

The 2.18 odds on a Lens victory look too short so laying the hosts is the smart selection.

One-sided Sunday night thriller

Lyon vs St Etienne (6th vs 13th)
Sun, 20:00 GMT
Live on BT Sport 1 and Betfair Live Video

This is the most fiercely-fought derby in France but it threatens to turn into a no-contest victory on Sunday night based on how these two teams have fared in recent weeks.

After a chaotic and highly disruptive transfer period Lyon have found their feet since the window slammed shut: in their last three outings they've won 3-2 at Strasbourg, thrashed Monaco 4-0 and claimed a highly-creditable draw at second-placed Lille (1-1) last weekend despite playing most of the second-half with only 10 men following the sending-off of centre-back Marcelo.

St Etienne are on a run of five straight defeats and are among the weakest sides in Ligue 1 right now. A string of injuries, suspensions and the decision to sell Wesley Fofana to Leicester City has left the defence extremely fragile, while the midfield lacks personality and the absence of a single reliable goalscorer is starting to prove a major handicap.

Lyon would love nothing more than to run out big winners against their local rivals, and have the potential to do so. The hosts are 1.4 to win so we recommend supporting them to win by at least a couple of goals on the Asian Handicap market.

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