Ligue 1 Midweek Tips: Rampant Lille to underline title credentials

Christophe Galtier's table-toppers are the main selection during a full programme of matches in France's top flight on Wednesday night. James Eastham picks out the best bets...

Entertaining hosts to claim the win

Montpellier vs Metz (5th vs 13th)
Live on Betfair Live Video
Wed, 18:00 GMT

Montpellier have been one of Ligue 1's more entertaining sides this season and will be confident of claiming victory against moderate Metz on Wednesday night.

Michel Der Zakarian's hosts sit in fifth place and are just three points off top spot thanks to the open, attacking football that they've played this campaign. This marks a change of style for a team that have been rather risk-averse in recent seasons but the switch from a 3-4-1-2 to a 4-3-3 and the application of a more enterprising approach have paid dividends.

The front three of Algeria international Andy Delort (pictured below), ex-Arsenal trainee Stephy Mavididi and underrated Gaetan Laborde are a joy to watch, netting 14 times between them. With twin playmakers Florent Mollet and Teji Savanier set to create the chances as usual, the attacking trio will be as dangerous as ever.

Metz are without a win in five matches and their only victory in eight came against Nimes, currently 18th in the table. Frederic Antonetti's visitors are difficult to beat but have had good fortune in recent outings and their luck could run out given the calibre of the opposition they face.


Underrated visitors the smart pick

Angers vs Strasbourg (7th vs 16th)
Live on Betfair Live Video
Wed, 18:00 GMT

There's little difference between the performance level and potential of these two sides so the value lies with underdogs Strasbourg. Angers are 2.3 to win, with Strasbourg 3.35 and The Draw 3.35.

Angers sit 12 points ahead of Strasbourg in the table but this difference is largely down to Strasbourg's awful start to the season: the Alsatians lost six of their opening seven games, looking in real trouble at that point.

Performances have improved since. Strasbourg are unbeaten in their last three matches (W1-D2-L0) and might have taken even more points during this mini-run: after thrashing Nantes (4-0) 10 days ago they were dangerous against Metz (2-2) last weekend but two controversial penalties awarded to Metz meant Strasbourg dropped points in a game they might have easily won.

Angers have played well at times during the first third of the season but man-for-man are barely any stronger than the visitors. Angers' home form is a concern, too: they've lost their last two home matches vs Lyon (0-1) and Nice (0-3) without and have yet to truly impress at home at all this season.

The big odds on Strasbourg make the visitors the smart selection on the Asian Handicap. With our pick, you'll make money as long as Strasbourg avoid defeat. For a full guide to Asian Handicap betting, click here.

Top vs bottom clash will follow form book

Dijon vs Lille (20th vs 1st)
Wed, 18:00 GMT
Live on BT Sport 2 and Betfair Live Video

Lille moved to the top of the Ligue 1 table last weekend and there's increasing evidence that Christophe Galtier's side from the north of France ought to be seen as genuine title contenders.

Bordeaux were their latest victims and the manner in which Lille responded to the Bordeaux equaliser that made it 1-1 summed up why many believe Lille have the qualities to go toe-to-toe with PSG all the way to the tape next spring.

Far from being fazed by Bordeaux levelling the score, Lille drove forward with even greater intensity, regaining a deserved advantage 16 minutes later. The verve, energy and spirit that has imbued their performances this season have shown no signs of waning, and Lille look set to attack their latest encounter with the same confidence and enthusiasm they've displayed every time they've taken to the field this campaign.

Under new manager David Linares, Dijon's performances have improved in recent weeks but they remained rooted to the foot of the table. There were encouraging signs in their 1-1 draw at Nantes last Sunday, but Nantes are fellow strugglers, and the step-up in class here will be simply too great for the hosts.

Lille are 1.6 to collect all three points so the visitors are a better bet on the Asian Handicap. By backing Lille with a -1.0 start you'll get your stakes back if they win by a single goal and make money if they win by two or more goals.

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