Ligue 1 Tips: Monaco and Lille to display title credentials again

The latest gripping chapter in Ligue 1's most absorbing title race in years will play out on Wednesday night, writes James Eastham...

Lille to clinch precious win

Bordeaux vs Lille (10th vs 1st)
Wed, 18:00 GMT
Live on Betfair Live Video

Lille's trip to Bordeaux on Wednesday night presents a good opportunity to back the Ligue 1 leaders at an odds-against price.

Lille's performance level has dropped a little in recent weeks yet Lille manager Christophe Galtier (pictured below) and his title challengers are good value to collect all three points at 2.16 given their ability to grind out wins.

Lille have won four games in a row (by a single goal each time) and boast a 64% win rate this season.

Lille's win rate rises to 71% against non-top-five sides and their 60% win rate away from home against all opposition is also worth flagging up.

Bordeaux can use some decent results and performances against Ligue 1's better sides as a source of confidence ahead of this game.

They drew 2-2 at PSG in November and were unlucky to lose to a fantastic injury-time Leo Dubois strike against Lyon (1-2) last weekend.

Yet Bordeaux's away performances are often better than their home showings and that factor needs taking into account.

Against a Lille side that press intensely high up the pitch Bordeaux will be harried into making mistakes.

Lille's excellent defensive away record - just eight goals conceded in 10 fixtures - shows that the visitors may need only one goal to collect the points.

Lille have the class to win out and their odds-against price is worth taking.

In-form Lorient to cause upset

Rennes vs Lorient (5th vs 18th)
Wed, 18:00 GMT
Live on Betfair Live Video

Lorient are on a high heading into this game and have the potential to avoid defeat at Rennes.

Christophe Pelissier's side produced one of the shocks of the season by running out 3-2 winners over PSG on Sunday and were good value for the victory.

It was Lorient's second consecutive win after their victory by the same scoreline over fellow strugglers Dijon four days earlier.

Lorient are defensively vulnerable every time they play but their attack is a considerable asset and ought to cause Rennes problems.

The visitors have scored 11 times in their last five outings and boast depth (Adrian Grbic, Pierre-Yves Hamel, Terem Moffi) and class in the final third.

Moffi is showing why Lorient paid £7.2 million to sign him from Belgian side Kortrijk in October.

The 21-year-old Nigerian striker has scored five times in his last five appearances, including a coolly-taken winner against PSG.

Rennes deserve to be favourites but the 1.62 price on the hosts look too short.

Their fixture at Marseille was called off at the last minute at the weekend and Rennes haven't always impressed in recent weeks.

A narrow and barely-deserved win (1-0) over Metz (Dec 23) and 0-0 draw at Nantes (Jan 6) show Rennes can struggle against supposedly weaker sides.

An upbeat Lorient are worth supporting so a lay of the hosts is the pick.

Monaco to make it perfect six

Monaco vs Nice (4th vs 13th)
Wed, 20:00 GMT
Live on Betfair Live Video

Five consecutive wins have turned Monaco into outsiders in the title race and the hosts will be confident of making it six out of six when they host Nice in the Riviera derby.

The Principality outfit have produced some tremendous football in recent weeks and a new-found strength in depth in Niko Kovac's squad has played a key role.

Guillermo Maripan has emerged from nowhere to oust Axel Disasi from the side, the Chile centre-back scoring four goals in his last five appearances.

Aleksandr Golovin has returned after four months on the sidelines through injury to add guile on the flanks and final third, while £18 million right winger Krepin Diatta will add quality in the coming weeks after his arrival from Belgian league leaders Club Bruges last month.

Monaco should make short work of a Nice side that lack consistency, confidence and a gameplan.

Nice are W1-D2-L3 since the start of the year and the only team they have managed to beat convincingly in the past three months was bottom side Nimes (2-0).

Against top-class outfits such as Monaco, Nice stand little chance, making the hosts a strong choice.

Monaco are 1.54 to win so supporting the hosts on the Asian Handicap is a better selection.

Kovac's side work hard to add further goals after going ahead in games, which makes them capable of winning comfortably.

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