Ligue 1 Tips: Rampant Monaco and Lille to continue title charge

After a fantastic night in the Champions League PSG face a stiff challenge at home this weekend, writes James Eastham...

Leaders to stay ahead of pack

Metz vs Lille (9th vs 1st)
Fri, 20:00 BST
Live on BT Sport ESPN and Betfair Live Video

Lille's 1-0 win at PSG last weekend sent them clear at the top of the table and now they meet Metz at the perfect time.

Christophe Galtier's players produced the perfect tactical performance at Parc des Princes to move three points ahead of their nearest rivals.

With only seven games to go Lille are now realistic contenders to claim their first Ligue 1 since their Eden Hazard-inspired triumph a decade ago.

Lille's away form is an extra reason to support the visitors: they're W4-D1-L0 from their last five away games and have the division's best away record this season (W10-D4-L1).

Metz's hopes of achieving anything meaningful this season have faded fast in recent weeks. In truth they've exceeded expectations by being in the top-half of the table for so much of the campaign. Yet they've fallen away in the European race and that will be a further boost for Lille.

Metz have lost their last two matches and three of their last four and with those defeats their sense of purpose will have drained.

Frederic Antonetti's side are now seven points off the European places so it's hard to see them having the motivation to thwart the focused visitors.

Lille are 1.7 to collect all three points and those odds are worth taking.


Bayern tie to lead PSG astray

Strasbourg vs PSG (13th vs 2nd)
Sat, 16:00 BST
Live on BT Sport 3 and Betfair Live Video

Strasbourg stand the chance of recording a great result against a PSG side caught between two stools this weekend.

PSG cannot afford to neglect domestic duties as they are three points adrift in the title race. Last weekend's 1-0 home defeat to Lille has put them under pressure and they need to make up ground.

But next week's Champions League quarter-final return leg vs Bayern Munich is the priority for everyone at the club and will be in their thoughts heading into this game.

With their 3-2 first leg win PSG have played themselves into a great position and will be determined to finish the job in the French capital next Tuesday.

For that reason, manager Mauricio Pochettino (pictured above) will be tempted to rotate this weekend - and the focus of the players that do start may be elsewhere.

PSG have team news problems in any case: Neymar is suspended, Alessandro Florenzi and Marco Verratti are absent following positive covid tests, while Marquinhos and Abdou Diallo surely won't be risked after picking up knocks in Munich.

A depleted and distracted Paris line-up will take to the field and that plays into Strasbourg's hands.

The hosts still need points to be safe from relegation, and all Ligue 1 sides are motivated when facing PSG.

The hosts are 4.6 to win but laying PSG at 1.8 looks the better option.

Monaco to win big again

Monaco vs Dijon (3rd vs 20th)
Sun, 16:05 BST
Live on BT Sport 1 and Betfair Live Video

The weekend's biggest mismatch takes place at Stade Louis II as in-form Monaco look to continue their unlikely title challenge.

Niko Kovac's hosts have won 11 of their past 14 matches and ought to make short work of Dijon, who arrive on a run of 11 consecutive defeats.

Rampant Monaco have won each of their past two matches 4-0 - at St Etienne and at home to Metz - and will relish the opportunity to further boost their goal difference against the hapless visitors.

Wissam Ben Yedder, Kevin Volland and Stevan Jovetic have been in tremendous form for the Principality outfit.

Their personal battle for goals appears to be spurring all three of them on and the hosts should run out comfortable winners.

With Monaco as short as 1.21, the question is how to make the Principality outfit pay.

Monaco -2.0 Asian Handicap is available around evens and looks the smart pick given the hosts' firepower. For a full guide to Asian Handicap betting, click here.

Seven of Monaco's 11 wins since the turn of the year have been by two or more goals.

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