Ligue 1 Tips: Lille have edge in Sunday night thriller


The most gripping title race in years promises more twists and turns this weekend, writes James Eastham...

Sampaoli's side to seal the points

Reims vs Marseille (11th vs 6th)
Fri. 20:00 BST
Live on Betfair Live Video and Live on BT Sport 3

Marseille's greater desire for points ought to drive the visitors to victory this weekend.

L'OM - who have named a strong squad for the trip - are chasing a Europa League spot and will go all-out to earn a potentially crucial win.

Certain players are also playing for their futures as Jorge Sampaio considers reshaping his squad over the summer, an additional motivating factor for Marseille.

In contrast, hosts Reims are in mid-table with little to play for.

Manager David Guion has already announced he will leave at the end of the season and you sense the Reims squad are starting to go through the motions.

The odds-against price on the visitors is a strong selection.

Motivation holds key for Montpellier

Nice vs Montpellier (10th vs 8th)
Sun, 12:00 BST
Live on Betfair Live Video and BT Sport ESPN

Motivation ought to play a crucial role in the outcome of this fixture.

Nice are destined for a mid-table finish while Montpellier have their eyes on a European place.

Montpellier's desire and determination were evident as they earned an impressive 1-1 draw away to Ligue 1 leaders Lille last weekend.

Montpellier have been tough to beat on the road all season, as their W5-D8-L3 record shows.

And those three defeats came against PSG (2nd), Marseille (6th) and Rennes (7th), all sides currently above Nice in the standings.

Their low loss rate and greater need for points make Montpellier worth supporting on the Draw No Bet market.

Crisis-hit Bordeaux to slip up again

Lorient vs Bordeaux (17th vs 16th)
Sun, 14:00 BST
Live on Betfair Live Video and BT Sport ESPN

The mood at these two relegation-threatened clubs could not be more different heading into this crucial clash.

Lorient are just one place and one point above the relegation play-off position yet remain confident they have the quality to avoid the drop.

Striker Terem Moffi will be the key man for Lorient after scoring twice against Marseille last weekend to take his tally for the season to 11 goals.

Alongside him Yoane Wissa is a constant threat thanks to his pace, and the pair are likely to cause real damage.

Bordeaux have been in dreadful form in 2021, suffering 10 defeats from their last 12 matches.

The club was thrown into chaos this week when owners King Street announced they would be pulling out.

The players go into this game with the threat of bankruptcy hanging over their heads, making a situation that was already dire even worse.

It's hard to see a Bordeaux squad that was already riven by factions rousing themselves sufficiently against united hosts that have played some good football in recent weeks.

Dijon set to be relegated

Rennes vs Dijon (7th vs 20th)
Sun, 14:00 BST
Live on Betfair Live Video

Dijon earned a stay of execution with their 2-0 win over Nice last weekend but look set to be relegated on Sunday.

Thirteen points from safety with five rounds of games to go, they will go down if they lose.

And they meet Rennes at the worst possible time.

Chasing a European spot, Rennes have won four and drawn one of their last five matches.

If and when Rennes take the lead the writing will be on the wall for Dijon and there's a good chance their motivation will dry up.

The difference in quality and the way the game may evolve makes the in-form hosts a smart Asian Handicap selection. For a full guide to Asian Handicap betting, click here.

volland_monaco_2020.jpg

Monaco to cruise to victory

Angers vs Monaco (12th vs 3rd)
Sun, 16:00 BST
Live on Betfair Live Video and BT Sport ESPN

This game presents a fantastic opportunity for Monaco to continue their title challenge.

Mid-table Angers have nothing to play for and their motivation is waning.

They lost meekly 3-0 at home to Rennes last weekend and a similar outcome here would be no surprise.

Angers manager Stephane Moulin leaves next month after a decade in charge so the club is freewheeling towards the end of the season.

Monaco have won their last four matches to nil, scoring 14 times.

Their defending has improved markedly and their goals are coming from all sorts of sources. Last weekend Kevin Volland (pictured above) was on the scoresheet, with eight different players contributing those 14 goals in total.

Another comfortable victory for Niko Kovac's hugely entertaining visitors is on the cards.

Price on Lille too good to ignore

Lyon vs Lille (4th vs 1st)
Sun, 20:00 BST
Live on Betfair Live Video and BT Sport 2

This eagerly-awaited clash at the top of the table could go a long way towards deciding the destination of the Ligue 1 title.

Three points behind leaders LilleLyon are aware that defeat could deal a potentially fatal blow to their hopes of claiming the crown.

Lille know that anything other than a win may hand the chance for PSG and Monaco to leapfrog them, meaning they could end the weekend in third place having topped the table for so long.

Putting aside potential outcomes, however, the prices suggest Lille are the smarter bet.

Lyon are 2.24 to win, with Lille 3.5 and The Draw 3.5.

The price on Lille looks too big considering the results these two sides have earned this season.

Lille have the division's best away record. They're W11-D4-L1 on the road, their sole defeat coming at Brest way back in November.

Crucially, they're unbeaten in head-to-head clashes against their three title rivals (PSG, Monaco, Lyon).

Lille are W2-D3-L0 in such games, including a 1-1 draw against Lyon in the reverse fixture last November.

Lyon are W2-D1-L1 in head-to-heads with title rivals, most recently losing 4-2 at home to PSG.

Taking all factors into account, Lille are the pick on the Asian Handicap.

With our selection, you'll make a profit if Lille win or if the game ends all-square.

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