Ligue 1 Tips: In-form front men set to shine

A number of Ligue 1 strikers doing great things look set to catch the eye during the midweek round of fixtures on Wednesday night, writes James Eastham...

Hosts' attack to strike again

Strasbourg vs Bordeaux (8th vs 16th)
Wed, 18:00 GMT
Live on BT Sport ESPN and Betfair Live Video

The attacking potential of the hosts and problems on and off the field for the visitors make Strasbourg a strong selection to collect all three points on Wednesday night.

The Alsatians earned a creditable draw at Monaco (1-1) on Sunday afternoon and will look to build on that result by winning in style in front of another large crowd at Stade de la Meinau.

Strasbourg have some of the best supporters in France and fans packing the stands are being entertained by the front line that manager Julian Stephan has compiled.

There are only two strikers' positions up for grabs in Strasbourg's favoured 5-3-2 formation and there are three great options in the squad in Ludovic Ajorque, Habib Diallo and Kevin Gameiro.

Normally Ajorque starts alongside one of the other two and so far the system is working a treat.

Ajorque, Diallo and Gameiro have 16 goals between them at a rate of a goal every 170 minutes and will be confident of adding to their tally here.

Bordeaux have languished near the bottom of the table all season and club president Gerard Lopez tore into the players after the side's 2-1 home defeat to Brest at the weekend.

He questioned the players' attitude, but the worrying thing for Lopez is that Bordeaux's starting line-up on the day contained six played signed since he took charge of the club over the summer.

Bordeaux have won just one of their last nine matches and have the division's worst defensive record (32 goals conceded in 15 matches).

Those stats are a concern against Strasbourg's front men and make the hosts a good bet.

Green absence a blow for les Verts

Brest vs St Etienne (12th vs 20th)
Wed, 18:00 GMT
Live on Betfair Live Video

The stats make going high on goals the smart selection on what's likely to be an entertaining clash between Brest and St Etienne in north-west France.

Eight of Brest's 15 Ligue 1 matches have featured over 2.5 goals and the same applies to nine of St Etienne's 15 matches (which equals 57 per cent, or 1.75).

Brest are on a run of four straight victories and their front four - wingers Romain Faivre and Franck Honorat and strikers Jeremy Le Douaron and Steve Mounie - have combined superbly in recent weeks.

St Etienne's England U21 goalkeeper Etienne Green misses this game through suspension and the visitors will be considerably weaker in goal without him.

St Etienne have scored at least once in nine of their last 10 league games and will be confident of troubling a Brest back four that can be vulnerable against pace and good movement.

Over 2.5 Goals, available at 1.85, is worth considering.

For bigger odds, take a look at Over 2.5 & 3.0 on the Goal Lines market.

Lens to inflict more misery on hosts

Clermont vs Lens (18th vs 5th)
Wed, 20:00 GMT
Live on Betfair Live Video

Promoted Clermont are struggling with life in Ligue 1 and that hands Lens an excellent chance of winning at Stade Gabriel-Montpied.

On a high at being in the top flight for the first time ever, Clermont began the season with two wins and two draws. Since those heady days of August, their record is a dismal W1-D2-L8.

Clermont manager Pascal Gastien's insistence on a possession-based style of play with no real Plan B is causing Clermont to come unstuck against better opposition.

Lens can certainly be considered better opposition despite losing their way in the past fortnight.

They've picked up only one point from their last two matches but this fixture presents an excellent chance for the visitors to get back on track.

Lens can field their strongest starting line-up and, keen to claim a top-six spot this season, will play to win rather than being happy with a draw.

Lens are 12 points and 13 places above Clermont in the standings and look well-equipped to make their superiority count.

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