Ligue 1 Tips: Rennes and Lyon the smart bets to shine on Sunday

James Eastham looks at the odds and picks out the smart selections ahead of the latest round of weekend fixtures in France's top flight...

Rennes to bounce back after blip

St Etienne vs Rennes (20th vs 3rd)
Sun, 12:00 GMT
Live on BT Sport 3 and Betfair Live Video

Rennes suffered a rare defeat in midweek but are a good selection to bounce back with a win this weekend.

Manager Bruno Genesio was sent off as his side's stunning 13-match unbeaten run (W10-D3-L0) in all competitions came to an end at the hands of Lille (1-2).

Yet Rennes have the quality and deep-rooted confidence to ensure that the midweek loss will be a blip rather than the start of a slump.

Fatigue in their ranks will be a minimal issue as they have the squad strength to rotate if necessary.

The Rennes players will be smarting after their midweek defeat and the squad's attitude has been excellent this season so a focused and determined performance will be guaranteed this weekend.

Nothing about St Etienne's form suggests they have the quality to prevent an away win for visitors that are 16 points and 17 places ahead of them in the standings.

Claude Puel's hosts are W2-D6-L8 for the season and W0-D1-L3 against sides that, like Rennes, are currently in the top three. In those four matches against top-six sides, St Etienne scored four times while conceding 13 times.

A lack of support will also be a problem for St Etienne this weekend: the two stands behind the goals where their most fervent fans normally gather will be closed this weekend as punishment for fan trouble at previous home matches.

The stands were also closed the last time they played at home and the lack of noise and backing for the home players put St Etienne at a clear disadvantage.

Taking all factors into account the 1.9 price on Rennes is well worth taking.

More misery in store for Bordeaux

Bordeaux vs Lyon (18th vs 10th)
Sun, 19:45 GMT
Live on BT Sport 2 and Betfair Live Video

Lyon are sorely testing our patience at the moment but we're happy to back them this weekend because the quality of the opposition they're facing is so poor.

We supported Lyon to win at Montpellier last weekend and got our stakes back but it was a far from convincing performance by Peter Bosz's players.

In a behind closed doors game on Wednesday night, Lyon then lost 2-1 at home to Reims, conceding an injury-time winner at the end of another mediocre showing.

There are justifiable complaints that for all the individual quality of their side - Lucas Paqueta, Karl Toko Ekambi and others - Lyon are failing to gel as a team and remain less than the sum of their parts.

Yet Bordeaux are Ligue 1's worst side right now and that hands Lyon an excellent opportunity to claim all three points on Sunday night.

Rooted to the foot of the table, Bordeaux have played poorly all season and the word 'crisis' has been bandied about within and outside the club.

Bordeaux president Gerard Lopez tore into his players about what he saw as their poor attitude ahead of the club's midweek fixture at Strasbourg - yet it made absolutely no difference as Bordeaux slumped to a 5-2 defeat.

Devoid of confidence and potentially facing fan protests here, Bordeaux are playing so poorly it's hard to see them getting a point, let alone winning.

Lyon are 1.7 to collect all three points so we're happy to support them on the Asian Handicap in the expectation of the team clicking against weak opposition. For a full guide to Asian Handicap betting, click here.

With our selection, you'll get your stakes back if Lyon win by a single goal and make a profit if Lyon win by two or more goals.

Lyon and Germany defender Jerome Boateng

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