Ligue 1 Tips: Away-day specialists Nice and Marseille the smart selections

Two of France's top-four sides are good bets to pick up points on the road this weekend, writes James Eastham...

Hosts are too short

Strasbourg vs Nice (4th vs 3rd)
Sat, 16:00 GMT
Live on Betfair Live Video

It's hard to justify Strasbourg's price as short-priced favourites on Saturday. The hosts are 2.22 to win, with Nice 3.6 and The Draw 3.4.

Yet Nice are one place and three points above Strasbourg in the league table. Nice also have the division's second-best away stats thanks to an excellent W8-D1-L3 record.

Strasbourg have impressed this season but their form is not exceptional enough to justify their odds: they've won just one of their last three matches (W1-D1-L1).

Given there's little to pick between the sides, supporting Nice in some way would be the smart bet. Lay Strasbourg at 2.24, or back Nice on the Draw No Bet market, or back Nice with a small start on the Asian Handicap market. For a full guide to Asian Handicap betting, click here.

Go low on goals in Clermont

Clermont vs Bordeaux (15th vs 20th)
Sun, 14:00 GMT
Live on BT Sport 3 and Betfair Live Video

Backing low goals is the best selection at Clermont this weekend because of the approach that new Bordeaux manager David Guion is likely to take.

Bordeaux appointed Guion last week because he made former club Reims so difficult to beat. During his time in charge there, he rightly earned a reputation as a defensive-minded coach.

Since taking the Bordeaux post, Guion has repeatedly hinted that his priority will be making Bordeaux - who have the division's worst goals-against tally - more difficult to beat. He's immediately installed a back three, and a safety-first approach is very likely this weekend.

Under Guion, Bordeaux will be more organised. They'll be happy to sit back here, and would almost certainly settle for a draw.

Under 2.5 Goals is available at 2.1. The visitors' tactics and the impact this will have on the game makes Unders the pick.

Visitors too strong for struggling hosts

Troyes vs Marseille (17th vs 2nd)
Sun, 16:05 GMT
Live on BT Sport 2 and Betfair Live Video

Marseille should have too much class and quality for a Troyes team sliding towards the relegation positions when the sides meet on Sunday afternoon.

Marseille suffered a shock 2-0 home loss to Clermont last weekend but remain second in the standings. Crucially, Marseille have the division's best away record: Jorge Sampaoli's side are W8-D2-L2 on the road.

Troyes' form has taken a turn for the worse since they sacked manager Laurent Batlles during the winter break and appointed Bruno Irles in his place.

Troyes therefore find themselves in a difficult position here: looking to bounce back and playing at home, they have to try to win to give themselves a boost.

If they attack with any real vigour, however, the defence that has conceded nine goals in its past two matches risks being cut apart by a Marseille side so frequently effective away from home.

Marseille are 1.85 to win. Given their away form, and Troyes' dreadful recent performances, the visitors are our pick.

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