Ligue 1 Tips: Back top-three rivals to share the spoils

Ligue 1 returns after the international break and James Eastham has a pair of tips in two of the weekend's games...

Top-four clash too close to call

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

The long odds on Nice when they face Rennes on Saturday afternoon offers up a good opportunity to support Christophe Galtier's hosts.

Nice are only one place and two points behind top-three rivals Rennes in the league standings as they head into the game.

Yet Nice are 3.15 to win, with Rennes 2.38 and The Draw 3.5.

What explains why Nice are such clear underdogs? The primary reason is their relatively poor home record: Nice are W7-D3-L4 in front of their own fans this season.

The second reason is that Rennes head into this game in excellent form: the Brittany outfit have won their last five Ligue 1 fixturesscoring 20 goals in the progress.

That's a sensational run from Rennes, yet not enough to justify the visitors being such clear favourites to make it six in a row this weekend.

Rennes' away form is questionable: they're W5-D3-L6 on the road this season, with their 36% win rate at odds with their odds this weekend.

Taking all factors into account, The Draw would be our pick on the Match Odds market as there's so little to choose between the teams.

Alternatively, you can lay Rennes at 2.4, or back Nice on the Draw No Bet market at 2.2. With the second of these two selections, you'll make a profit if Nice win, and get your stakes back if the game ends in a draw.

Low goals the smart pick

Metz vs Monaco (19th vs 7th)
Sun, 14:00 BST
Live on Betfair Live Video

Metz's dreadful scoring form is the key factor behind our low-goals selection on this Sunday encounter.

The hosts have fallen into the relegation zone primarily because their attacking play has been dreadful for most of the campaign.

It's got worse in recent weeks, too: Metz have scored just twice in their last eight matches.

Metz generally use a back five, so their usual tactical approach is to try to keep things tight, frustrate the opposition and then hope to nick a goal from somewhere.

If they play like that this weekend, they ought to be able to shut out Monaco for some of the match, even if they'll struggle to do so for the entire game.

Monaco ride into this fixture on the back of a stunning 3-0 home win vs PSG in their last outing a fortnight ago.

That will have given manager Philippe Clement and his players tremendous confidence as they look to move from their current mid-table slot towards the European positions.

Yet Monaco's away form is a concern: the Principality outfit are W4-D4-L6 on the road.

Crucially, Monaco's scoring form has been poor in their away games. They've scored just 14 times in their 14 away matches to date. Only four Ligue 1 sides have managed fewer goals on the road this season.

It's little surprise that Monaco's away games have been generally low-scoring: of their 14 fixtures on the road, nine have had Under 2.5 Goals.

If Metz play their usual game and Monaco's away form persists, another low-scoring game is likely.

Unders is available at 1.95 and that's our selection on this fixture.

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