French Ligue 1: Week Three Preview

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We preview the third week of the 2018/19 French Ligue 1 season which kicks off on Friday 24 August. 

The two newly promoted sides are travelling across France leaving chaos and destruction in their wake- both Reims and Nimes have won their opening two matches, with the likes of Lyon and Marseille coming out of ties with these minnows with their tails between their legs.

This week doesn’t really see any glamour fixtures, although you may want to keep an eye on the two abovementioned teams, both of whom offer plenty of value away from home this week.

Friday 24 August

Lyon 3/10
Draw 47/10 
Strasbourg 17/2
Lyon were simply not at the races last Friday at Reims where they went down in a shock 1-0 defeat against the newly-promoted Reims. Hardly the ideal start for last season’s third-placed side who have already lost ground on PSG in the race for the title. Their confidence would have taken a knock, but they’ll be confident of turning things around on their own patch against Strasbourg.

Strasbourg will be kicking themselves for not holding on their 1-0 lead against 10-man St-Etienne after Neven Subotic was sent off in the 18th minute. They’d eventually take the lead in the 55th minute before conceding a soft goal late on in the piece. They’ll certainly need to capitalise on any chances they get against a superior Lyon side. Lyon should be too strong at home, back them bounce back against Strasbourg with a fairly straight-forward win. 

Saturday 25 August

PSG 1/14 
Draw 19/2 
Angers 25/1
PSG survived a little scare last week against Guingamp after going down to a Nolan Roux strike after a bit of indecision at the back. To be fair, they should have been two up, but for a catlike save in the early exchanges by Gigi Buffon while Guingamp were denied a second following a VAR consultation. The Parisians bounced back brilliantly in the second half as Kylian Mbappe was introduced. The French phenom grabbed two goals after a Neymar penalty.

Angers would have watched that second half with a fair amount of trepidation. Mbappe really is one of the brightest talents in world football at the moment and it showed against Guingamp. Even more alarming for Angers, is they’re one of four teams without a point after two matches. They went down 1-0 away at Stade Rennais last week. PSG to win to nil at 11/20 here, back with confidence. 

Montpellier 27/20
Draw 21/10 
St-Etienne 22/10
Montpellier got their first points of the season last week with a solid 2-1 win away at Amiens. They were full value for that win, going 2-0 up after dominating completely. They’d go on concede after a penalty was awarded for a handball. You have to fancy them to kick on now with the quality they possess within their ranks.

St-Etienne showed plenty of character to grab a draw against Strasbourg after going a man down. Subotic received his marching orders for a cynical pull on an opposition centre-forward before Strasbourg grabbed the lead. St-Etienne would ensure they claimed a share of the spoils with a late strike from Makhtar Gueye. Both of these teams are pretty sound defensively without being the most threatening up top. Back under 2.5 total goals at 11/20 here. 

Toulouse 5/4
Draw 47/20 
Nimes 43/20
This will certainly be an interesting contest as two of the more unfancied teams in the division. Toulouse got their season underway with a 4-0 away loss at Marseille before grabbing their first victory of the season with a superb 2-1 win over Bordeaux.

Nimes couldn’t have imagined a better start to their season. The newly-promoted minnows have won both of their games and are in the nosebleed positions in second spot. They fought back brilliantly from 3-1 down to dispatch Angers in week one before blowing Marseille away with a 3-1 hammering at home. You simply can’t go against Nimes at the minute. They’re playing like seasoned Ligue 1 veterans- back them to grab all three points at 43/20. Big value here!

Amiens 31/20
Draw 2/1 
Reims 39/20
Amiens find themselves second bottom on the standings and are in desperate need of a first win. They were decent up against Montpellier last weekend but still went down 2-1 at home. The last thing they need now is a fixture against a Reims outfit who smashed Marseille on Sunday.

Nimes produced the result of the week last time out as they crushed Marseille 3-1. They’re now two from two in their first top-flight season in almost a quarter of a century. They’re full value for their six league points and will be confident in their ability to pile more pressure on Amiens. Irresistible Reims simply have to be backed at 39/20.

Nantes 1/1
Draw 43/20 
Caen 31/10
Following last season’s heroics, you’d be forgiven if you thought Nantes would get off to a decent start. Unfortunately, however, an opening day defeat at the hands of Monaco was followed by a disappointing 2-0 loss away at Dijon.

They’ll go up against a Caen outfit who have only managed a point from their opening two encounters. They were comfortably beaten in matchweek one by PSG before earning a very credible 1-1 draw with Nice. Difficult one to call this, err on the side of safety and back under 2.5 total goals at 11/20.

Nice 17/20 
Draw 5/2 
Dijon 32/10
Nice would have been disappointed to have dropped points against Caen last week. Truth be told, they were lucky to escape with a point, with the hosts dominating the match from start to finish. A swift turnaround is required if they want to start gunning for a Europa League spot.

Dijon cruised to a pretty straight-forward win over a woeful Nantes last week for their second win in as many matches. They now keep Company with the likes of PSG, Nimes and Reims who have also won their opening games. Dijon are bang in form at the minute and will believe that they can come away from the Alliance Riviera with at least a point. Take the away team on the win / draw at 9/10.

Sunday 26 August

Lille 21/20
Draw 24/10 
Guingamp 26/10
Lille grabbed an encouraging draw away at Monaco last week, a result that should give them plenty of confidence heading into an encounter against Guingamp – who form part of a group of five teams yet to claim a point this season.

To be fair to Guingamp, they endured a tough start to the season away at St-Etienne and at home to PSG. They’re certainly one of the better mid-table sides in the division and should start finding their stride soon. Whether or not they’ll be able to do so against a Lille side who are buzzing at the minute remains to be seen. Home win for me at 21/20.

Bordeaux 39/20 
Draw 47/20 
Monaco 27/20
With no real glamour fixture for the week, this will have to do. Bordeaux have endured a nightmare start to the season. They sold Malcolm to Barcelona before Gus Poyet sensationally launched a verbal attack on his board for selling players behind his back. Oh, they also lost both of their opening fixtures…

Monaco will no doubt look to take advantage of the chaos at the southern club this Sunday. They were disappointingly held to a 0-0 draw by Lille last week in a match where Falcao fluffed his lines from the penalty spot. Monaco will certainly be favourites heading into this tie and should cruise to victory against a club in crisis. 

Marseille 6/10 
Draw 31/10 
Stade Rennais 9/2
Marseille’s shock loss at the hands of Reims last week would no doubt have shocked them into action. Their fans will certainly demand a better performance this week when they return to the Orange Velodrome for a tricky encounter against Stade Rennais.

Rennes bounced back from their opening day 3-1 defeat at the hands of Lille to grab a 1-0 win over Angers last week. It wasn’t really the most convincing of performances, but they’d no doubt have been happy with the three points. Traditionally, they’re a side that doesn’t particularly enjoy playing away from home. With that in mind, get on Marseille at 6/10.

Treble tipped at 5.7/1
Dijon win/draw 9/10
Monaco win 27/20
Marseille win 6/10

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Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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