Ligue 1 Match Previews: Match Week 28

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Updated: March 5, 2014
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Marseille vs. Nice

Match Date: 07 March 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Stade Vélodrome

(Featured image: Marseille | Source: UEFA)

 

Marseille would have narrowly booked a sixth unbeaten league week if not for a disaster under the hands of frontrunners PSG 2-0. The match initially held both sides on a goalless deadlock in the first half but the momentum soon picked up by the start of the second period. Maxwell fired an opener in the 50th minute before Edinson Cavani sealed the clean sheet 11 minutes into full-time. The downfall left Les Phocéens locked at number four, which is actually good enough for French top-flight contender.

 

Nice are still without a win even after five different fixtures in two competitions: Ligue 1 and Coupe de France.  The side, however, are not necessarily point-scarce as they shared the spoils with Nantes in their brawl three weeks ago. Nevertheless, Les Aiglons cannot deny a struggling form that is dangerous enough to pull them down into the table’s less desirable spots.

 

Football betting tip: Marseille’s good defense and excellent attack will award them with a clean sheet against Nice.

 

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Bastia vs. PSG

Match Date: 08 March 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Stade Armand-Cesari-Furiani

 

Indeed, Bastia have had their own share of hits and misses. Their inconsistency issue is still apparent, but at least they have managed to remain resilient and keep themselves away from the relegation zone. They are currently at number nine, a position that is generally considered safe. However, I Turchini are yet again to face a tremendous challenge. They will meet with league monsters PSG on the French top-tier football’s 28th week of matches and their odds at winning over the table leaders do not seem agreeable. Les Rouge-et-Bleu have been unbeaten for eight straight weeks and ending that streak appears very unlikely.

 

Sports betting tip: Expect PSG steal all three points from Bastia.

 

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Monaco vs. Sochaux

Match Date: 08 March 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Stade Louis II

(Featured image: Sochaux | Source: france3.fr)

 

Monaco had to endure a bump on their on-the-road matches as they saw themselves fall prey to Saint-Etienne’s assault in their face-off at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard last week. While their bid for a Champions league seeding remains intact, their race to gain the domestic league title lost its ground. Claudio Ranieri’s men are now eight points away from PSG, which means that they need to exert bulkier efforts to dominate the tournament with only less than a dozen weeks remaining.

 

Sochaux, meanwhile, are still at high risk of exiting the competition with a 25-week stay in the drop zone. However, the side have been breathing life into their form lately with only one defeat they incurred from their last six fixtures. That says a lot about Hervé Renard’s capabilities as a team manager, especially for this year.

 

Online betting tip: Monaco, without a doubt, are a dangerous club to engage rivalry with. However, Sochaux’s resilience and off-the-charts determination will be key factors to seal this match with a thrilling stalemate.

 

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Guingamp vs. Evian TG

Match Date: 08 March 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Stade municipal de Roudourou

 

Strugglers Guingamp and Evian TG (with particular emphasis on the latter) suffer from an unsteady diet of good maneuvers. While both sides were successful in their latest respective tourneys, their dilemma on inconsistency surfaces with utter clarity. Both squads are also ranked in the table’s bottom half and have spent one week in the drop zone early in the competition.

 

The Jocelyn Gourvennec troupe boast of good skills in creating scoring chances and battling in aerial duels, while Pascal Dupraz’s lads have the knack for capitalizing on direct free kicks and producing opportunities via through balls. Both squads, however, lack sufficient faculties to convert chances and have poor clinical abilities to defend set pieces and counter attacks.

 

Football betting tip: Guingamp and Evian will end up even.

 

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 FOOTBALL - FRENCH CHAMP - L1 - BORDEAUX v NANTES

Nantes vs. Ajaccio

Match Date: 08 March 2014 (local)

Match Venue: La Beaujoire-Louis-Fonteneau

(Featured image: Nantes | Source: butfootballclub.fr)

 

Nantes stretched an eighth winless week as they saw Evian TG steal away all three points from their fixture on weekend. This was their seventh away defeat this season and ninth overall. They are now only three spots adrift of the drop zone. Ajaccio, meanwhile, have the worse form to show. They remain at the table’s foot after succumbing to their rivals (versus Lille 2-3) for the third straight time and being locked to total points of only 14.

 

Their four past meetings have consistently been one-sided. Based on that streak, Nantes are apparently the dominant side over Ajaccio. Most key determinants also support this conjecture, particularly in goal difference, number of victories, coefficient score, and most importantly, total earnings.

 

Sports betting tip: Nantes will carry the silverware.

 

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Toulouse vs. Reims

Match Date: 08 March 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Stadium Municipal

 

A ballooning number of sidelined players, a generally problematic form, issues on inconsistency, and an undesirable goal difference are the current diseases that plague Toulouse and manager Alain Casanova. The problems are not necessarily severe, but they are alarming. Reims, meanwhile, have less worries on the aforesaid dodges. They are, however, hapless at producing defensive stunts. They are very poor at defending set pieces and show volatile skills at protecting themselves against long shots.

 

Although the sides’ forms and table rankings seem to suggest a dominant Reims, Toulouse have historically been more successful than their rivals. Their past four face-offs rendered TFC victorious twice while Reims only picked up points from two draws.

 

Online betting tip: Toulouse will narrowly triumph over Reims.

 

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 FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-VALENCIENNES-BASTIA

Valenciennes vs. Rennes

Match Date: 08 March 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Stade du Hainaut

(Featured image: Valenciennes | Source: sportsmole.co.uk)

 

Valenciennes are among the league’s most frequently slammed clubs in the relegation battle, and perhaps, the most tragic story of all after they suffered a progressive downward movement in the table. The former top two players (in the curtain raiser) are down to the bottom two having suffered a long string of misfortunes in the French top-tier football. The side’s sharp decline in the standings is indicative of bad decision-making and may even be considered as a severe form of leniency. At this very stage of the competition, there is only little hope for Les Athéniens to escape demotion.

 

Mid-table club Rennes are yet to cancel out a negative goal difference, displaying a streak that is mediocre at best. While less inconsistent than most of the other clubs, Les Rouges et Noirs are definitely insecure from experiencing beatings from their future tourneys. Unless they are able to replicate their successes early in the competition, it would be very difficult for them to obtain seeding in any of UEFA’s continental tournaments that they are eligible of participating in.

 

Football betting tip: This battle will result in a draw.

 

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Lille vs. Montpellier

Match Date: 09 March 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Grand Stade Lille Métropole

 

Sometimes, when a mid-table club is pitted against a title chaser, the underdogs seem to transform into dark horses. Montpellier’s 5-1 victory over Lyon on October would be an excellent example. But in this case between the Rolland Courbis side and Lille, the aforesaid philosophy might not hold water. There are really good chances that the favorites will stay true to their stance. Lille have a very solid form and their run in the French top-flight football has so far been concretely productive. Montpellier, by contrast, suffer from either a certain degree of inconsistency or benign and boring results. In fact, they currently have the most number of draws among all clubs. Their record stands at W6-D15-L6.

 

Sports betting tip: Lille will pick up their 15th league victory while Montpellier will incur a seventh Ligue 1 defeat.

 

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 FBL-FRA-L1-SAINT ETIENNE-MONACO

Lorient vs. St. Etienne

Match Date: 09 March 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Stade du Moustoir

(Featured image: Saint-Etienne | Source: sportsmole.co.uk)

 

Barrenness in form gives Lorient only a lukewarm reception amongst spectators, especially so with six players sidelined. The problem was even more exacerbated by a recent deadlock they had with Bastia, stretching their winless streak to six straight weeks (or 18 overall). Ecuele Manga’s 35th minute strike gave Les Merlus the lead and the hope that their poor run will finally be put to an end. However, Bastia’s Gianni Bruno was able to pull off an equalizer just 15 minutes after the Lorient opener, to the great dismay of coach Christian Gourcuff.

 

Saint Etienne’s win over title hunters Monaco was crucial to keep their bid for a higher place intact. The current fourth placers, as their rank suggests, are among the toughest and most consistent clubs in the league. They manifest outstanding vigor at creating and finishing long shot opportunities as well as playing energetically in aerial duels. Form-wise, their last five matches earned them zero defeats.

 

Online betting tip: Saint-Etienne will finish this match with flying colors.

 

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Bordeaux vs. Lyon

Match Date: 09 March 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Stade Jacques Chaban-Delmas

 

Sochaux made a stunning 2-0 surprise victory at Bordeaux on weekend, wreaking the latter’s hope (at least for now) for a Europa league berth next season. At number eight, Les Girondins must learn to be more clinical in their defense and more so on goalkeeping. The caliber of their skills is already adequate to finish the tournament above the drop zone, but they should strive even harder if they wish to truly make a resounding impact on the French and European football charts.

 

Lyon, who sat on the table’s top spot early in the competition but lost it eventually, were held in a goalless draw against Montpellier on weekend. That counts as their third this season for such a result, further making a statement of how their attack is currently performing. In fact, if they have reservations for nine more goals to concede, their goal difference will plummet to zero.

 

Football betting tip: Bordeaux and Lyon will pull off a deadlock.