Ligue 1: Getting the Brest Of It

Dermot returns with a 17/1 treble as the drama continues in France both on and off the pitch.

Crowd trouble marred yet another weekend of league football in France as the game between Lyon and Marseille was abandoned. Dmitri Payet was once again the victim, as he was hit by a bottle thrown from the crowd, having suffered the same fate earlier in the season at Nice. Such incidents are becoming all too common in French football. The world’s interest in Lionel Messi’s move to PSG is being overshadowed by almost weekly issues at nearly every ground.

On the field PSG extended their lead to 11pts and even at this stage the rest are playing for 2nd place. That, however, will be a fantastic battle for the remainder of the season. Nice moved back to 2nd with a win at Clermont. Possibly the biggest story on the field last weekend was Brest’s 4-0 defeat of Lens. Lens were 2nd before this game and even at 3-0 were still in the contest. They hit the woodwork twice, which sums up the sort of day they had.

This week’s main event will be Montpellier hosting Lyon on Sunday. Montpellier had been in good form until being dismantled by high flying Rennes. Lyon ended up with an almost free weekend after the abandoned game and come into this one in good form after a 3-1 Europa League win at Brondby.

Lens v Angers – Fri 26th Nov 20:00 GMT

Lens suffered a surprise loss in a 4-0 reversal at Brest. Away form is becoming a bit of an issue for Franck Haise’s side as they have lost 3 on the spin on the road. From a betting point of view, the last 4 results after a loss for Lens read 3-2, 4-1 and 4-0. Some of the bookies seem to have overreacted to the result last weekend. This is most welcome given the value earlier in the season has dried up recently.

Angers broke a 4 game winless streak with a shaky home win against Lorient. Angers have been hard to beat this season, with only 1 loss being by a more than a goal. However, star keeper Paul Bernardoni is due to miss the game through illness. This should be enough to tip the game in favour of the home side.

Bordeaux v Brest – Sun 28th Nov 14:00 GMT

As mentioned back in Gameweek 8, Bordeaux are one of Ligue 1’s most entertaining sides. This is a complete contrast to Petkovic’s time at Switzerland where his sides tended to be solid at the back first and attack second. Les Girondins have been anything but solid at the back the past 3 weeks, shipping 8 goals. They have also managed to score 8 in the same period. The goals have come from many different sources but summer signing Alberth Elis’ dynamism has given the attack new options after a languid start to the season.

Brest occupied a relegation spot for 8 straight weeks but 3 wins on the spin has seen them rise to 13th. Everything good that Les Pirates do in attack goes through talisman Romain Faivre. The big difference in recent weeks, that has helped turn the draws into wins, is the form of Steve Mounie and Franck Honorat. With renewed support, Faivre is no longer having to do everything which is actually improving his performance levels.

Brest have 2 clean sheets in the last 3 games but they rode their luck at times. Their both teams to score record could easily be 13/13 rather than 11/13. This game should have a decent amount of goals and Brest’s extra quality should be enough to get them the win.

Lorient v Rennes – Sun 28th Nov 14:00 GMT

The wheels have come off Lorient’s season and they now appear to be in free fall. Having Rennes as visitors seems a tough spot to break a 7 game winless streak. They had some noticeable scalps earlier in the season but their thin squad has been decimated. Six players will miss this game through injury along with Jérôme Hergault through suspension.

Rennes gave another example of their quality against Montpellier, taking a total of 31 shots on goal (and only giving up 4 against). They have one of the better records of the French teams after European games so their midweek workload shouldn’t impede them here. Gaetan Laborde almost scored a spectacular bicycle kick last weekend but made up for it with a hatrick against Vitesse in the UEFA Conference League. I wouldn’t be overly worried about that 3-3 result in terms of this game, Rennes only needed a draw to guarantee qualification from their group.

SRD Selections

Lens to Win  @ 20/23 (Betfair)

Brest to Win & BTTS @ 9/2 (WilliamHill)

Rennes to Win @ 4/5 (WilliamHill, Betfred)

Above in a treble pays 17/1 (WilliamHill)

If a 9/2 away team is not your betting style, Montpellier and Lyon BTTS is a decent option to swap in.