Ligue 1: La Grande Finale

A 31/1 treble to end the Ligue 1 season on a high

It’s the final week of the Ligue 1 season. By 22:00 GMT on Saturday 21st of May the final table will be known as all 20 sides are in action at the same time. PSG have been the champions for quite awhile now but some European and relegation spots are still to be decided. Bordeaux are relegated already. Even if looks a like a 15 goal swing with Metz might save them, the would lose out on all other deciders, results against and goals conceded.

As it stands, Monaco and Marseille will join PSG in the Champions League next season. However, Monaco travel to the enigmatic Lens – a team that has claimed many a scalp in Ligue 1 this season. Marseille have a difficult game too, they play arguably Ligue 1’s surprise package of the season Strasbourg at the Vélodrome. OM have plenty of injury issues in attack with Payet and de la Fuente out plus a host of attackers carrying knocks and strains. William Saliba’s absence is another worry in defense. Strasbourg will also feel they need to win, with Nice playing at Reims. Their ambitions are for a Europa League or Conference place.

Rennes will be looking capitalize should either Monaco or Marseille lose. A win for them at Lille opens the potential of finishing 2nd or 3rd. Génésio’s side have only scored 5 less and conceded 2 more than PSG but are 15pts behind the champions. Les Rennais seem to either win or lose (W20 D5 L12) and it’s the inability to grind out a point that has them now waiting on other results. Since the turn of the year there hasn’t been a better team in Ligue 1.

Nice’s indifferent form since March has caught up with them. After being a likely Champions League qualifier all season, a dreadful home loss to Lille last week see’s them relying on Marseille to beat Strasbourg and them not losing to Reims to get a Europa Conference League spot. They can get a Europa League place if they win and both Rennes and Strasbourg lose.

Metz travel to PSG with the monumental task of trying to do what no side has done this season in Ligue 1, beat Les Parisiens at the Parc de Princes. As one of the worst sides on road (and in general), Metz will be looking to hold out as long as possible on the off chance things are going their way in Nantes, where Saint-Étienne are playing. Both Metz and Saint-Étienne know a loss for either of them and anything better for the other guarantees their relegation. Whichever side finishes 18th doesn’t stay up however. They will play the winner of Friday’s Ligue 2 game between Auxerre and Sochaux over 2 legs to see who plays in Ligue 1 next season.

Brest Vs Bordeaux – Sat 21st May 20:00 GMT

Brest will be happy with how the season has ended given they started with an 11 game run without a win. They also lost star player Romain Faivre to Lyon. This season’s total is 7pts and 6 places better than last year and should make for a relaxed final day of the season in front of their home fans. Playing Ligue 1’s worst side also helps too.

Bordeaux would have felt the appointment of legendary Swiss national team manager Vladimir Petkovic would see them improve on last seasons 12th place, 45pt haul. The side never replaced Toma Basic and a shaky defense was left exposed in almost every game with no-one in front of it to do the dirty work. With Ligue 2 confirmed, I wouldn’t be sure of the motivation of this side given they were out fought in a must win game last week. A solitary goal would have seen them still in contention to stay up this weekend. The home to win to nil here looks over priced at around 7/2. Brest will be a celebratory mood and Bordeaux may not try at all.

Clermont Vs Lyon – Sat 21st May 20:00 GMT

Clermont have survived on their own merit and will be delighted to head to the summer knowing Ligue 1 beckons next season. They will likely be without 13-goal hero Mohamed Bayo as the big Guinean is wanted by numerous European clubs. They come into this game with a few injuries. The last time the sides met was one of those games Clermont have struggled with this season, not taking their chances and getting exposed in defense.

Lyon’s season has been nothing short of disastrous. The emergence of full-back Malo Gusto, Maxence Caqueret as a young Benoit Pedretti and the form of Moussa Dembele (20 goals in 29 Ligue 1 games) are the only bright sparks. Jean-Michel Aulas decision to announce Peter Bosz return for next season hasn’t gone down well with anyone and rumour’s of mass player departure are gathering strength. Having sold Bruno Guimaraes to Newcastle in January, the midfield could be further decimated with losses of Lucas Paqueta and Houssem Aouar as both are wanted by larger clubs. Lyon are still excellent in attack and should have too much for Clermont here. 2/1 for a Lyon win and both teams to score looks reasonable.

Nantes Vs Saint-Étienne – Sat 21st May 20:00 GMT

A win will cement Nantes as the 9th place finishers in Ligue 1. Add in a marvelous Coupe de France win and surely manager Antoine Kombouare will win Manager of the Year (Strasbourg’s Julien Stéphan the only other genuine contender).  They will be without the energy that Pedro Chirivella and dynamism of Moses Simon for this game. But, like so many games this week, the home side”s fans will play a big part in how their team does. This game will be a big celebration at La Beaujoire, for one team anyhow.

Les Verts to their credit threw everything at Reims last weekend but getting turned over 2-1 at home in such an important game will have them on edge for this one. Their lack of a number 9 was in full view when midfielder Ryad Boudebouz was deployed in that position for a must win game. They have a massive chance of a reprieve this weekend but one senses they may well be eyeing the play-offs given Metz have to go to Paris. If this game was 4-5 weeks ago I think Nantes would have been 1/2 or worse. As such, the 6/4 on offer for a home win looks huge.

SRD Selections:

Brest to win to nil @ 7/2 (SkyBet)

Lyon to win and BTTS @ 2/1 (Bet365)

Nantes to win @ 31/20 (Unibet, Betfair)

Above in a treble pays over 31/1 with SkyBet