Ligue 1: Penultimate Week Pressure

The Ligue 1 season is nearly over and Dermot has a 14/1 treble lined up

The second last gameweek of the season still has lots to to play for. Marseille, Monaco, Nice and Rennes are all still pushing for a Champions League spot while Strasbourg can make it but will need a incredibly fortuitous set of results to happen over the next two weekends.

Rennes play Marseille at the Roazhon in a battle of 5th versus 2nd. It’s also Ligue 1’s 2nd best home attack versus the best Ligue 1 away defense. A home win along with wins for Nice and Monaco will make for a spectacular finale on Saturday week.

At the other end, Bordeaux are only playing for a relegation play-off. A home loss to Lorient will result in Ligue 2 status for the 2022/23 season.  The away side can still be pulled into that battle if they lose. Metz have a must win game at home to Angers. They play PSG in Paris next week so anything less than 3pts will make Ligue 2 football next year almost a certainty.

Saint-Étienne should be safe by now but having given up a two goal lead twice in the past 6 games find themselves taking on a gritty Reims team in a must win game. Clermont aren’t mathematically safe but low scoring defeats may be enough. Any result at Strasbourg or home to Lyon should be enough in the next brace of games.

Bordeaux Vs Lorient – Sat 14th May 20:00 GMT

A win for Bordeaux is realistically the only outcome worth anything to them this weekend. A loss or draw could see them relegated. Last weeks trip to Angers resulted in a disastrous 4-1 defeat. They do however have a small reprieve knowing that Saint-Étienne will need a least two draws to guarantee safety so should be all out to win this one. It’s due to their opponents more so that I fancy Les Girondins to actually win this game.

Lorient had the perfect opportunity to rescue their season last week as they faced a Marseille side that had almost no preparation time for the game. OM had lost a European semi-final along with talented attackers Dimitri Payet and Amine Harit. For some reason though at 2-0 Christophe Pélissier took off his better players with this game in mind. A strange decision given Marseille were reduced to playing defensive midfielder Mattéo Guendouzi as a striker for over 20 minutes of the game due to how thin their squad had gotten in attack. It’s that sort of defeatist mentality along with a very poor away record that has me fancying a home win. Given it’s Bordeaux’s leaky defense, there will be goals.

Strasbourg Vs Clermont – Sat 14th May 20:00 GMT

Strasbourg have drawn with PSG and beaten Brest away in their last two games to show they are still fighting for a European spot. A loss to Bordeaux and 7 draws in their last 15 might have ended any realistic chance though. Still, with maybe the exception of Nantes, Le Racing have been the surprise team in Ligue 1. I tipped them antepost to finish in the top 10 but to be as close to European qualification is truly remarkable.

Clermont will feel it’s job done after an excellent win over Montpellier last weekend. A Saint-Étienne win and a loss here might change that tune a little but an offer of a relegation play-off prior to the season starting would have been gladly welcomed one feels. It’s strange to think that Clermont might well be eyeing a home fixture at Lyon next week to get a result given the vast difference in economic status of each club. This game feels like it will a celebration in front of the home fans for Strasbourg and they should win the game comfortably.

Nice Vs Lens – Sat 14th May 20:00 GMT

Nice (and possibly Montpellier) have been the Achille’s Heel of the column all season. They have been so hard to catch right given how varied their performances have been. On form they switch between a pressing attack to stifling teams defensively but being a massive threat on the counter attack. Far too often this year they have been a bit of each and none of any. In midweek they went 2-0 down to Saint-Étienne. Galtier’s half-time team talk done the business as they scored 4 unanswered goals to keep their UCL ambitions alive.

This week Galtier must face his old side (and last season’s champions) Lille. Both sides will match-up in their similar 4-4-2 systems but Jocelyn Gourvennec hasn’t had nearly as much success as his opposite number with largely the same side. When Lille defend, they defend. When they attack, they somehow still defend. Whilst it might sound like a good strategy, your front attackers and midfield being almost 40 yards away is very easy for the opposition to deal with. Playing against their ex-manager might give them impetus for the first 15 minutes but their season is done. This week we should be on the right side of a bet on Nice with a home win. 

SRD Selections:

Bordeaux to Win & BTTS @ 3/1 (Multiple)

Strasbourg -1 @ 13/10 (Paddypower, Betfair)

Nice to Win @ 3/4 (William Hill)

Above in a treble pays over 14/1 with Betfair/Paddypower