French Ligue 1

Ligue 1 Tips: Lens and Lyon to secure away-day wins

Lyon manager Laurent Blanc
Lyon manager Laurent Blanc can look forward to a successful weekend

After a profitable start to 2023, James Eastham reveals the best bets ahead of this weekend's Ligue 1 action...

  • Five winners from the last seven Ligue 1 picks

  • Lens should be too strong for Troyes

  • Laurent Blanc's Lyon set for timely boost

Lens to maintain top form

Troyes vs Lens (14th vs 2nd)
Sat, 16:00 GMT
Live on Betfair Live Video

Lens are in superb form and a good bet to collect all three points away to Troyes on Saturday.

Under manager Franck Haise Lens are unlikely top-three contenders this season and have shown no signs of slowing down.

Since the World Cup Lens' record against Ligue 1 opposition is W3-D2-L0 and they'll see this game as an excellent chance to maintain such form.

Heading into the match they have good team news - Haise ought to be able to field his strongest side - and healthy competition in several positions.

Troyes sit 12 places and 26 points below Lens in the standings, underlining the gulf in class between the teams.

Troyes' form's a concern, too: they've lost their last three matches vs Ligue 1 opposition, conceding nine goals in the process.

All over the pitch Troyes have poorer players, many of whom are struggling to adapt to new manager Patrick Kisnorbo's tactics.

Kisnorbo took over in November but there are no signs of improvement on his watch yet.

Lens are an understandably short 1.715/7 to win the game. In order to secure better odds, we recommend you look to the Asian Handicap market.

With our selection, you'll make a small profit if Lens win by a single goal, and a bigger profit if the visitors win by two or more goals. For a full guide to Asian Handicap betting, click here.

Ajaccio to suffer again

Ajaccio vs Lyon (18th vs 9th)
Sun, 16:05 GMT
Live on BT Sport 3 and Betfair Live Video

Lyon have problems on and off the pitch but this trip to face Ajaccio hands them the perfect opportunity to secure a weekend win.

American John Textor's recent takeover of Lyon hasn't gone smoothly, causing delays that the club could have done without.

On the pitch the team has failed to improve since the appointment of Laurent Blanc in October, a move that was supposed to see Lyon move towards the top five positions.

That hasn't happened, with Blanc cutting a confused figure at times, unable to decide on his best tactics or get the best out of some of Lyon's under-performing players.

Yet Ajaccio are arguably Ligue 1's weakest side and that considerably improves Lyon's chances of collecting three points.

The Corsican hosts have done well just to be competitive this season given how they struggled to strengthen their squad after promotion last May.

Manager Olivier Pantaloni has done an excellent job on meagre resources but there are signs Ajaccio's resistance is crumbling.

A fortnight ago in their last Ligue 1 match Monaco crushed them 7-1. Other Ligue 1 sides will fancy their chances of profiting from Ajaccio's shortcomings in the weeks ahead.

To make matters worse for Ajaccio, several key players may be ruled out this weekend.

Pantaloni had so many injuries to contend with that he had to field a scratch side for last weekend's 2-0 French Cup defeat to Toulouse. Some of those players may still be absent.

A Lyon side boasting Anthony Lopes, Nicolas Tagliafico, Corentin Tolisso, Maxence Caqueret and an in-form Alexandre Lacazette - the ex-Arsenal man has 11 goals in 19 Ligue 1 starts this season - should simply have too much class.


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Recommended bets

James' 2022-23 P/L

Staked: 56pts
Returned: +70.10pts
P/L: +14.10pts


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Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.