French Ligue 1

Ligue 1 Tips: Monaco's midweek top-six clash promises goals

France and Monaco striker Wissam Ben Yedder
Wissam Ben Yedder is Monaco's seven-goal joint-top scorer this season

There's a full programme of midweek matches in the French top flight. James Eastham reveals the odds and best bets ahead of Wednesday's matches...

Improving Reims the clever pick

Ajaccio vs Reims (16th vs 10th)
Wed, 18:00 GMT
Live on Betfair Live Video

Reims are making tremendous strides under new manager Will Still and are a good bet to avoid defeat on Ajaccio on Wednesday.

Still is only 30 but has also managed in the Belgian first division and was promoted from his role as Reims assistant to the top job on an interim basis in October.

He has since been appointed on a permanent basis and has guided his side impressively through six games unbeaten (W3-D3-L0) since taking the post.

Reims should be able to field their strongest side here - and, at their best, ought to be good enough to avoid defeat.

Ajaccio are six points and six places below Reims in the standings. They also have a poor home record: Olivier Pantaloni's side are W2-D1-L5 on home soil, their only two victories coming against the sides currently in the bottom two positions in the standings (Strasbourg and Angers).

With our Draw No Bet selection, you'll get your stakes back if the game ends in a draw, and win if Reims win.

High goals the smart selection

Lorient vs Monaco (6th vs 5th)
Wed, 20:00 GMT
Live on BT Sport 6 and Betfair Live Video

An open and high-scoring encounter looks likely when Lorient host Monaco at Stade du Moustoir this week.

Team news is the main factor. Lorient's first-choice goalkeeper Yvon Mvogo is out, meaning less reliable deputy Vitor Mannone will start.

In front of Mannone, Lorient's most important centre-back, Julien Laporte, as well as deputy Christian Matsima, are both ruled out. It means Lorient's defence will be more vulnerable than usual.

There's a similar story the same at the other end of the pitch: Monaco are still adapting following the sale of Benoit Badiashile to Chelsea.

Our selection is Over 2.5 & 3.0 on the Goal Lines market. In simple terms, if the game has three or more goals, you'll make a profit.

The stats are in your favour: 21 of these two sides' 34 (62%) league games so far this season have featured three or more goals, with the same applying to 10 of the 16 (63%) combined relevant home and away games (i.e. Lorient's home matches, Monaco's away matches).

Time to oppose managerless Nice

Nice vs Montpellier (11th vs 14th)
Wed, 20:00 GMT
Live on BT Sport 4 and Betfair Live Video

Nice sacked manager Lucien Favre on Monday this week and the uncertain mood in the home camp is just one reason to oppose the hosts.

Assistant boss Didier Digard - who has no experience as a no.1 - has been appointed on an interim basis and had just 48 hours to prepare his players for this game.

Favre was dismissed because Nice have been poor all season. It's only partly his fault: the club's dismal summer transfer recruitment programme left the squad unbalanced and short on quality.

Some players are reportedly unhappy, and performances since the return to action after the World Cup have been unconvincing. At the weekend, Nice were knocked out of the French Cup, losing 1-0 away to third division Le Puy despite fielding close to a full-strength side.

Nice's home record - an unimpressive W2-D3-L3 - is another reason why opponents Montpellier should go into this game in optimistic mood.

The visitors have looked refreshed since the mid-season break, winning impressively at Lorient (2-0) in their last away game before losing but playing well at home to Marseille (1-2) last time out.

Nice are odds-on to win and that makes no sense to us. It hands us a great opportunity to support Montpellier on the Asian Handicap, which we're more than willing to do.

Recommended bets

James' 2022-23 P/L

Staked: 49pts
Returned: +60.29pts
P/L: +11.29pts


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