French Ligue 1

Ligue 1 Tips: Reunited 'Big Three' to inspire PSG triumph

Argentina and PSG forward Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi was on target in PSG's 2-0 midweek win over Angers

After another profitable round of games in midweek, James Eastham reveals the smart plays ahead of the weekend action in France...

  • 2/3 winners on Wednesday night's fixtures

  • 23.3% ROI for the season (52 picks)

  • PSG too strong for depleted Rennes

  • Monaco, Strasbourg, Clermont worth supporting


Visitors deserve your backing

Lyon vs Strasbourg (8th vs 19th)
Sat, 20:00 GMT
Live on BT Sport 4 and Betfair Live Video

The contrasting fortunes of the two managers is the main reasons to support Strasbourg.

Lyon boss Laurent Blanc is coming under fire having failed to improve the side during his time in charge so far.

Ex-PSG manager Blanc was appointed in October but Lyon's point-per-game record is poorer under him than it was under his heavily criticised predecessor Peter Bosz.

Lyon followers are disgruntled and fan protests are not out of the question here.

Struggling Strasbourg sacked manager Julien Stephan on Monday and looked better without him in midweek.

They drew 2-2 at home to second-placed Lens on Wednesday, producing one of their most impressive recent performances.

Interim coach Mathieu Le Scornet has the players' backing so the visitors head into this game feeling galvanised.

With our selection, you'll make a profit if Strasbourg win or the game ends in a draw, and get your stakes back if Strasbourg fall to a single-goal defeat.

Back Strasbourg +1.0 Asian Handicap at Lyon @

1.95

Back underrated Clermont

Angers vs Clermont (20th vs 9th)
Sun, 14:00 GMT
Live on Betfair Live Video

Quite why the market makes bottom club Angers favourites to win here is anyone's guess.

Angers are 2.56/4 to earn all three points, with Clermont 2.982/1 and the Draw 3.613/5.

Yet every factor suggests Clermont ought to avoid defeat at the very least.

Clermont are a respectable W3-D3-L3 on the road, and the three teams they've lost to - Lens, Lorient, Marseille - are all currently top-six sides.

Clermont sit 11 places and 17 points above Angers in the table. Angers have failed to draw games lately, let alone win them - they head into this match on a 10-game losing streak.

Clermont Draw No Bet's our selection. With this pick, you'll get your stakes back if the game ends all-square, and make a profit if Clermont win.

Back Clermont Draw No Bet at Angers @

2.0

Monaco simply too strong

Monaco vs Ajaccio (5th vs 16th)
Sun, 16:05 GMT
Live on BT Sport 2 and Betfair Live Video

Monaco are short odds (1.444/9) to beat Ajaccio this weekend so we prefer backing the hosts on the Asian Handicap.

With our selection, you'll lose only half your stakes if Monaco win by a single goal, and make a profit at close to evens if they win by two or more goals.

The league table lays bare the gulf in quality between these two sides: Monaco are 11 places and 19 points higher than Ajaccio in the standings.

The question is whether Monaco will push on and try to win by a couple of goals.

I suspect they will: Monaco have scored two or more goals in seven of their last eight matches in all competitions.

Ajaccio are the division's lowest scorers (just 15 goals in 18 matches) so Monaco To Win to Nil at 2.35/4 is a worthwhile alternative.

Back Monaco -1.0 & -1.5 Asian Handicap at home to Ajaccio @

2.05

PSG can win big

Rennes vs PSG (4th vs 1st)
Sun, 19:45 GMT
Live on BT Sport 3 and Betfair Live Video

Rennes' terrible team news is the main reason to support PSG on Sunday night.

Rennes' wide attackers Benjamin Bourigeaud and Martin Terrier are ruled out by suspension and injury respectively in a massive double blow for the hosts.

Bourigeaud's one of the division's best set-piece takers. Without him Rennes' final-third threat will be considerably reduced.

Terrier is Rennes' top scorer. In 2021-22 and 2022-23 combined he's netted 30 times at a rate of a goal every 138 minutes.

The lack of a reliable partner for Arthur Theate in central defence is a further problem. Warmed Omari (suspended), Joe Rodon and Christopher Wooh have all been tried, and none has been convincing this season.

All of which plays into the hands of a PSG side expected to field The Big Three - Neymar, Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe - at the same time for the first time in 2023.

The visitors are 1.584/7 to win so we prefer the Asian Handicap. With our selection, you'll get your stakes back if PSG win by a single goal, and make a profit if they win by two or more goals.

Back PSG -1.0 Asian Handicap at Rennes @

1.98

Recommended bets

James' 2022-23 P/L

Staked: 52pts
Returned: +64.10pts
P/L: +12.10pts

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