Ligue 1 Tips: Riviera outfits set to rule as French League action resumes

Nice manager Christophe Galtier
Christophe Galtier has made an excellent start as Nice manager

James Eastham takes a look at the odds and picks out the smart bets ahead of the latest round of action in France's top flight...

"Troyes are 10 points and 14 places below Nice in the table having played a game more. And, at home, Troyes have lost on the two occasions they've hosted teams that, like Nice, have top-six potential."

Best Bet: Back Nice to win at Troyes @ 1.910/11

Underrated visitors the smart selection

Lyon vs Monaco
Sat, 20:00 BST
Live on BT Sport 3 and Betfair Live Video

Two of France's most entertaining sides go head-to-head in what ought to be a fantastic clash at Groupama Stadium on Saturday night.

Lyon have played some thrilling stuff at times this season while Monaco have found their rhythm after starting the campaign sluggishly.

Lyon are clear favourites to win: the hosts are 2.35/4, with Monaco 3.211/5 and The Draw 3.711/4.

Yet most factors heading into this match favour Monaco, which throws up a great opportunity to support the visitors at big odds.

Monaco are ahead of Lyon in the league standings, having collected 14 points to Lyon's 13 from the nine matchdays played so far.

Monaco are also in better form than Lyon: they've won their last three matches, scoring eight goals in the process. During the same time period, Lyon are a mediocre W1-D2-L0.

There are players missing on both sides but team news overall should favour Monaco this weekend.

For Lyon, goalkeeper Antony Lopes is suspended. Their best attacking player, Brazil playmaker Lucas Paqueta, is out, as are strikers Moussa Dembele and Islam Slimani.

Between them, the unavailable outfield trio have netted nine of Lyon's 14 league goals this season, so their absence hands the hosts a real headache in the final third.

For Monaco, in-form France midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni will be missing, but the visitors will be close to full strength in all other areas.

Monaco should draw confidence from their away record, too: they've lost just once in seven fixtures on the road in all competitions (W3-D3-L1).

With Monaco big odds to win, you can back the visitors in various ways.

The smart play would be to back Monaco Draw No Bet (or 0 Asian Handicap, which is the same thing).

With this selection, you'll make a profit if Monaco win and get your stakes back if the game ends all-square.

Nice to storm to victory

Troyes vs Nice
Sun, 12:00 BST
Live on BT Sport ESPN and Betfair Live Video

Nice have made an excellent start to the season and will be confident of picking up all three points at Stade de l'Aube on Sunday lunchtime.

Their manager Christophe Galtier oversaw Lille's unexpected title triumph last season and has markedly improved Nice since his summer appointment.

Nice's are W5-D2-L1 from their opening eight games and look as good as any other side in the chasing pack behind odds-on title favourites PSG.

Using a 4-4-2, Nice are happy to cede possession yet break quickly and have real quality up front.

France U21 star Amine Gouiri, Denmark international Kasper Dolberg and former Montpellier hitman Andy Delort are the three players competing for two positions and all three have impressed so far.

A defence marshalled by former Bayern Munich centre-back Dante has kept five clean sheets in eight matches, another reason why Nice are a smart bet on Sunday.

Hosts Troyes are 10 points and 14 places below Nice in the table having played a game more.

Yet to win at home, Troyes are W0-D2-L2 from four games in front of their own fans this season, and have lost on the two occasions they've hosted teams that, like Nice, have top-six potential (1-2 vs PSG, 0-2 vs Monaco).

Manager Laurent Batlles is highly regarded after leading Troyes to promotion from Ligue 2 last season but his starting line-up this weekend will be weaker than Nice's in virtually every single position.

Nice are odds-on to win but don't let that put you off: given the form and relative quality of these two sides, the visitors are a strong selection.

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James’ 2021-22 P/L

Staked: 21pts
Returned: +25.39pts
P/L: +4.39pts

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