Ligue 1 Betting: Marseille and Lyon the smart picks as race for second spot goes to the wire

France and Marseille playmaker Dimitri Payet
Dimitri Payet has played some of the best football of his career in recent weeks and will be key for l'OM on Friday night
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After three out of three winners last weekend, James Eastham picks out the smart selections on the penultimate round of matches in France's top flight...

"Lyon are on an eight-game winning streak and have scored 24 goals across those eight matches. Strasbourg are winless in 11 fixtures and have lost five of seven games vs top-four sides."

Best Bet: Lyon -1.0 Asian Handicap at Strasbourg @ [1.95]

L'OM to fight fatigue and claim three points

Guingamp v Marseille (11th v 4th)
Fri, 19:45 BST
Live on Betfair Live Video

Marseille have everything to play for as they travel to Stade du Roudourou on Friday night and are a good bet to collect all three points.

Rudi Garcia's side are locked in a three-way battle with Lyon and Monaco to claim second place and an automatic spot in next season's Champions League group phase.

Currently fourth in the standings, l'OM are one point behind Monaco and two points behind Lyon so need a victory to keep the pressure on the two teams immediately above them.

Fatigue is a concern. This will be Marseille's 60th game in all competitions this season and they've looked tired in their past two games.

The Europa League final is an issue as well. Marseille take on Atletico Madrid next Wednesday and the players' thoughts may have already turned to that game.

Yet Marseille should have enough to win. Their attitude has been exemplary in recent weeks, with the players successfully focusing on twin targets of Ligue 1 and Europe.

Garcia has also rotated his squad adroitly, with the likes of Boubacar Kamara and Clinton N'Jie coming into the side and making high-calibre contributions.

Guingamp have nothing to play for. In mid-table, their potential lack of motivation hands Marseille a real advantage.

Back the visitors at [1.75] or -0.5&-1.0 Asian Handicap at [1.95].

For a full guide to Asian Handicap betting, click here.


Drama and goals on big night in Bordeaux

Bordeaux v Toulouse (9th v 18th)
Sat, 20:00 BST
Live on Betfair Live Video

A crunch game between two teams with so much to play for ought to entertain on Saturday night. Bordeaux are chasing a European place while Toulouse are in the Ligue 1 relegation playoff position.

The hosts are three points off the Europa League berths so need a win - and so do the visitors.

Both teams have attacked impressively and defended erratically in recent weeks.

Bordeaux have climbed the table by winning their last four matches against all sides bar champions PSG.

Three of their four victories were by a 3-1 scoreline, with the fourth a 2-1 scoreline. Full of confidence thanks to their impressive run, Bordeaux will look to dictate from the start.

Toulouse lost 3-2 at home to Lille last weekend and 2-1 at Rennes a fortnight ago. They played good attacking football on both occasions but their defending left plenty to be desired.

Like Bordeaux, Toulouse cannot afford to sit back and wait. They're one point from safety so need to win to stand the best chance of having their fate in their own hands on the final matchday next weekend.

Given how this game's likely to unfold, Over 2.5 Goals at close to evens is a sound selection.


Dream trio to strike once more

Strasbourg v Lyon (17th v 2nd)
Sat, 20:00 BST
Live on BT Sport Extra 2 / BT Sport 1 and Betfair Live Video

Lyon are odds-on to win away from home but the visitors are in such sparkling form they're the smart pick this weekend.

Over the past two months Lyon have arguably played the best attacking football in Europe.

They've won their last eight matches, scoring 24 goals in the process. Right now their front three of Nabil Fekir, Bertrand Traore and Memphis Depay are the best attacking trio in Ligue 1 and beyond.

Traore has thrived since being shifted to a central attacking role, scoring six times in his last five starts. Depay is in double figures for goals (16) and assists (10) this season and has scored six times in his last six starts.

Meanwhile Fekir is playing for a place in France's World Cup squad and causing havoc between the lines.

Lyon have reserved some of their best performances for their away games this season.

They're W10-D4-L1 away to non-top four sides and have won 5-0 on the road on no fewer than four occasions (at Metz, Nice, St Etienne and Troyes).

Strasbourg are battling to avoid relegation but nothing in their form figures suggests they'll avoid defeat this weekend.

The hosts are winless in 11 matches (W0-D5-L6) and W1-D1-L5 vs top-four sides this season (average of 3.0 goals conceded per game).

Strasbourg have conceded in 18 of their last 19 matches so it's hard to see them shutting out a Lyon attacking in devastating form right now.

James' 2017-18 P/L

Staked: 101pts
Returned: 108.03pts
P/L: +7.03pts (7.0% ROI)

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