Ligue 1 Betting: Monaco and Marseille to shine as race for second place heats up

France and Marseille attacker Dimitri Payet
Dimitri Payet will be a key player for l'OM as they look to clinch a crucial win in the televised clash at Toulouse on Sunday night
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The battle behind runaway leaders PSG is fascinating and throws up good betting opportunities this weekend, writes James Eastham...

"Dijon have won nine of 12 home games against non-top four opposition this season. Amiens are six places and seven points below Dijon in the table and have lost four of their last six Ligue 1 fixtures."

Best Bet: Dijon to beat Amiens @ [1.9]

Race for second place to push Monaco to victory

Strasbourg v Monaco (15th v second)
Fri, 19:45 GMT
Live on Betfair Live Video

Monaco are in excellent form, have everything to play for and should be too strong for Strasbourg in Ligue 1's Friday night match.

Leonardo Jardim's visitors have moved four points clear of Marseille in second place and are determined to hang on to runners-up spot behind champions-elect PSG.

Finishing second would grant Monaco automatic qualification for next season's Champions League group phase and that's something the Principality outfit are determined to obtain.

Monaco are unbeaten in their last 13 Ligue 1 matches (nine wins, four draws) and will be confident of collecting all three points at Stade de la Meinau.

Strasbourg are struggling near the foot of the table and have lost six of their last nine matches. They're below-strength in defence as powerful centre-back Kader Mangane and quick full-back Dimitri Foulquier are ruled out.

Monaco welcome back Radamel Falcao after more than a month on the sidelines. But they've scored well in his absence in recent weeks anyway, and are at full strength in all other positions.

Monaco are [1.75] to win so we prefer the visitors on the Asian Handicap at bigger odds.

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

Home form key to Dijon win

Dijon v Amiens (10th v 16th)
Sat, 19:00 GMT
Live on Betfair Live Video

Dijon have one of Ligue 1's best home records and that makes them the smart bet to beat Amiens this weekend.

Dijon's record at Stade Gaston-Gerard is an excellent W9-D2-L3 - Ligue 1's fourth-best - and an even more impressive W9-D2-L1 if you take out their home fixtures against top-four opposition.

After their spirited 2-2 draw at in-form St Etienne last weekend Dijon will be confident of beating struggling visitors.

Amiens are six places and seven points below Dijon in the standings. The visitors' six-match form is unimpressive (W1-D1-L4) and they've lost nine of 14 away games this season.

Visitors to build on Europa League success

Toulouse v Marseille (17th v 3rd)
Sun, 20:00 GMT
Live on BT Sport ESPN and Betfair Live Video

Marseille produced one of their best performances of the season to beat Athletic Bilbao in the Europa League on Thursday night and will look to build on that victory by collecting three points this weekend.

Their 3-1 midweek win over La Liga outfit featured some tremendous attacking football and manager Rudi Garcia has stressed the importance of being focused and able to play well twice in the space of four days if Marseille want to achieve their objective of claiming a Champions League spot. For that reason there'll be no easing off from the visitors this weekend.

Marseille winger Florian Thauvin is an injury doubt. In all other positions Marseille are at full strength. Garcia will be tempted to name an unchanged line-up after their impressive display on Thursday as the visitors look to maintain or extend their lead over Lyon (who've dropped points in recent weeks).

Toulouse's only defeat in their last six matches came at the hands of Ligue 1 leaders PSG but the hosts will have their work cut out this weekend. They were mediocre at bottom club Metz (1-1) last weekend and lack options in attack as Andy Delort is suspended. Delort's absence means erratic ex-Arsenal striker Yaya Sanogo is set to lead the line.

A draw simply isn't good enough for a Marseille side hunting down Monaco in second place so back the visitors to win.

James' P/L 2017-18

Staked: 78pts
Returned: 76.66pts
P/L: -1.34pts

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