Oppose hosts on a weekend where away teams look set to shine


Home advantage is barely an advantage in France's top division this weekend, writes James Eastham.


Bordeaux v Montpellier (9th v 7th) Sat, 19:00 BST


Regular readers of this column will know we have opposed Bordeaux at home on several occasions this season. I'm happy to do so again this weekend.

Francis Gillot's side sit 15th in the 'home' league table with a W5-D7-L3 record that says everything about their limited style of play. An essentially counter- attacking side, Bordeaux struggle against even moderately well-organised defences at Stade Chaban-Delmas.


Bordeaux also have little to play for (they are 10pts off the European places with seven games to play) so Montpellier are a good bet to win or draw. The visitors can  still claim a European spot and have an excellent W11-D3-L0 record against sides currently below them in the standings stretching back to last October.


Lay the hosts or back Montpellier on the Asian Handicap.



Lorient v Bastia (8th v 12th) Sat, 19:00 BST


The stats and mood in the two camps point to a high-scoring game at Stade du Moustoir.


Eighteen of Lorient's 31 league games - including nine of their 15 home games - have featured over 2.5 goals. They were thrashed 5-0 at Lille last weekend and will be  determined to bounce back.


Twenty-two of Bastia's 31 league games - 12 of their 16 away games - have featured over 2.5 goals. Their 4-0 win over Brest last weekend virtually secured Ligue 1  survival so they can relax and go out to play to their attacking strengths.


The stats suggest Over 2.5 goals should be around the 1.55 mark. On that basis, the 1.9 available looks good value.



Brest v Reims (19th v 15th) Sat, 19:00 BST


Brest's decision to sack coach Landry Chauvin last week was a case of finding the wrong culprit for the club's woes.


If the club's points-per game tally (1.09 to 0.56) and goals-per-game rate (1.05 to 0.67) have both dropped since the start of February it's not because of anything  Chauvin did wrong - it's because the club sold nine-goal leading scorer Eden Ben Basat to Toulouse in the January transfer window. No-one else at Brest has scored more  than three goals this season so it's little surprise results have taken a nosedive.


On the sidelines majority shareholder Yvon Kermarec and president Michel Guyot are engaged in a war of words that has caught interim coach Corentin Martins in the  crossfire. The result is an atmosphere that would hamper any team attempting to climb out of the bottom three.


Reims arrive far more united. Their excellent 1-0 win over third-placed Lyon lifted them four points above the bottom three last weekend. They have the spirit and  unity to pick up something at Stade Francis-Le Ble.


Back the draw or Reims on the Asian handicap.



Lyon v Toulouse (4th v 11th) Sun, 16:00 BST


After playing well for six months Lyon's season threatens to end in disaster.


Remi Garde's side have lost three in a row, dropping from second to fourth in the standings. Particularly worrying for the Lyon boss is that his side were outplayed in  all three defeats (4-1 at Bastia, 2-1 at home to Sochaux and 1-0 at Reims) even though they faced bottom-half opposition.


Clearly rattled, Lyon will need a big improvement to get a result last weekend. Yet visitors Toulouse are the sort of side that can get under Lyon's skin. They were a  little unlucky to lose 4-3 to Nice last weekend, their first defeat in seven matches. France U21 striker Wissam Ben Yedder looked sharp, scoring his first goals since  November, and France midfielder Etienne Capoue is in tremendous form.


In the circumstances, Lyon look too short.


Recommended Bets

Best Bet: Montpellier +0&+0.5 Asian Handicap at Bordeaux @ 1.96

Lay Lyon at home to Toulouse @ 1.98

Reims +0 Asian Handicap at Brest @ 2.15

Lorient v Bastia Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.9


(Source: Betfair)




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