Football betting analyst Mark O’Haire returns to share his favourite fancies from the weekend’s European action with a pair of plays from Ligue 1 highlighted.
Can he improve on his 18% ROI from last season?
CLERMONT TO SUFFER A SAVAGING BY THE CHAMPIONS
Paris Saint-Germain kicked off their 2022/23 campaign and first fixture under the tutorship of new head coach Christophe Galtier, with a fine 4-0 thrashing of Nantes in the Trophée des Champions last weekend.
Superstars Neymar, Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos were all on the scoresheet in Tel Aviv, with Les Parisiens looking sharp from the off.
The aforementioned Neymar and Messi were particularly influential. The South American pair appeared fit, fresh, and motivated for the season curtain-raiser in Galtier’s 3-4-3 system.
With Kylian Mbappe now returning from suspension to join the squad for Saturday night’s trip to Clermont, Les Rouge-et-Bleu will be difficult to thwart.
PSG produced an almost flawless W20-D2-L0 record when facing teams in 10th and below last term in Ligue 1, winning by a margin of two goals or more in 15 of those 20 triumphs.
That sample includes 4-0 and 6-1 thrashings of Clermont, and therefore Galtier’s group should hold plenty of appeal with a -1.5/2.0 hurdle here at reasonable 1.88 quotes.
Clermont survived their debut season in Ligue 1, but only just. Les Lanciers concluded the campaign in 17th, with no top-flight team have suffered more than their tally of 20 defeats.
Pascal Gastien must now face the very real possibility of second-season syndrome, considering the exodus that’s occurred at the Stade Gabriel Montpied.
As well as seeing star striker and top goalscorer Mohamed Bayo depart this summer, four other members of Clermont’s first-choice XI have moved on. Starting full-backs Akim Zedadka and Vital N’Simba, centre-back Cedric Hountondji and central midfielder Salis Abdul Samed are no longer options for CF63, undoubtedly weakening their prospects.
Clermont suffered seven losses in nine home encounters with top-nine opposition in 2021/22 and this looks a tall opening day order for Les Lanciers.
Our proposed selection requires PSG to secure victory by multiple goals – a two-goal success will earn us a half-stakes pay-out with a triumph by three goals or more ensures full profit.
CANARIES CAPABLE OF OPENING DAY SUCCESS
It’s been a tumultuous off-season for Angers. Having announced the sale of the club to American investment fund Global Football Corporation at the end of last season, confidence in the takeover bid has dwindled over the summer with sources suggesting the project does not have the necessary funds to buy the club from current president Said Chabane.
It’s left Le SCO in a degree of limbo ahead of MD1, and left head coach Gerald Baticle short on standout options following the sales of key personnel.
Starlet Mohamed-Ali Cho moved on for big money, whilst influential attacking midfielder Angelo Fulgini joined left-back Enzo Ebosse and right midfielder Jimmy Cabot in a large exodus from Pays de la Loire.
To plug the gaps, Angers have brought in a raft of youngsters and journeymen, and so it may take time for Les Noirs et Blancs to find their feet with pre-season performances causing plenty of angst within the ranks.
It’s expected to be a campaign battling against four relegation berths for Le SCO and this looks a good opportunity to oppose the hosts early.
Nantes won their first trophy in 21 years in May as Les Canaris beat Nice in the Coupe de France final. Securing silverware was a miraculous achievement by Antoine Kombouare, with the head coach having dragged a downtrodden outfit from the brink of relegation only 12 months previously and doing so in an exciting fashion.
The eight-time Ligue 1 champions often thrilled with the triple threat of Ludovic Blas and forwards Moses Simon and Randal Kolo Muani.
However, whilst the latter has since moved on, Nantes have worked hard to strengthen their attacking options and come into this campaign relatively stable after a reasonable summer in the transfer market.
Kombouare’s charges were competitive for large swathes of their Trophée des Champions loss with PSG in Israel last Saturday and were effective when taking on the league’s lesser lights in 2021/22.
Nantes posted W12-D5-L3 against bottom-half dwellers, and took four points off Angers, making the 2.00 available on Nantes +0 an appealing way in.
- PSG -1.5/2.0 Handicap in Clermont vs PSG – 2 units @ 1.88
- Nantes +0 Handicap in Angers vs Nantes – 2 units @ 2.00