ligue 1

Mark O'Haire - If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

9 min

Football betting analyst Mark O’Haire returns to share his favourite fancies from the weekend with a pair of goals-based plays from Ligue 1.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…


“I don’t know if we can be the problem when we were the solution three months ago?”

That was Strasbourg boss Julien Stephan speaking after last weekend’s shock 4-2 reverse at newly-promoted Ajaccio.

The underachieving Alsace outfit appeared to be heading for just their second Ligue 1 success of the season when racing into a two-goal lead in Corsica, but imploded thereafter, conceding four times in a horrifying first-half display.

Pressure has piled on Le Racing’s chief, and it could be a case of win-or-bust this weekend if Stephan is to keep his role beyond the World Cup break. Having guided the group to sixth last season – three points shy of Champions League qualification – Strasbourg have struggled to get going in 2022/23 (W1-D7-L6) sitting two points off the bottom.

Saturday night’s hosts have toiled defensively – recording a solitary shutout – whilst profligacy in front of goal has been a problem despite the individual quality at their disposal.

Nevertheless, Le Racing have still managed to find the back of the net in 11 of their 14 fixtures with Kevin Gameiro, Habib Diallo and Ludovic Ajorque leading an admirable attack.

With both boxes proving busy, it’s no surprise to see Both Teams To Score returning profit on 11 (79%) occasions, with their most recent seven results reading 2-1, 1-3, 2-3, 0-3, 2-2, 2-2 and 4-2.

Across a large sample, BTTS has banked in 15 of Strasbourg’s previous 26 home Ligue 1 outings, with Stephan’s side grabbing at least one goal in 20 such tussles.

Bet Now

On Sunday, Strasbourg face surprise package Lorient at the Stade de la Meinau and a repeat of Both Teams To Score is an attractive option at 1.73.

Collectively, the two teams have seen this selection pay-out in 22/28 (79%) contests this term, a percentage hit-rate that would imply odds of around 1.27 on a repeat.

Lorient’s dizzying early season form has regressed of late.

The pre-season relegation contenders took top honours in eight of their opening 10 ties but have since failed to pocket a victory in four.

Injuries to top scorer Terem Moffi and influential midfielder Laurent Abergel have played their part, yet performances have remained eye-catching.

Les Merlus gave PSG a great run for their money last weekend, and rookie head coach Regis Le Bris saw his side dominate much of their match against Nice; Kasper Schmeichel’s brilliance denied the Brittany boys with a moment of brilliance from Youcef Atal and a deflected effort from Gaetan Laborde proving decisive as Lorient lost.

Across the whole campaign, Le Bris’ troops have scored in all bar one of their 14 fixtures – nothing twice or more in five of seven away days – yet the visitors have silenced only three opposition outfits, leading to 11 Both Teams To Score winners, an angle I’m again keen to exploit on Sunday.

ligue 1


Continuing the goals focus in France, Sunday’s showdown between Brest and Troyes has the potential to be very enjoyable at the Stade Francis Le Ble.

Over 2.5 Goals is available to support at 1.85 and I wouldn’t be too surprised to see that price clipped in before kick-off.

Brest recently sacked Michel der Zakarian after a run of just one victory in 10 left the Brittany boys rock-bottom. Les Pirates have been hamstrung by injuries and key players performing below expectations.

Still, the former boss could have few complaints over the decision following a dour start and drab on-field performances.

Club legend Bruno Grougi has temporarily taken charge and there’s been plenty of positive vibes emanating from the playing staff despite a mixed return of results.

Brest have switched system to 4-3-3 with the interim head coach releasing the shackles in forward areas, promoting fluidity and freedom in the final-third.

Bet Now

Tackling Troyes won’t be easy, mind. The visitors have been one of the division’s standout sides, with ESTAC showcasing more than enough eye-catching attributes to steer clear of expected trouble.

Bruno Irles’ charges showcased their offensive flair when scoring three away at PSG a fortnight ago, extending their excellent streak in front of goal this season.

The Champagne club have fired only two blanks, notching twice or more on eight occasions. Troyes boast the best attack in the bottom half, although their gung-ho approach does tend to leave the team exposed at times.

ESTAC are still searching for their first clean sheet of the campaign with rock-bottom Angers the only Ligue 1 side to have conceded more often.

Unsurprisingly, Both Teams To Score has proven a successful path to profit in 12 of Troyes’ 14 fixtures, with contests averaging a huge 3.86 goals-per-game, and so backing a high-scoring contest at Brest holds plenty of appeal.

Both clubs will see this as a winnable opportunity that should ensure an open and expansive encounter.

*The above was written prior to Troyes sacking their manager*

Recommended Bets

  • BTTS in Strasbourg vs Lorient – 1 unit @ 1.73
  • OVER 2.5 GOALS in Brest vs Troyes – 1 unit @ 1.81

Subscribe to the Matchbook Betting Podcast here

Subscribe to the Matchbook YouTube channel here