Mark O'Haire: Fading French Strugglers & Goals Expected With Ligue 1 Entertainers

7 min

Football betting analyst Mark O’Haire returns to share his favourite fancies for the weekend with a return to Ligue 1 for two strong selections.


Monaco’s bid for a top-three finish in Ligue 1 has stalled in recent weeks but the principality club should be well capable of a bounce back on Sunday when they travel to lowly Ajaccio.

Backing the men from Monte Carlo with a -0.5 Asian Handicap start holds plenty of appeal at 1.84 quotes knowing we make money should Les Monégasques take top honours.

Philippe Clement’s charges have picked up a solitary point from their last three fixtures; Monaco were well beaten at home by Nice, conceding a last-gasp equaliser at Troyes before being edged out narrowly by Reims last time out.

But their record on the road, and their return from bottom-half dwellers should enthuse Les Rouge et Blanc followers.

Monaco have posted eight wins from 13 on their Ligue 1 travels, although their record at sides outside of the top-six reads a hugely impressive W8-D2-L0.

Les Monégasques have struck twice or more in nine of those 10 tussles and possess the personnel to do some serious damage in Corsica this weekend.

Bet Now

Ajaccio have not looked cut out for top-flight survival since winning promotion last season with a squad with little Ligue 1 experience.

The islanders are only two points from safety but come into this clash having been beaten in nine of their 11 league dates in 2023 – the two they didn’t came against the bottom-two, beleaguered Angers and out-of-form Troyes.  

L’Ours are a defensive-first outfit yet Olivier Pantaloni’s posse have still managed to keep just three clean sheets across the whole campaign.

And Ajaccio’s impotent attack has seen the division’s lowest scorers fail to net in eight of their 11 matches this calendar year.

The Corsicans have earned 16 of their 21-point haul against fellow bottom-six scrappers, with Ajaccio posting just W1-D2-L17 when facing sides in 14th and above (firing blanks on 13 occasions), whilst the recent reverse between the two teams ending in a 7-1 shellacking for the relegation-haunted hosts with Monaco 5-1 up at the interval. 


Toulouse are quickly becoming Ligue 1’s great entertainers and Téfécé’s tussle with Lille on Saturday promises plenty with Over 2.5/3 Goals standing out as a 1.91 option.

We’ll earn a half-stakes winner should exactly three goals be plundered at Stadium TFC with a full-stakes profit ensured if at least four goals are delivered in Occitania.

Les Violets are just five points shy of a top-half berth on their return top-flight football and have also secured a place in the Coupe de France semi-finals.

Philippe Montanier’s dynamic and progressive side have plenty of pace and potential in their ranks and have now managed to score in 21 of their 27 Ligue 1 matches this season, highlighting their threat.

Toulouse have tended to be at their best against the lesser lights – the hosts have only W1-D0-L7 against top-six opposition – but Téfécé should stand a good opportunity of picking up points here with Lille potentially missing their first-choice back-four for this showdown.

Starting centre-half Jose Fonte remains an injury doubt but his defensive partner Tiago Djalo has been ruled out, as have full-backs Bafode Diakite and Ismaily.

To make matters worse, holding midfielder Benjamin Andre is suspended on Saturday, leaving Paolo Fonseca’s outfit without a whole host of rearguard operators. 

Those absences were exposed by Lyon in last weekend’s thrilling 3-3 draw and Lille head south having silenced only three home sides across the whole campaign, with a solitary away shutout arriving in 2023.

Nevertheless, Les Dogue pack plenty of punch in the final-third with Jonathan David, Remy Cabella, Jonathan Bamba in fine recent form.

Lille have only failed to score four times this term, with 18/27 (67%) tussles featuring winning Both Teams To Score selections.

Those matches are averaging 3.13 goals with Toulouse’s encounters returning an even chunkier 3.30 goals average, with 18/27 (67%) contests breaking the Over 2.5 Goals barrier, suggesting a similar tally could be in the offing.

Recommended Bets

  • Monaco -0.5 in Ajaccio vs Monaco – 1 unit @ 1.84
  • Over 2.5/3 Goals in Toulouse vs Lille – 1 unit @ 1.91

Subscribe to the Matchbook Betting Podcast here

Subscribe to the Matchbook YouTube channel here