Football betting analyst Mark O’Haire returns to share his favourite fancies from the weekend’s European action.
A win and a push to open the season last weekend, and it’s Ligue 1 once again in search of value…
More Ligue 1 goals ??
A win and a push last weekend for @MarkOHaire as he stays in France in search of more value plays ?
— Matchbook Betting Exchange (@TeamMatchbook) August 11, 2022
BOTH CAN OBLIGE IN BURGUNDY
Auxerre fell to a 4-1 defeat at Lille on their return to Ligue 1 football following a 10-year absence. The 1996 champions won promotion via the play-offs against St Etienne, and are expected to find the step-up tough, yet Jean-Marc Furlan’s men should provide punters with plenty of entertainment due to their effervescent approach, particularly as hosts.
Furlan, who now has five promotions on his resume, prefers his teams to play dynamic, carefree and attack-minded football, and his Auxerre side were fun to follow in Ligue 2.
The 64-year-old has since reaffirmed his commitment to his offensive style, and therefore, AJA should attract plenty of neutrals this season as they bid for consolidation.
The Burgundy boys boast plenty of creative quality in midfield and have enough ability in forward areas to trouble opposition defences outside of the top-six.
Backed by a capacity crowd at their intimate Stade de l’Abbé-Deschamps on Sunday, Auxerre will be eager to make their mark with Furlan encouraging his troops to harness the atmosphere.
Angers arrive in central France following a goalless draw in their opener against Nantes. As 0-0’s go, it was anything but a dull and drowsy affair, with a total Expected Goals (xG) figure of 3.25 and 20 shots attempted from inside the penalty area. Both goalkeepers earned rave reviews, and Le Sco arguably edged the end-to-end contest.
A similar showing can’t be ruled out here. Les Noirs et Blancs were regularly involved in entertaining away encounters during Gerald Baticle’s first campaign, with Angers getting on the scoresheet in 14 of their 19 road trips.
A hefty 13 of those fixtures paid out for Both Teams To Score backers with Le Sco managing a paltry two clean sheets on their travels.
BTTS appeals again here at 1.9 – it’s a wager that banked in 11 of Angers’ 13 games away to clubs outside the top-six in 2021/22 – and considering Auxerre’s expected offensive approach, we could be in for a Sunday afternoon treat.
ENTERTAINMENT EXPECTED IN BRITTANY
Marseille gave new boss Igor Tudor a victory to mark his first competitive game in charge of the club as they secured a 4-1 success at home to Reims.
The Croatian coach was roundly booed by OM supporters pre-match following a fractious pre-season in which last term’s runners-up failed to win a single warm-up friendly, whilst reports of in-fighting were rife.
But fans will have been much happier at the final whistle after Les Phoceens turned on the style with an impressive opening show.
Tudor dropped Dimitri Payet from the starting XI and fielded a 3-4-1-2 system with new wing-back signings Nuno Tavares and Jonathan Clauss standing out. Colombian forward Luis Suarez scored twice off the bench.
Overall, Marseille generated 2.16 xG and attempted 12 shots from inside the penalty area, and Tudor’s attacking options have increased this week with the arrival of Alexis Sanchez.
The OM chief is eager to release the shackles at Les Olympiens, and the visitors certainly won’t lack firepower for their trip to Brest on Sunday evening.
The ingredients, therefore, are in place for another eye-catching contest, with Brest themselves preferring to play expansive football under Michel Der Zakarian.
Les Pirates have tended to produce plenty in the final third, particularly at their Stade Francis-Le Blé base, with the underdogs striking in all bar four of last season’s home Ligue 1 outings.
However, Brest haven’t often found the right blend for balance and can be easily manoeuvred by more streetwise opposition.
The hosts silenced only four visitors in 2021/22 and can be exposed out wide – Lens took advantage of that area of weakness on matchday one and Marseille’s new additions will also be targeting the Les Pirates on the flanks.
Nevertheless, it’s difficult to dismiss Brest’s own prospects of landing a blow. Reims did manage to fire in 16 attempts at goal against Marseille last weekend (nine from inside the box and six on-target), and so with two attack-minded coaches, the underdogs on home soil, this match-up has plenty of potential to break the Over 2.5 Goals barrier at 1.78.
- Both Teams To Score in Auxerre vs Angers – 1 unit @ 1.9
- Over 2.5 Goals in Brest vs Marseille – 1 unit @ 1.78