Mark O'Haire: More Goals In France Please

10 min

Mark O’Haire has been knocking it out of the park so far in France this year (one losing bet from eight selections) so if it ain’t broke..

The 2022/23 European football season may only be a month old, but it may surprise you to learn that Ligue 1 is the highest-scoring major league across the continent as we head into September.

France’s top-flight averages 3.47 goals, with a chunky 67% of fixtures featuring Over 2.5 Goals and a massive 76% seeing both sides score.

PSG have contributed significantly to that overall goals-per-game average, yet the rest of the division has also played a major role in ensuring entertainment.

Only six sides post goals-per-game averages below the 3.00 mark, whilst almost half of the 20 competitors are still searching for their first clean campaign sheet.

Both Teams To Oblige At Stade Auguste Delaune

The market is slowly beginning to react to the increase in goals, yet opportunity remains, such as backing Both Teams To Score when Reims welcome Lens on Sunday afternoon at 1.78.

It’s a wager that’s already won in nine of the duos’ combined 10 contests, with Over 2.5 Goals landing in seven of those dates and five matches even going Over 4.5 Goals.

Reims have traditionally been labelled as one of the division’s dullest teams to follow. However, Oscar Garcia’s group tend to be competitive and capable.

Under the Spaniard’s watch, Les Rouges et Blancs are more attractive in possession than previous regimes and pack a reasonable punch in the final third.

The six-time champions justified strong market support to succeed 4-2 at Angers in midweek – the club’s first success of the season – and have generated an acceptable 1.20 non-penalty Expected Goals (npxG) goals average despite a tricky schedule that’s also included trips to Marseille and Strasbourg, as well as a home clash with Lyon.

Reims Stade Auguste-Delaune has seen plenty of goals in recent times! 

Reims have provided BTTS profit in all five match-ups and delivered pay-outs in the same market in 57% of their Stade Auguste-Delaune outings since the start of last season.

Indeed, Stade have scored in 13 of their last 16 when welcoming sides outside of the top-three but managed to silence only six of their 21 guests here going back to the beginning of 2021/22.

Visitors Lens are going great guns despite key player sales over the summer.

Franck Haise’s outfit are renowned for their all-action style, and their early season efforts have been fabulous to follow. ‘Les Sang et Or’ have already been involved in a 3-2, a 4-1, a 2-1 and a 5-2 as recently as Wednesday night, scoring multiple goals in four of five encounters.

The northern club have notched in 15 of 21 away days since the start of last season, although Lens have managed just three clean sheets in the same sample, with Both Teams To Score boasting a 67% hit rate.

xG-wise, Les Sang et are doing plenty of damage this term, and the high-flyers are well-fancied to make their mark on this match.

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Montpellier & Lille Expected To Rustle Up More Than Two Goals

Montpellier have regularly featured in this column over the past 12 months, with La Paillade continuing to churn out eye-catching encounters.

Olivier Dall’Oglio’s outfit smashed up Brest 7-0 on their travels last weekend – the club’s biggest-ever Ligue 1 win – before following it up with an impressive 2-0 success at home to Ajaccio on Wednesday evening.

Forward-thinking MHSC achieved back-to-back triumphs without key suspended playmaker Teji Savanier with the club’s summer signings providing plenty of encouragement.

Faitout Maouassa has been exceptional on the left, Wahbi Khazri has slotted into the side superbly, and exciting teenage forward Elye Wahi has earned rave reviews.

Montpellier boast a squad that’s packed with pace and poise in attacking areas and have the ability to trouble any side in the division.

The hosts have scored twice or more in four of their five fixtures thus far but still aren’t to be trusted at the back. MHSC have serious concerns at centre-back and have appeared vulnerable defending set-pieces.

Tunisian international Wahbi Khazri has been one of Montpellier’s shining lights so far this season. 

Lille head to the Stade de la Mosson on Sunday following a disappointing 2-1 home defeat to Nice.

Les Dogues saw their first-half advantage wiped out by two converted penalties and could not wrestle their way back to parity despite firing in 18 attempts.

New head coach Paulo Fonseca is still searching for the right blend, but the visitors still pack a punch in attacking areas.

At times, Jonathan David has been utilised from a wide position semi-successfully, new signing Mohamed Bayo provides a dominant presence following his arrival from Clermont, whilst Jonathan Bamba remains in situ too.

Lille have generated 1.53 npxG on average through five rounds and should be capable of piercing the Montpellier rearguard.

However, keeping their back door shut remains a concern.

Les Dogues have posted successful BTTS selections in all five outings, with Over 2.5 Goals copping on four occasions, suggesting goals will again be on the menu.

Exclude meetings with PSG; these two teams have played eight games between them this term, with 31 goals scored at a rate of 3.88 per game.

The duo have struck in all eight and recorded only two clean sheets, with six crossing the Over 2.5 Goals barrier; I’m anticipating another open and enjoyable encounter between two attack-minded sides.

Recommended Bets

  • Both Teams To Score in Reims vs Lens – 1 unit @ 1.78
  • Over 2.5 Goals in Montpellier vs Lille – 1 unit @ 1.86

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