Football betting analyst Mark O’Haire returns to share his favourite fancies from the weekend’s European action with two Ligue 1 tips highlighted.
Mark’s record this season stands at nine winners, two pushes and three losses from 14 tips…
BRITTANY THE BASE FOR GOALS
Ligue 1 remains, comfortably, the highest-scoring major league in Europe at this embryonic stage of the season.
France’s top-flight is averaging 3.04 goals, with a chunky 59% of fixtures featuring Over 2.5 Goals and a massive 64% seeing both sides score.
Even if we exclude PSG’s eye-catching exploits at the top, those figures remain beefy.
Two of the chief contributors now lock horns on Sunday afternoon as surprise-package Lorient welcome Lille to Brittany. The hosts concluded last season in 16th and were expected to struggle, having sold their best player this summer, whilst seeing an exodus of experienced heads depart the Stade du Moustoir.
Les Merlus also opted not to offer head coach Christophe Pelissier a new deal, instead bringing in Regis Le Bris for his first role in senior management.
The 46-year-old was famed for his work in youth football and has so far flourished after stepping into the seniors, giving Lorient’s budding squad direction, dynamism and a fearless attitude.
Le Bris’ squad are posting low possession figures, but when the ball is turned over, Les Merlus are proactive and play with pace and intensity. Spearheading the attack, Terem Moffi has relished leading the line, whilst diminutive playmaker Enzo Le Fee is being talked about as a potential bolter ahead of the French World Cup squad; such are his standards.
Lorient are certainly punching up in third (W6-D1-L1) and are the division’s third top goalscorers. However, vulnerabilities still remain at the back, with the goalkeeper position of particular concern and Les Merlus’ dodgy defending from set-pieces also requiring a significant improvement. Nevertheless, it’s lead to a serious of eye-catching encounters.
Eight games into the Ligue 1 campaign and Lorient have delivered six winning Over 2.5 selections, as well as six Both Teams To Score pay-outs – those matches have averaged 3.63 goals with five fixtures even breaking the Over 3.5 barrier.
Delve into the Expected Goals (xG) outputs, and there’s also plenty of evidence to suggest games are open and expansive.
Lille are Lorient’s latest opponent, and goals are difficult to dismiss considering the visitors’ own early-season numbers.
Following Paolo Fonseca’s appointment, Les Dogues have returned 8/8 successful BTTS plays with seven of those showdowns producing three goals or more; games have averaged 4.00 goals, as well as 3.24 xG with half seeing Over 3.5 Goals.
That means, collectively, these two have posted Over 2.5 Goals profits in 13 of their combined 16 league outings, with nine of those match-ups hitting Over 3.5 Goals and 14 concluding with both sides scoring.
Those dates have averaged a massive 3.82 goals per-game, making the 1.80 on Over 2.5 Goals this weekend an attractive angle of attack.
BOTH SIDES TO OBLIGE IN THE CHAMPAGNE COUNTRY
Troyes (W3-D1-L4) have also surpassed pre-season expectations through the first fifth of the new season in Ligue 1.
Bruno Irles’ outfit have endured a tough opening schedule yet showcased enough attacking flair to suggest they’ll be capable of staying out of relegation dogfight with four teams suffering top-flight demotion this term.
ESTAC have plundered 14 goals already, notching four in a fine victory away at Monaco, as well as finding a way past Rennes and Lyon’s defences. The Champagne club signed off for September with an impressive 3-1 success over Clermont and will fancy their prospects of turning over lowly Reims at the Stade de l’Aube on Sunday afternoon too.
Reims’ pivot away from established professionals towards their academy proved a masterstroke last season.
However, having lost Hugo Ekitike’s goals to PSG and struggled with discipline – they have picked up six red cards already – a repeat looks tricky.
Oscar Garcia’s group have posted W1-D3-L4 thus far with defence often the team’s undoing.
Stade are yet to silence any of their eight opponents and only two clubs have conceded more than their tally of 17 strikes.
Even so, Reims have still provided plenty of threat of their own, scoring in six of those eight overall encounters with matches averaging 2.71 xG and six of their eight outings therefore paying-out in the Both Teams To Score market.
Troyes’ testimony follows familiar lines; the hosts are still searching for their first shutout of the campaign, have scored in six of eight dates and provided BTTS profit in 6/8 as matches have boasted a 2.73 xG average.
It means Sunday’s duo have delivered Both Teams To Score winners in 12 of their collective 16 showdowns with 1.77, an appealing price on a repeat.
- Over 2.5 Goals in Lorient vs Lille – 1 unit @ 1.76
- Both Teams To Score in Troyes vs Reims – 1 unit @ 1.78