Thursday, June 21, 2018
Ligue 1

French LIGUE 1 – Two Match Preview (Round 3)

In our first matchup of Ligue 1 – round 3, Lille, who lost comedically to Strasbourg, will host Caen, who lost without putting up much of a fight against Saint-Etienne. In our other game Marseille, who persisted in a dramatic 1:0 win over Tătărușanu FC or better known as Nantes, will expect to beat Angers, who had a good day-out at Amiens where they won 2:0.

Lille vs. Caen

3-Way: 1: Lille -137; X: +300 Draw; 2: Caen +500

Spread -1: Lille +121; Caen -128

Total +2.5: Over -110; Under +106


Lille got the wrong end of the stick in a slapstick show at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, where they lost 3:0 to 2016-17 Ligue 2 champions Strasbourg. Other than a couple of chances for Lille the game was mostly uneventful until a red card in the 63rd minute. The red card came in a bizarre event when Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan threw the ball at Benjamin Corgnet’s head following a short spat. Unfortunately for Lille, they had already used all three of their substitutions and ended up putting attacker Nicolas De Préville in between the sticks. As a result, Strasbourg goals came thick and fast as Martin scored the first with a side footed shot from a corner, which encouraged another change of keeper. Then a penalty was converted by Dimitri Liénardand a third goal was added from a long shot executed by Jeremy Grimm.

Despite a 3:0 loss to a Ligue 1 newly promoted side looking bad on paper, Lille should not feel too disheartened with the result as the events that occurred are about as common as a total eclipse. Manager Marcelo Bielsa will hope to avoid a total eclipse of form and see his side back to business in their next game. Furthermore, Les Dogues should be more than capable of getting their season back on-track against next oppositions Caen.

The only recent piece of transfer business was the sale of Marvin Martin on a free to Reims of Ligue 2.

Marcelo Bielsa will be without centre-back Adama Soumaoro (Achilles tendon rupture), right-back Kévin Malcuit (wound) and defensive-midfielder Thiago Mendes (wound) all through injury. Goalkeeper Mike Maignan will also be out after his red card in the last match.


Another 1:0 loss to St. Etienne meant that Caen has now lost four games in a row, with zero points to their name. St. Etienne dominated the first half with a couple of chances but went without a goal. Caen grew into the game in the second half, with Ivan Santini’s head coming close as he hit the post from a cross. Unfortunately for Caen, the defense was unable to deal with a persistent Jonathan Bamba as he snatched the ball and managed to dribble his way through the defense before passing it to Romain Hamouma, who finished the job by slotting it away through the legs of the opposing keeper Rémy Vercoutre. Winger Santini had another late headed chance but placed it into the opposition’s keeper’s hands, which was the home sides best chance to salvage a draw.

Although Caen’s defense seems to be doing their job, they have struggled for goals so far this season, scoring in neither of their first two games. Manager Patrice Grande will have to look at last season’s goal record, just 36 over 38 games which were the worst out of any side who survived from relegation, and then look at this season and invest duly as a consequence, however, we still haven’t seen a center-forward come in over the summer!

Despite a lack of attacking transfers, Caen has been fairly busy as they signed central-midfielder Youssef Ait Bennasser from Monaco on loan in the last few days.

Manager Antoine Konbouaré will have a full squad selection.


Lille had a torrid time at home to Strasbourg, but they were under extraordinary circumstances and I fully expect them to bounce back against a poor Caen side.

Lille to win by at least two goals.

MY PICK: Lille AH -1 (+121)


Marseille vs. Angers

3-Way: 1: Marseille -141; X: +309 Draw; 2: Angers +530

Spread – 1: Marseille +119; Angers -125

Total +2.5: Over -108; Under +104


It took until the 87th minute for Marseille to score in a tight 1:0 win away at Nantes in the round 2 of the Ligue 1 new campaign. Despite a late winner, it was a surprise that Marseille wasn’t able to hit the back of the net with a host of chances, although it was difficult to get the ball past Nantes’s goalkeeper Ciprian Tătărușanuwho performed outstandingly with truly world-class saves. However, a goal did come in dramatic fashion as substitute Lucas Ocampos scrambled the ball over the brave body of Tatarasanu, and more important the line.

With a total of nine shots on target, Marseille were unlucky not to score, rather than a lack of quality finishing the lack of goals was due to an outstanding goalkeeping performance. Les Olympiens should have no trouble in their next Ligue 1 fixture judging by recent performance, although they will have one eye fixed on their Europa League play-off double tie and may have to rest players.

There has been just one notable transfer in the last week with left-back Jordan Amavi signing on loan from Aston Villa.

Manager Rudi Garciawill have a full squad selection for Sunday’s game.


Angers obtained their first three points in the new season of Ligue 1 with a likely win over Amiens with two goals from Thomas Mangani and debutant Enzo Crivelli. The first goal came from Enzo Crivelli, who made his debut after joining from SC Bastia where he scored ten goals last season, and he finished well after he was put through by an intelligent pass from Thomas Mangani. Then, central-midfielder Thomas Mangani capped off a great performance with a wonder-goal in the 56th minute, a stunning 40-yard lobover the keeper who came way out of his goal line to deal witha looseball. Angers continued to see out the game with comfort and without fear.

With three points and new-man Crivelli getting on the score-sheet, it was an all-round good day for Angers. However, they now face three difficult Ligue 1 fixtures, playing Marseille first, then Lille and finally Saint-Etienne; we will see after then what this team has and does not have in their locker.

Manager Stéphane Moulin will be without any injury or suspension woes.

Marseille vs. Angers – MATCH PREDICTION

Both sides are in good form but it is Marseille who has the side with a much higher ambition in Ligue 1, and team by consequence, than their opponents. Angers, on the other hand, has impressed, but are yet to come across serious opposition like Marseille.

I fully expect Marseille to continue their winning run and beat Angers comfortably.

MY PICK: Marseille to win (-141)

French LIGUE 1 - Two Match Preview (Round 3)
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French LIGUE 1 - Two Match Preview (Round 3)
The French Ligue 1 2017/18 season played out the second round of games last weekend which featured some surprises over the ten games between twenty teams. Furthermore, we found out a little bit more about each team, who will be challenging for the European spots and who may be caught in a relegation scrap.
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