Front three to shine again
Clermont vs PSG (17th vs 1st)
Sat, 20:00 BST
PSG are worth backing to run up a big winning margin at Clermont on Saturday night.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side are cruising towards another Ligue 1 title triumph yet there are no real signs of the players easing off yet.
In their final outing before the recent international break PSG lost 3-0 at Monaco, raising concerns about their motivation levels.
Yet they bounced back spectacularly last weekend, producing one of their most impressive displays of the season to win 5-1 at home to Lorient.
Kylian Mbappe produced yet another glorious performance, scoring twice and having a hand in Paris’ other three goals.
The game was also notable as it was the first time this season that Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar had all been on the scoresheet in the same Ligue 1 match.
So Clermont face a tough evening, and the hosts’ team news is a further cause for concern.
Cedric Hountondji, their best central defender, has been ruled out by injury. That’s a worry as the side prepares to face one of the world’s most fearsome attacks.
Left winger Elbasan Rashani is out as well, with left-back Vital Nsimba a major injury doubt, too. Without those two Clermont would pose little threat and be extremely defensively vulnerable on their left flank.
As you’d expect, PSG are short odds to win. At the time of writing, they’re 1.374/11 to collect all three points.
Underrated Nice the smart pick
Lens vs Nice (10th vs 5th)
Sun, 16:05 BST
The market appears to have underrated Nice’s chances of getting something from their trip to Lens on Sunday afternoon.
Lens’ home record is a solid W7-D5-L3 but five of their seven home wins have come against sides currently below them in the standings. At home to teams that, like Nice, are above them, Lens’ home record is a less impressive W1-D4-L2.
Nice are W8-D3-L4 on the road, which is the division’s second-best away record. Against sides that, like Lens, are currently below them in the standings, their record is W7-D1-L3. Nice’s 64 per cent win rate in such matches is worth taking into account.
Nice are worth considering at 3.259/4 to win. Alternatively, have a look at Nice on the Draw No Bet market at 2.26/5. With this selection, you’ll make a profit if Nice win, and get your stakes back if the game ends all-square.
Marseille to extend winning streak
Marseille vs Montpellier (2nd vs 11th)
Sun, 20:00 BST
A difference in class and motivation makes Marseille the smart bet against Montpellier at Stade Velodrome on Sunday night.
Jorge Sampaoli’s hosts go into the game on a superb run of six consecutive victories in all competitions. Last weekend, they came from behind to win 4-2 at relegation-threatened St Etienne, following up with a 2-1 Europa Conference League quarter-final win over PAOK on Thursday night.
Marseille have everything to play for as they’re locked in a four-way battle (with Rennes, Strasbourg and Nice) for the two Champions League berths behind near-certain champions PSG.
Second in the table, Marseille are in the driving seat, but only five points separate the four teams in question so Marseille will remain motivated and focused.
The same cannot be said of opponents Montpellier. They’re 14 points above the bottom three positions, so virtually safe from relegation, but too far below the top spots to challenge for a European position.
With seven games to go, Montpellier manager Olivier Dall’Oglio faces a challenge just to ensure his players are properly motivated here, and in the coming weeks, too.
Their far more pressing need for points, as well as superior ability in most areas of the pitch, gives Marseille the edge. They’re a short 1.558/15 to win, however, so we prefer backing them on the Asian Handicap.
With our selection, you’ll get your stakes back if Marseille win by a single goal, and make a profit if they win by two or more goals.