Julien Laurens’ Ligue 1 Betting: Nice to leapfrog PSG tonight with hard-fought away win at Lille


Lille v Nice, Friday 7.45pm

Nice, who travel to Lille on Friday evening, can overtake PSG in second place in the table with a win in the North of France. They got back to winning ways last weekend with a precious victory at home against Bordeaux (2-1) even though they were not at their best.

It was crucial for them to win after two draws in a row. They are now pretty certain to finish in third place as they are 13 points clear of Lyon in fourth and should therefore secure their place in the Champions League qualifiers for next season which would be a fantastic achievement for the club.

They need to finish the season well though. Mario Balotelli was the star of the show against Bordeaux with a goal and an assist. He even defended which showed that he is feeling good at the moment and is in a positive mood.

He will be the key once again for Nice on Friday even if he is yet to score away from home in Ligue 1 this season. The Eaglets will once again be without Baysse, the centre half captain, Cyprien, their best player this season and Plea too while Obbadi is also still out. 

Lucien Favre the manager should play once more in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Balotelli up front and Belhanda, Eysseric and Pereira behind him. Nice have been very good away from home as well this season with the third best ranking while Lille have been terrible at home (13th in the table, nine points clear of 18th place which will have a playoff against the 3rd place in the second division).

They should be safe in Ligue 1 as they are out of the relegation fight and can focus on trying to finish in the top half of the table. They are seven points behind seventh place at the moment. 

They were very disappointed on Tuesday to have been knocked out of the French Cup by Monaco (2-1). They also lost Soumaoro, their centre half, on an injury until the end of the season. 

It was a really bad evening in midweek and the players will want to bounce back quickly. They are also without Basa and Arcus but the manager Franck Passi will keep his 4-2-3-1 formation and try to put Nice under pressure. However, I still think Nice will have too much for Lille and will get the three points. 

The odds are in favour of Lille with a home win at 2.50. A draw is at 3.10 and a Nice away win is at 3.05.

Nicolas De Preville is favourite to score first at 6.25. My best tip is Nice to win and both teams to score at 6.75.

Score prediction: Lille 1 Nice 2 (12.00)