Ligue 1 Betting: Marseille to hold in-form Lille to a draw


Monaco 1.40, the draw 4.40, Nice 8.25 – BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 13.00

 

Monaco were very disappointing in midweek when they were beaten 3-1 after extra-time at Guingamp in the French Cup semi-finals. They were simply dreadful and lost a lot of energy too.

This poor defeat comes after a difficult four weeks, despite the 1-0 win in Rennes in the league last weekend. Monaco are not playing well and the manager Claudio Ranieri is under even more massive pressure too since this loss at Guingamp. So this derby against Nice could not come at a worse time.

Monaco are only six points clear of Lille, third in the table, and they cannot afford any mistakes until the end of the season or their second place could be in jeopardy. Nice are their bogey team as well.

The Monégasques have only won one of their last nine home encounters with their neighbours. Dimitar Berbatov, who scored again in midweek and James Rodriguez, are the only two positives for the team at the moment. The big worry is defensively as Monaco have kept only two clean sheets in their last 10 games in all competitions.

This is a great opportunity for Nice to get something out of the game. They usually do very well at the Louis II stadium and will make the short trip there with a lot of confidence and belief. Their great run of results there (only one defeat in nine trips) is very positive.

The Nice players now want to get their revenge after the heavy defeat suffered at home against Monaco in the reverse fixture earlier in the season (3-0). Despite the injury and the poor current form of star striker Dario Cvitanich (only eight goals in Ligue 1 this season compared to 18 last year and only one since November 3rd), Nice have some players up front who can hurt the wobbly Monaco defence. They will play on the counter where they usually do very well with the pace of Eysseric, Maupay or Bautheac.

However, Nice have not won in the league in their last four games (two defeats and two draws) and they have only won twice away from home in Ligue 1 this season. They are short of confidence and momentum. I think even if Monaco are not at their best, they will still beat Nice on Sunday and they will finally be strong defensively.

Berbatov is favourite to score first at 4.10. My best tip is Monaco to win both halves at 3.35.

Score prediction: Monaco 2 Nice 0 at 6.00

 

Marseille 2.25, the draw 3.20, Lille 3.25 – BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 20.00

Marseille won a thrilling encounter at Montpellier last weekend with Marcelo Bielsa in attendance at the stadium. The Argentinean manager is expected to give an answer on whether he takes charge of the team from next season in the coming few days but it seems that he is already inspiring the team.

L’OM played better on Friday. They have won two league games in a row for the first time in five months and the confidence is building up at the moment. They usually do very well at the Stade Vélodrome against Lille with only two defeats in their last ten encounters there.

However, they have lost the five games they played against a member of the top three so far this season (PSG, Monaco, Lille) and have also lost six times at home already in the league, against teams like Nice or Reims.

It will be tough for them but at least José Anigo has a full squad available as Florian Thauvin is back after his injury.

On the other hand, Lille are the most in form team of Ligue 1 at the moment. They are unbeaten since February 2nd (six wins and four draws), which is the best current run in Ligue 1.

They kept yet another clean sheet last weekend in the big derby against Valenciennes (1-0). It was their 20th of the season, more than any other club in Europe.

After a tough start to 2014, they are back to the form that made them so strong in the first half of the season where they were competing with PSG and Monaco at the top of the table. Salomon Kalou is decisive again with two goals and two assists producing the last four goals for his team.

Lille don’t do very well in Marseille but they have some great momentum and confidence at the moment. They have their defensive strength back especially with the returns from suspension of Béria and Souaré, the two regular full backs. The captain Rio Mavuba is also back after his injury. Lille will make it very difficult for the home side to create much and I think they will get a draw in Marseille on Sunday.   

Andre-Pierre Gignac is favourite to score first at 5.75. My best tip is a draw at half-time and a draw at full-time at 4.40. Kalou to score at 3.50 is also very interesting considering his current form.

Score prediction:  Marseille 1 Lille 1 at 6.50