Soccer France Ligue 1 Prediction
Monaco vs Lorient - Match Preview
⚽ 16 April 2023 - 15:05GMT +0
Winger Krépin Diatta admitted Monaco has to “limit some of our mistakes'' if they are to qualify for the Champions League this season. The Red and Whites, who have finished third in successive campaigns, let a two-goal lead slip when drawing 2-2 at Nantes last round. That result left them in fourth place in the Ligue 1 standings, three points behind Marseille.
Frustratingly for manager Philippe Clement, his side has now won only two of their last six Ligue 1 matches (D2, L2), keeping just one clean sheet in the process. Both of those defeats have come at the Stade Louis II, where Monaco has been worryingly inconsistent in picking up only eight victories across 15 league outings (D2, L5), while they were one of five teams in the division who have actually accumulated more points on the road than at home.
Visitors Lorient will be looking to exploit that disappointing record when heading to the principality attempting to extend their four-match unbeaten run in recent H2Hs (W1, D3). Régis Le Bris’ side will certainly need to channel that form as they seek a first away win in seven attempts, as despite scoring first in three of their last six matches on the road, they have picked up just two points (D2, L4).
Even so, ‘Les Merlus’ remain on course for their first top-half finish in Ligue 1 since 2013/14 (eighth). A run of just two wins from their last ten outings (D4, L4) is threatening to derail that push, but they picked up a very credible 0-0 draw at home to high-flying Marseille last time out, a result and performance which Le Bris says he drew a lot of “satisfaction” from.
📋 Players to watch: Monaco striker Breel Embolo has lost only one of the last 26 league games in which he has scored (W16, D9). Trying to thwart him will be Lorient defender Vincent Le Goff, who is looking to improve on a record of just one win in eight H2Hs with the Red and Whites (D2, L5).
⚡ Hot stat: Monaco’s Ligue 1 matches this season are averaging 3.5 total goals, the highest in the division.
Marseille vs Troyes - Match Preview
⚽ 16 April 2023 - 18:45 GMT +0
Beaten only by leaders PSG across the preceding eight Ligue 1 matchdays, Marseille steadfastly remains in the third and final UEFA Champions League qualification spot. This is exactly the sort of fixture the Olympians must consistently win to stay there, and they now embark on an enviable end to the home calendar, with all of their final four visitors to the Stade Orange Vélodrome starting this weekend in the bottom six.
A five-game winless streak in home league games (D3, L2) does fuel some doubts, especially with Marseille conceding the first four times in that run. The exception was a 2-0 lead thrown away vs bottom-six Strasbourg (2-2), though that itself marks only a second blot on the Phocaeans’ still-decent record from Ligue 1 home matches to see them net first (W5, D1, L1).
All signs point to the endangered Troyes granting OM another addition to the ‘W’ column, with L’ESTAC still marooned on just a solitary league win since the start of October (D8, L13). A 2-0 loss to Clemont last time out put them at risk of falling ten points behind the nearest safe spot, making a sixth top-flight relegation in two decades seem very likely.
A current run of just one victory in the visitors’ previous ten Ligue 1 road trips (L9) suggests their final descent into oblivion will be blindingly quick. The champagne has tended to turn flat with haste during Troyes’ more recent clashes on hostile turf, with a majority (four) of their six away league defeats suffered in 2023 also seeing their trail at the interval.
📋 Key battle: Marseille is the only side not to see a Ligue 1 goal scored or conceded at home inside the opening ten minutes, though Chancel Mbemba claimed the first blood for the Olympians within that period during January’s reverse clash (W 2-0). But his primary task will be to combat Mama Baldé, who accounts for Troyes’ three most recent away goals, with the last two coming before the 25th-minute mark.
⚡ Hot stat: Marseille has kept seven first-half clean sheets in eight prior Ligue 1 home H2Hs played this century.
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