Soccer France Ligue 1 Prediction
Troyes vs Nice - Match Preview
⚽ 30 April 2023 - 13:00 GMT +0
Any hopes of an unlikely great escape were all but ended for Troyes in the cruellest of ways last time out. They scored in stoppage time at fellow Ligue 1 strugglers Nantes and looked on course to seal a crucial three points, but then conceded straight after and were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw. That result not only left them ten points from safety at the end of the round but also extended their winless league run to 15 games (D4, L11); the longest streak of its kind in Europe’s top five leagues.
Confidence amongst home fans won’t be high that the rot can be stopped here, as Troyes’ last win in front of their home supporters came way back in August. That was against bottom-of-the-league Angers, while two goals conceded in each of their last three home games hints that a multi-goal haul might be needed to get on the right side of the result, but that’s something they have failed to achieve in four of the last five home meetings against opponents Nice (W1, D2, L2).
The Eaglets are coming into the game low on confidence as well and with plenty of speculation surrounding the future of caretaker manager Didier Digard. Under him, Nice picked up 20 points from a possible 24 initially, but their recent run of no competitive win in seven (D3, L4) - a streak that saw them exit the UEFA Europa Conference League and fall to midtable - has mounted pressure on the former midfielder.
After such early promise under Digard, it looks set to be a disappointing end to the campaign for Nice. One of the biggest factors in their downfall has been an increasingly leaky defence, because while they still finished the last round with only one side having conceded fewer Ligue 1 goals (31), you’d have to go back to February for their last league-clean sheet.
📋 Players to watch: Troyes’ Mama Baldé is aiming to score in three straight top-flight matches for the first time ever and add to his tally of 12 for the season. Opponent Terem Moffi will be looking to get the jump on him, as he’s scored inside ten minutes in three of Nice’s last four away Ligue 1 matches.
⚡ Hot stat: Troyes have lost a league-high 25 points from leading positions in Ligue 1 this season.
Paris SG vs Lorient - Match Preview
⚽ 30 April 2023 - 15:05 GMT +0
PSG will undoubtedly be disappointed not to be participating in this weekend's French Cup final, missing out on the showpiece even for the second consecutive season, but the prospect of a record 11th French title serves as a nice consolation. The real challenge for the Parisians will be not to rest easy on their eight-point lead atop of the table ahead of the round, with coach Christophe Galtier lamenting his players’ “complacency” in spite of their 2-1 win against bottom-placed Angers last weekend.
It seems nigh on impossible that PSG will be denied the Ligue 1 title this term considering five of their final six league outings come against current bottom-half teams. Those types of sides are who PSG have excelled against this season, winning their 15 league matches against such opponents this campaign, so it would be a huge surprise if PSG failed to extend their six-game winning streak in home H2Hs against Lorient.
A bottom-half position after 32 Ligue 1 rounds certainly wasn’t what Lorient aspired to having spent 40% of their season in the top five, with Sunday’s 1-0 home loss against Toulouse extending their winless streak to five games (D2, L3). Hindered by an 11-point gap to the top five with only six games remaining, it would take a miracle for the Merlins to make a return to the European stage after a 20-year absence!
Keeping alive those fading hopes will likely require a victory here at Parc des Princes. Still, their faint hopes are perhaps boosted by the fact PSG will take to the field with a reduced support after the Auteuil stand was ordered to close following the use of pyrotechnic devices. While that context could help Lorient, the fact they’ve lost all of their four away games against current top-five teams by a 2+ goal margin is likely to dampen their optimism.
📋 Players to watch: With another goal here, PSG’s Lionel Messi would edge ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo (495 goals) and become the all-time top-scorer in Europe's top-five leagues. Far less prolific, but Lorient’s Ibrahima Koné will be looking to continue a trend that has seen him score in half of his team’s ten competitive away games in 2023.
⚡ Hot streak: Lorient have scored before the hour mark in the last four H2Hs.
Marseille vs Auxerre - Match Preview
⚽ 30 April 2023 - 18:45 GMT +0
Marseille is doing its best to ensure Ligue 1’s title race is alive for as long as possible and looks set to exceed their 71-point tally from last season following a 2-1 win away to Lyon. That came courtesy of a dramatic stoppage-time own goal that Marseille manager Igor Tudor described as “why people love football”. They continue to cling on to second place (and the Champions League slot that comes with it) after completing two months without a league loss (W4, D3).
The host's only three Ligue 1 defeats against any club other than PSG have all been at home (Lens, Nice and Ajaccio), and thus nothing is guaranteed when a determined and in-form Auxerre visit the Stade Vélodrome, particularly when they’ve had to work hard for their points recently after conceding goals in seven of their last nine league outings. In fact, six of Marseille’s eight home wins this league campaign were without clean sheets, a testament to one of France’s most productive attacking units.
Had they travelled to Marseille four months ago, Auxerre could have been on the wrong end of a rugby-like score! The decision to turn to Christophe Pélissier initially appeared to have been a disastrous one, as the Burgundy-based club conceded 20 goals in seven straight defeats, dropping into the relegation zone.
Approaching the end of April, their survival is now all but mathematically assured following an outstanding turnaround that has seen them suffer fewer league losses than any other club since February 3rd (W5, D5, L1). Pélissier publicly “congratulated” his team for their 1-1 draw at home to Lille, who were a top-four club on the day, but taking points here will require another step up in performance after Auxerre lost all eight Ligue 1 away trips against teams to start this round ninth or higher (aggregate: 24-6).
📋 Players to watch: Cengiz Ünder has been scoring more frequently for Marseille lately, and having won his last eight Ligue 1 games when doing so, his club will certainly hope he continues. Similarly, Nuno Da Costa found the back of the net before half-time in each of Auxerre’s last two victories.
⚡ Hot streak: Pélissier has lost all eight of his personal meetings with Marseille (agg: 20-5).
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