Soccer France Ligue 1 Prediction
Nice vs Rennes - Match Preview
⚽ 6 May 2023 - 15:00 GMT +0
Manager Didier Digard has urged his “struggling” Nice side to “finish in the best way possible,” despite kissing goodbye to their hopes of qualifying for European football. The Eaglets have been on a dire run of form, registering just one victory in their last eight league outings (D4, L3), slipping 11 points off the top five with just five games remaining.
That victory at least came in their last game, when Hicham Boudaoui’s early goal - his first of the season - secured a 1-0 victory over Troyes. Digard has described the Algerian as “one of the very important players of the future,” so he will be hoping the striker can now help end a run of five top-flight home matches without success for his side (D3, L2), during which time Nice have only scored three goals.
Visitors Rennes will be desperate to extend that poor form as they still harbour their own ambitions of qualifying for Europe for the sixth season running. The Red and Blacks make the long journey to the south of France having come from behind to beat Angers 4-2 last time out, and now sit just three points behind fifth-placed Lille.
What will be of concern to manager Bruno Génésio is a dreadful away record of just two wins from their last ten Ligue 1 matches on the road (D2, L6). That does not bode well for Rennes, who may also be fearing the trip to the Allianz Riviera given they have won only two of the last 14 H2Hs (D5, L7).
📋 Key battle: Nice’s top scorer Gaëtan Laborde will be hoping to improve on an awful record of just one goal and one win in ten clashes with Rennes (D4, L5). Looking to outscore him will be visiting forward Amine Gouiri, who has helped his team to victory in 20 of the last 24 games (D2, L2) in which he has scored.
⚡ Hot stats: Nice’s Ligue 1 matches this season average a league-low of 2.15 goals per game.
Reims vs Lille - Match Preview
⚽ 6 May 2023 - 17:00 GMT +0
The honeymoon period looks to be over in 30-year-old Will Still’s incredible debut as a Ligue 1 manager as he and his players continue to feel the force of a long 38-game season. A fortnight after he reportedly met with Tottenham officials in Switzerland, he is now wrestling with a run of three losses ‘to nil’ that has not only killed Reims’ European ambitions but threatens to detract from the enormity of his achievement so far.
Whilst all good things must come to an end, Reims’ home faithful certainly would not have anticipated two losses from their last three Ligue 1 home outings (D1) after winning seven of their first eight league games at home under Still’s stewardship. Perhaps he ought to buy his players some of the energy drinks that may have fuelled his all-night ‘Football Manager’ sessions, for Reims have gone 1-0 down within the first ten minutes in four straight outings!
Lille needed less than 25 minutes for the first of three first-half goals at home to Ajaccio (3-0), securing a result that kept their top-four ambitions alive. Having conceded just one first-half goal in their last seven Ligue 1 games (W4, D2, L1), and sensing an opportunity after Monaco’s back-to-back losses opened the door to fourth place, they are likely to be fully focused for this game.
It’s worth noting the visitors also kept Reims scoreless for nearly 80 minutes in the reverse H2H (D 1-1), but stepping up to the task of replicating that away from home could be a challenge. Lille have won just one of their last five Ligue 1 away trips (D2, L2), though successes at Rennes (3-1), cup winners Toulouse (2-0) and Clermont (2-0) since Christmas should remind them they can match it when visiting a strong opposition.
📋 Players to watch: Reims midfielder Jens Cajuste was their only goalscorer both in the reverse H2H and in their most recent home league win, while Rémy Cabella’s seven goals for Lille this season all came in victories.
⚡ Hot stat: Reims have won just two of their 15 starts as pre-match outsiders (D9, L4) this Ligue 1 season.
Lens vs Marseille - Match Preview
⚽ 6 May 2023 - 19:00 GMT +0
Manager Franck Haise admitted his Lens side made a “big push for the podium” after they ran out 1-0 winners against Coupe de France winners Toulouse on Tuesday, a sixth victory in seven Ligue 1 outings (L1) which extended their lead over fourth-placed Monaco to eight points with just five games remaining. They are now battling it out here with another candidate for a UEFA Champions League place in the shape of Marseille in what appears to be a crucial “six-pointer”, knowing that a win would actually see them leapfrog their opponents into second spot.
Fans, therefore, may be dreaming of a first top-two finish in Ligue 1 since 2001/02, and the visit of Marseille should be a good test of their progress after failing to win any of the previous four H2Hs at Stade Bollaert-Delelis (D1, L3). Home performances could continue to be key to stopping that run, considering they sit top of the Ligue 1 home standings (W14, D1, L1).
The Olympians were on the cusp of suffering their first league loss in over two months last weekend, but two late strikes saved them from an embarrassing loss at Stade Velodrome against relegation-battling Auxerre (2-1). That win combined with PSG's loss against Lorient revived the race for the Ligue 1 title as OM now sit only five points behind the league leaders, although coach Igor Tudor remained cautious, stating they’ll “see what happens”.
Tudor's men have showcased their ability to recover from poor starts, with their win against Auxerre contributing to the division’s best average point return (1.5) after conceding first this campaign (W5, D3, L4), which speaks volumes of the character within the group. Their impressive away campaign (W12, D3, L1) could be key to avoiding suffering a first losing league double against Lens in over 20 years, after their 1-0 H2H home defeat in October.
📋 Key battle: Lens’ Brice Samba has registered more clean sheets (14) in Ligue 1 this season than any other goalkeeper. Aiming to beat him will be Alexis Sánchez, who has led Marseille to victory in his seven goal-scoring away matches in 2022/23.
⚡ Hot streak: Marseille has lost its three Ligue 1 matches officiated by Clément Turpin this campaign.
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