Ligue 1 Preview And Predictions - Week Five
The French Ligue 1 gets back down to business following the international break and we have you covered with some of the big games featuring the title contenders. In the first of the games, PSG look to make it five wins from five when they welcome Clermont, down south Monaco take on Marseille, while Montpellier and Saint-Etienne kick-off an action packed day on Sunday when they clash in the early game. Check out our preview and predictions below and if that isn't enough, we also have our preview and predictions for the weekend's action from all of Europe's top leagues.
PSG v Clermont
Promoted outfit Clermont will be very satisfied with their unbeaten start to the season, winning clashes with Bordeaux and Troyes, before high-scoring stalemates with Lyon and Metz. They’ve managed to score at least twice in every game, building on an impressive pre-season that saw them net twice or more in six of seven fixtures, including clashes with fellow Ligue 1 sides Troyes, Montpellier, Saint-Etienne and Nantes.
Given the strengthening PSG have done this summer, it’s unsurprising to see them lead the way with a perfect record of four wins so far. They’ve bagged 12 goals across those outings, although they won’t be at full strength in attack for this game. Both Lionel Messi and Neymar are expected to miss out here after international duty in South America, while Kylian Mbappe suffered a minor calf complaint representing France.
Still, Mauricio Pochettino can turn to the likes of Mauro Icardi and Julian Draxler, so his team should still expect to score goals against a side that have conceded five times in their past two outings. At the other end though, PSG have only registered one clean sheet from their four games to date, and Clermont will fancy their chances of making this a competitive test.
The hosts should however take the points in the end. They’ve won 10 of their past 11 unbeaten league games, though both teams scored in eight of these to hand some encouragement to the visitors. PSG will hope Sergio Ramos can eventually help solidify their backline, but the former Real Madrid captain has been sidelined for four months now and there appears to be no set date for his return.
PSG TO WIN AND BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE
Monaco v Marseille
Monaco have been a mixed bag this season and across all competitions, they’re W3-D2-L3, with two of those defeats coming in league action. However, the other loss proved particularly costly as it saw them fail to reach the Champions League group stages, while their sole league win came over rock-bottom Troyes.
Marseille will be feeling much more confident with their form. They went unbeaten in pre-season, which included stalemates with Portuguese outfits Braga and Benfica, as well as wins over Saint-Etienne and Villarreal.
Marseille have only lost once in 11 league games since the start of April, with over half of these ending in victory. They will need to improve upon their away form, where they’ve won just twice in 14 league trips, though these both came within the last four such matches, while they’ve only lost three of the past 10 away from home.
MARSEILLE DRAW NO BET
Montpellier v Saint-Etienne
Saint-Etienne suffered defeats in each of their final pre-season games against Clermont, Marseille and Eintracht Frankfurt, while the competitive action hasn’t yielded much more success. Stalemates versus Lorient, Lens and Lille were followed by another defeat at the hands of Marseille, leaving them in desperate need for a win to boost morale.
Although they conceded an average of two goals per game across those seven appearances, both teams scored on every occasion and so they should fancy their chances of scoring here. Indeed, they’ve only failed to score in one of their past 10 road trips in Ligue 1, against last season’s champions Lille, who only conceded 23 times as the defence was the cornerstone of their title success.
Montpellier haven’t been strangers to goals at both ends either, with all four of their matches seeing each team register. In fact, they’ve both scored and conceded nine times, with all but one of their fixtures featuring a minimum of four goals. Stretching back into last season, a massive 24 of their past 27 have seen both teams score, including 14 of the last 15.
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE