Reims v PSG
PSG were pipped to the Ligue 1 title by Lille last term by a single point. However, a perfect nine-point start for PSG has seen them muster up a seven-point lead over their rivals at this early stage of the season as they look ready to claim back their crown.
Reims certainly aren’t a pushover in this league and have two top-eight finishes since their promotion three seasons ago, though they’ll be disappointed that they dropped down to 14th place last term and will be determined to fight their way back toward the top of the table this year. Three straight draws to kick-off the campaign isn’t dire, though with those coming against Nice, Montpellier and Metz, it’s hard to see them carving out another result here, and it seems as though it’s more a question of ‘by how many’ rather than ‘if’ the visitors will win.
Goals certainly don’t seem to be the issue for the Parisians, with 10 already on the board this term coming via nine different scorers (even if one was an own goal), and with Lionel Messi set to make his debut we’d be surprised if the goals dried up here. They’ve scored at least twice in each of their last 10 league wins, and managing at least three in seven of those games, including in their last meeting with Reims so we’ll back them to be prolific again here.
PSG TO SCORE 3+ GOALS
Lille v Montpellier
It’s not been the sharpest of title defences so far for Lille who are currently winless from their opening three games , though we wouldn’t expect that to last too much longer and they’ll be desperate to register their first win here.
Montpellier managed that last weekend with a 3-1 win over Lorient and they’ve certainly not been goal shy so far. They’ve maintained their reputation as the league’s entertainers, with their eight goals so far second only to PSG (10), while no side has seen more goals per game than Montpellier in the early stages of this season (5).
There are definitely goals on the cards in this outing, with Lille’s agonising 1-1 draw last weekend the lowest scoring game either of these sides have seen this season, with a whopping average of 4.5 goals per game across the combined six outings, so an overs bet looks the smart play for this one.
OVER 2.5 GOALS
Marseille v St Etienne
Marseille sit eighth in the table at the moment, though due to the scenes in Nice last weekend they’ve only managed two completed games and will be content with the start they’ve made. They’ve been another side that have been far from goal shy, with nine goals in total across their two games so far, while across their last nine going back into last season they’ve seen an average of 3.7 find the back of the net, losing just one of those outings.
St Etienne have kicked off the campaign with three score draws so far, but will be hoping they can replicate the success from last season in which they did the double over Marseille. The hosts here got their revenge, somewhat, by coming through in a 2-1 pre-season friendly victory back in July, and while that is telling, a competitive fixture will be far more feisty.
Clean sheets have been kept in each of the last five head-to-heads one way or the other, though neither have managed one so far this term with both teams scoring in all five combined matches, and that’s the way this one is shaping up to play out.
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE