Ligue 1 Predictions and Best Bets – September 12, 2020
Believe it or not, the 2020/21 Ligue 1 season kicked off three weeks ago. But with the Nations League taking place all across Europe, the majority of teams France’s top flight have only played one or two games.
The international break is now over, and there is a full Ligue 1 fixture list for us to look forward to this weekend. Let’s start by checking out Saturday’s schedule.
- Montpellier vs. Nice
- Saint-Etienne vs. Strasbourg
Nice is sitting pretty at the top of the table having picked up two wins from their opening two games. Can the Eagles secure three straight victories when they visit Montpellier?
Strasbourg heads into Matchday 3 on the back of consecutive defeats, while Saint-Etienne beat newly-promoted Lorient in their first game to begin the new season with a win.
In this post, I share my predictions for both Ligue 1 games taking place on Saturday, September 12. I also look at the best value bets in the French top division for that day.
Nice to Beat Montpellier
Patrick Vieira could hardly have dreamed of a better start to 2020/21. The Nice manager has seen his side pick up six points from a possible six this term, with no other team in the division managing to win their opening two games so far.
The Eagles faced a tough test against newly-promoted Lens on Matchday 1, but after going behind early on, Amine Gouiri scored in both halves to seal a comeback win. The following weekend, it was Kasper Dolberg’s turn to steal the limelight. The former Ajax star netted a brace to see off Strasbourg.
Having already netted four goals and kept a clean sheet, Vieira’s men will be confident of maintaining their 100% record when they visit La Masson on Saturday.
Montpellier kicked off their campaign with a 2-1 defeat to Rennes. An early own goal from Damien Le Tallec saw La Paillade get off to a terrible start, and when Florent Mollet was sent off just before half-time, Montpellier’s fate was all but sealed. Gaetan Laborde bagged an injury-time consolation, but the damage had already been done.
Michel Der Zakarian’s men struggled for goals last season, and it seems as though that problem might continue this term. Montpellier recorded ten shots against Rennes, with only three hitting the target.
It is still early days, so it’s difficult to predict exactly how this game will go. However, Nice’s strong start to the campaign is difficult to ignore. I’m backing the Eagles to soar to a third successive win.
Saint-Etienne to Beat Strasbourg
It felt like Saint-Etienne couldn’t buy a win towards the end of last term. Five defeats and two draws in their final seven games saw the Greens finish perilously close to the relegation zone, so it’s fair to say that the club would have been more than happy with the decision to curtail the season.
Looking at the bigger picture, St-Etienne lost ten of their last 14 games in 2019/20. That sort of record would normally see a club part ways with their manager, but Claude Puel has been given a chance to prove himself.
The Greens started the new campaign in positive fashion, with a double from Romain Hamouma earning them a 2-0 win over Lorient. It is no secret that the team still has a long way to go, but Puel can have no complaints so far this season.
Meanwhile, the Racers find themselves second from bottom having lost their opening two outings. After being humiliated by newly-promoted Lorient on Matchday 1, Strasbourg showed very little fight in their defeat to Nice last time out.
Thierry Laurey’s men scored with their only shot on target against Lorient before a second-half collapse saw the team concede three goals. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, Strasbourg failed to register a single shot on target against Nice.
Strasbourg secured a respectable tenth-place finish last season, ending up eight points ahead of St-Etienne. But the Racers have started the new campaign in dismal form. I can see the Greens inflicting a third defeat in a row on Strasbourg this weekend.
Ligue 1 Betting Picks for Saturday, September 12
All the top online betting sites offer competitive odds for Ligue 1. Here are my picks for Saturday, September 12.
- Montpellier vs. Nice – Nice to Win (3.50)
I’m not going to lie to you, there is nothing special about this bet. Given that Nice has won their opening two games this season, the price for the away win seems to good not to take advantage of, doesn’t it?
Remarkably, Montpellier is the bookies’ favorite to win this game at 2.10. But I believe going against the bookies is the correct call here. Montpellier was seriously poor against Rennes last time out, while Nice will be brimming with confidence and eager to extend their winning streak.
- Saint-Etienne vs. Strasbourg – Under 2.5 Goals (1.75)
Saint-Etienne (2.10) comes into this game as the favorite, with Strasbourg (3.50) the bookies’ outsider. Yes, I predicted that the Greens will beat the Racers. But considering the manner with which St-Etienne finished the previous campaign, I wouldn’t be completely shocked if Strasbourg got something from this clash.
I’m steering clear of the outright markets for this one and going with the under 2.5 goals market. Strasbourg has only managed one shot on target in two games this term, and St-Etienne isn’t exactly known for their attacking power. I’m confident that this will be a low-scoring matchup.