Ligue 1 Matchday 20 Preview and Best Bets

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Brest's French midfielder Romain Faivre. Jean-Francois Monier / AFP

Ligue 1 soccer returns to the forefront of soccer betting markets as France’s top-flight league returns to action after the Christmas break. Here we look at a couple of games, along with the latest soccer odds and serve-up choice sports bets to spot.  

Bordeaux and Marseille kick-off Matchday 20 on Friday while Lyon and PSG wrap up the weekend’s card on Sunday. Saturday’s early start between Lille and Lorient was rescheduled due to coronavirus cases rising within Lille’s ranks, leaving just one match on Saturday’s card: Lens v.s Rennes. Sunday brings a jampacked serving with six fixtures to spot.  

So, with the introduction to Matchday 20 out of the way, let’s get started. 

RC Lens vs. Stade Rennais FC 

Saturday, January 08, 2022 – 03:00 PM EST at Stade Félix Bollaert-Delélis

Lens went into the Christmas break on the heels of a disappointing 2-1 loss to Nice. It marked their second straight defeat and sixth winless game down the stretch of the first half of the season, prompting a slide to the ninth spot in the table with a 7-6-6 record and 27 points. 

Rennes suffered a similar fate in its last two fixtures, losing 2-1 to both Nice and Monaco. It marked their third loss in the last six fixtures, prompting Rennes to slip down to fourth place in the table with a 9-4-6 record and 31 points. Rennes is two points behind Marseille and Nice, both tied for second going into Matchday 20. PSG continues to rule the roost with a 14-4-1 record and 46 points.  

Lens will aim to capitalize on home advantage with a bounce-back performance against Rennes. However, they’ll be missing both Ignatius Ganago and Massadio Haidara as the pair are competing in the Africa Cup of Nations tournament. Another absentee is Deiver Machado, who is dealing with an injury and is likely to miss this weekend’s fixture. That said, Lens is coming off a Coupe de France victory on penalties over Lille, which will send them into the weekend with optimism. 

Les Rouges et Noirs will be keen to get back on track after dropping crucial points in December. Rennes is within touching distance of one of the coveted Champions League spots in the table, and a win could see Rennes move inside the top three. Of course, a lot depends on how Marseille and Nice perform at the weekend too. The year didn’t get off to the best of starts either as Rennes lost to Nancy in Coupe de France on penalties earlier this week. 

Rennes has suffered setbacks against Lens of late – they’re winless in the last three fixtures in France’s top-flight league action. The last time Rennes beat Lens was way back in 2015. Rennes might be in the best position this time around to snap this negative trend. Spearheaded by attacking-minded Martin Terrier and Gaëtan Labord – both of which have nine goals to their credit which puts them in fourth overall in the top scorers’ standings for Ligue 1. 

Arguably, the best value for this game is found in periphery markets such as betting on both teams to score, backing Rennes to finally get into the win column against Lens holds appeal.  

Soccer Pick: Rennais FC (+154) with Youwager (visit YouWager Review)

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Stade Brestois 29 vs. OGC Nice 

Sunday, January 09, 2022 - 07:00 AM EST at Stade Francis-Le Blé

Brest went into the Christmas break sporting one of the best runs of form in Ligue 1. They went 4-1-1 down the stretch, collecting 15 points in the process to climb out of the relegation zone and into 12th spot. In their last outing, Brest settled on a 1-1 draw with Troyes. However, Brest opened the new year with a convincing 3-0 win over Bordeaux in Coupe de France action on January 2nd, 2022. The winning start to the new year should send the hosts on a wave of momentum into the weekend.  

Overall, Nice is a stellar 10-4-5 on the season with 33 points, which puts them in second place in the league’s table (tied with Marseille). However, they finished ninth on the form table with a 3-1-2 mark in their last six fixtures ahead of Christmas. Nice was denied the chance to flex its muscle in Coupe de France action as their fixture with Paris FC/Lyon was postponed. Whether that lack of match play has an impact remains to be seen. It’s certainly something to consider for your soccer picks here.  

All told, it’s not surprising that the soccer betting markets are cornered with visitors. Clearly, Nice has had the better season when looking at the stats. Nevertheless, Brest would appear to be severely underestimated by the oddsmakers. Given their form, would a win or a draw be that shocking?  Brest can take away points from this game which makes either the win, the draw, or a combination of the two bets worth considering. 

Soccer Pick: Brestois 29 (+203) with YouWager (visit our YouWager Review)

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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.