Ligue 1 Matchday 21 Preview and Best Bets

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Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe (L) celebrates after scoring a goal. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

Ligue 1 enters matchday 21 this weekend and with it comes a full card of fascinating matchups with various implications. In this column, we spotlight a few fixtures and serve up soccer picks to spot.

So, without too much fuss, let’s get cracking.

Paris Saint-Germain FC vs. Stade Brestois 29

Saturday, January 15, 2022 – 03:00 PM EST at Parc des Princes

Paris Saint-Germain dropped points in their last outing after settling on a 1-1 draw with Lyon on the away. Although the draw maintained PSG’s 11-game unbeaten streak, it was a considerable setback against a side that’s hovering in the middle of the table this season. It also marked PSG’s fourth draw in their last five fixtures going back to December 1st when the Parisiennes settled on a scoreless draw to Nice.

Overall, Mauricio Pochettino’s side is soaring in France’s top-flight behind a 14-5-1 record and 47 points. They have an 11-point edge on their nearest threats Nice and Marseille. Home form is 2-1-0 in their last three and 9-8-1 overall.

Brestois enjoyed a mini-surge late in the second half of the season to climb out of the relegation quagmire, but they’ve been unable to carry that form into the new year. Brestois went 6-3-1 in their last ten fixtures in 2021, but they opened the second half of the season on a 3-0 defeat to Nice at home.

Nevertheless, Brestois is still sitting safely in 13th place in the table with a 6-7-7 record and 25 points. They’re 9 points clear of 18th ranked Lorient (16 points) and the relegation zone.

Taking on PSG in the nation’s capital at this point in time is a tough ask with Brestois still searching for form in the new year. This is evinced by the overwhelmingly one-sided Ligue 1 odds currently trading.

The market expects PSG to win this game. Betting the hosts to win, however, offers little value with odds that hover just above -450, so bettors looking to back PSG might look to the spread where the odds are better. Best price for PSG is with Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review) at -2 (+101).

It’s worth noting that PSG is likely to be without Neymar (injury) and Lionel Messi, who tested positive for coronavirus. Other absentees include Gueye, Abdou Diallo, and Achraf Hakimi who are competing in the African Cup of Nations. PSG has plenty of depth and talent, but missing these key players might give Brestois a flicker of hope.

Brestois is priced in quadruple digits with the best price of +1250 currently on offer at BetOnline. If that’s not the epitome of a longshot bet, what is? Although, with that kind of odds on the board at the top-rated sportsbooks, it’s almost too tempting not to tickle even if the probability of winning the wager is slim to none. What if they do pull off the incredible upset. Is it that improbable when PSG will be shorthanded? If anything, this is the time to do it.

Soccer Pick: Brestois (+1250) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Brestois (+1250)
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AS Monaco FC vs. Clermont Foot 63

Sunday, January 16, 2022 - 09:00 AM EST at Stade Louis II

Monaco is coming off a goalless draw to Nantes that saw them slip down to 7th place in the Ligue 1 with an 8-6-6 mark and 30 points. Monaco is level with 6th-placed Lens on 30 points and just one point behind the tandem of Rennes and Montpellier in 4th and 5th place, respectively. A return to winning form could see Monaco scale the table substantially as a result, and that puts a premium on their upcoming date at home to Clermont.

Monaco is 4-4-2 in their last ten fixtures, which includes an undefeated run in their last two Ligue 1 fixtures. In all competitions, Monaco is 3-1-1 in their last five fixtures.

Clermont is coming off a scoreless draw to Reims, a result that saw them fall to 15th in the table with a 4-6-9 record and 18 points. Merely two points separate Clermont from the drop zone. Recent form has been patchy with Clermont going 1-2-2 in their last five Ligue 1 fixtures. Clermont is 2-2-6 on the road this season and they’ve been outscored 10 to 21 on their travels.

The last time these two sides met, Monaco won handsomely. Wissam Ben Yedder put Monaco on the board in the 25th minute while. Kevin Volland and Sofiane Diop added a goal apiece to lift Monaco to the 3-1 victory in September. Ben Yedder is Monaco’s top scorer this season and the second-highest scorer in the league.

The bad news for Monaco is that Wissam Ben Yedder, along with Axel Disasi, and Youssouf Fofana have tested positive for coronavirus and are unlikely to feature this weekend. Their absence will have an impact, indeed.

However, despite those absences, Monaco still has to be considered the better bet to win this fixture against a side that is there for the taking. This season, Monaco’s home form has turned Stade Louis II into a tough place to play. Monaco is 5-3-2 at home this season.

Soccer Pick: Monaco (-206) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Monaco (-206)
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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.