Sunday, May 20, 2012



Plenty of teams still have a lot to play for in Ligue 1, with three battling for 5th spot and a Europa League place and a further eight looking to avoid the two remaining promotion slots, to say nothing of Montpellier and PSG still fighting for the title. The leaders go to already relegated ( not sure how !) Auxerre, needing a point and PSG go to Lorient, needing a win and an upset in the other game to snatch the title. Lorient are in the heart of the relegation scrap, but results elsewhere could save them and I can see a situation where both of these two could play out a draw in the first half and then review the situation at the break, if Montpellier are two up, PSG might switch off, likewise if results are not going well for the teams below Lorient and four are playing on the road. I have seen plenty of 2.375 for the half time draw and up to 2.46 for tiny liquidity on the exchanges and those odds seem way too big to me under the circumstances. Both teams have gone in level at the break in 17 matches ( 46%) this season.

I feel sure that we will see plenty of swings and turns this evening, but we might see a lot of the action taking place after the break, when teams will have a better idea of where they stand and exactly how great their need to gamble is.

If you are betting "in running" , of those eight teams involved in the relegation dog fight, Valenciennes ( 1.37 point average) and Lorient ( 1.24) have collected the most second half points this season.

Bordeaux are usually fast starters, "collecting" a Ligue 1 high 63 points before the break, 12 more than leaders Montpellier who have gone in level at the half in an eyecatching 65% of all starts.

One game where I do not really agree with the odds is ..... 

There is one "friendly" match I like the look of and that involves Lille, confirmed in third place at home to mid table Nancy who have nothing to play for. The hosts will be saying goodbye to Eden Hazard, Ligue 1 's player of the last two seasons and I am certain they will want to do so with a touch of class and with a bang.  Lille are defending champions at least until the completion of these matches and are once again the division's top scorers on home soil for the third year running, during which they have posted a 38-13-5 record and averaged over two goals per game, eight times scoring three or more here this season. They are 2.20 to again score at least three , which is general quote and I will take that for 1.5 units, I would not be surprised to see them really go to town and there are huge prices around for them to score 5 or 6 ( over 5.5 for the game is 8.0 +) and/or Hazard to score two ( 5.5) or three (26.0), he will definitely take any penalties and four goals might earn him a share of the top scorer award in Ligue 1, however far fetched that might sound. But "officially" I will keep things straightforward. Nancy are without several key players including Sami, Andre Luiz, Haidara and Niculae ( top scorer) and are said to be having a defensive reshuffle..... lambs to the slaughter ?
Good Luck.
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