Not many fans of Ligue 1 football would have bet on PSG sitting outside the top five after four games, but that is how things stand in the top flight of French football following the weekends' results. However, Neymar and co are still the outright favourites to claim a fourth straight Ligue 1 title this season with all of the major bookmakers.
Rennes, Saint-Etienne, and Lens are amongst the sides to have made good starts to the new season. Monaco have picked up 7 pts from their opening four matches and are expected to be one of PSG's contenders for the Ligue 1 crown along with Marseille and Lyon. Lyon have only managed to secure one win from their opening four games, and sit in the bottom half of the table as things stand, so perhaps there will be one or two unexpected challengers to PSG's title this season.
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Ligue 1's Next Round Predictions
Friday 15th September
Lille vs Nantes
Lille have won their last four meetings with Nantes and haven't lost against Friday's guests since 2015. The hosts will head into this match as the favourites, but we're expecting a close game as there hasn't been more than a 1-goal margin between these two clubs in any of their last five encounters in Ligue 1.
Saturday 26th September
Saint-Etienne vs Rennes
Two teams that have made positive starts to the latest Ligue 1 campaign go head to head on Saturday. Rennes have won four and drawn one of their last five home matches against Saint-Etienne (including friendlies) and will be out for revenge after losing in the Coupe de France semi-final to Saturday's guests back in March.
Marseille vs Metz
Metz so often find themselves in the bottom half of the Ligue 1 table, and that hasn't changed so far this season. Marseille and their fans will be expecting to secure all 3pts from this clash, especially as the hosts won the corresponding fixture two seasons ago 6-3. Marseille have scored 10-goals in their last three games against Metz, so we're expecting goals from Saturday's clash.
Sunday 27th September
Bordeaux vs Nice
Games between these two clubs over the last few seasons have tended to be tight and tense. Each of the duo's last six league meetings have produced under 2.5 goals, with Nice winning three of those games 1-0 and the pair playing out three draws. Bordeaux will be looking to kick-start the new season by winning on Sunday, but the stats suggest that Nice will take a least a point from this one.
Angers vs Brest
None of the last four meetings between Angers and Brest have produced a single home win, which is great news for the visitors heading into Sunday's lastest clash. Brest have won their last two trips to Angers and have managed to win half of their last 18 matches in all competitions against Sunday's hosts.
Dijon vs Montpellier
Despite the fact that Montpellier have outperformed Dijon in the early stages of the season, we're expecting a close and competitive 90-minutes between the pair, as has been the case in each of their last 9 encounters. Neither side have kept a clean sheet in this fixture since way back in 2008 when both were plying their trade in Ligue 2, so you can see why we're backing goals at both ends of the pitch on Sunday.
Monaco vs Strasbourg
Strasbourg have had a poor start to the campaign, and things don't get much easier for them on Sunday when they make the trip to Monaco. However, the visitors are unbeaten in their last four games against Sunday's hosts and have won on their last two trips to the Stade Louis II.
Nimes vs Lens
Lens have made an impressive start to life back in the top flight of French football and will be keen for that run to continue away at Nimes. The hosts sit 5pts behind their guests before kick-off, but did claim a 3-0 win the last time the pair met for a Coupe de la Ligue tie in 2019.
Lorient vs Lyon
Lorient have won their last two games against Lyon but will still head into Sunday's clash as the underdogs. There isn't much between these two teams heading into Sunday's match-up, with Lyon yet to impress following their opening day win against Dijon. However, Lyon are tipped as title-challengers this season and are likely to find their form very soon.
Reims vs PSG
PSG have had a slow start to the season, and the trip to Reims will raise some concerns for the champions. Reims have won the last two league meetings between the pair, but PSG ran out 3-0 winners in the duo's last encounter in the Coupe de la Ligue.
Ligue 1 Outright Betting Tips
A selection of the major bookmakers have markets for who they are backing to win Ligue this season, while SportPesa are offering their odds on who will win the top goalscorer award. Here are a few of the outright Ligue markets that are available for you to bet on right now.
To Win Ligue 1
Lyon are the next in line @ 18/1 with SportPesa
Marseille are priced @ 22/1 with SportPesa
Monaco make up the top five Ligue 1 contenders @ 50/1 with BetFred
Rennes @ 66/1 and Saint-Etienne @ 100/1 have both started the season well and could be dark horses for this season's Ligue 1 crown.
To Finish as Top Goalscorer
As thing stand, only SportPesa are offering odds on the top goalscorer market for Ligue 1, and you won't be surprised to see who their top two picks are.
Memphis Depay @ 12/1 is SportPesa's third choice for the top goalscorer award
Edinson Cavani @ 40/1 isn't expected to remain at PSG
Angel Di Maria @ 50/1 makes up the top five picks for top scorer.
You'd expect to see Dembele of Lyon, last season's joint-top scorer Ben Yedder of Monaco, and perhaps Thauvin of Marseille challenging Neymar and Mbappa for the top goalscorer award at a price similar to that of Depay.
Our Outright Predictions
Despite their slow start, have the best squad in the divisive and can be devastating going forward. We're expecting a closer title-race this time around, with the likes of Marseille, Rennes, and Monaco all in the hunt for the top spot.
The French superstar finished joint-top scorer in Ligue last season and with the quality of players he has around him at PSG, it's difficult to see anyone dethroning Mbappa in 2021.
Ligue 1 Overview and Format
Ligue 1 was cut short last season with teams playing either 28 or 27 league games, but the 2020/21 campaign looks set to go all the way. PSG have claimed the last three Ligue 1 titles, but there could well be a new champion in 2021 if the opening four games of the season are anything to go by. Rennes finished third last time out and have started with a bang in 2020, while PSG are yet to fire on all cylinders.
So far this season, the fixtures have been played on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with the majority of those games being played on Sunday as is the tradition in France. There are two domestic cup competitions in France, the Coupe de Ligue, and the Coupe de la Ligue. The Ligue 1 sides enter the Coupe de Ligue at the round of 64, which usually starts in January. The Coupe de la Ligue Third Round is where the top-tier sides join this competition and usually takes place in October, though due to the late start of the season, the above dates could be moved back.
The top three teams at the end of the 38 league games will qualify for the Champions League, the top two making it straight through to the group stage and the third side earning a place in the third qualifying round. Fourth spot goes straight into the group stage of the Europa League while fifth will progress through to the Europa Conference League play-off. The teams finishing in the bottom two will both be relegated to Ligue 2, and the third from bottom club will face a relegation play-off tie against the side that finishes third in Ligue 2. The winners of the two domestic cups will also earn places in Europa League and/or the Europa Conference League.
Ligue Markets & Bookmakers
The top bookmakers all cover the entire Ligue 1 season, so placing bets on any of the top-flight matches could not be easier. Ligue 1 is one of the top five major leagues in European football and is watched all over the world, so you can see just why all of the best bookmakers produce odds for their matches. Not only do the most established bookmakers cover all Ligue 1 matches, but they also cover all of the markets you would usually find for the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, and Bundesliga games. You can bet in-play on Ligue 1 matches, and all odds for upcoming games are regularly updated, just as they are for the other four major European leagues.