Football Bet of the Day: Saint-Etienne can take advantage in first leg

 | Wednesday 29th May 2024, 10:00am

Wednesday 29th May 2024, 10:00am

One of the more striking football matches taking place on Thursday (19:30) comes from the Ligue 1 promotion/relegation play-off first leg between Saint-Etienne and Metz. Les Verts are battling for a return to France's top-flight while the visitors are hoping to maintain their place among the country's elite. Saint-Etienne coolly defeated Rodez 2-0 on Friday to win the Ligue 2 play-offs but now they must contest with higher opposition for that coveted promotion.

Metz have not enjoyed their Ligue 1 campaign. They lost the most games in the division with 21, but managed to not finish in the bottom two, and have been handed this lifeline to stay in the top-flight. It is from this fixture that my football bet of the day comes.

Football Bet of the Day: Thursday, May 30

  • Saint-Etienne or draw and both teams to score Yes @ 11/8

Saint-Etienne have spent two years away from the pinnacle of French football, having lost their place in the play-off to Auxerre on penalties in 2021/22. After finding out how tough Ligue 2 can be following relegation firsthand, with an eighth-placed finish last season, Les Verts responded brilliantly this year and are on the cusp of returning to where they feel they belong.

The victory over Rodez at Stade Geoffrey-Guichard will have given them a huge boosting heading into this first leg against Metz, and they will want to ensure that whatever happens on home soil, it leads them into the second leg in with a chance of promotion.

The hosts have won 11 of their 20 (55%) clashes at home in both the regular season and the play-off with Rodez. In comparison, Metz won just five matches from 17 (29%) on the road in Ligue 1, which doesn't bode well when heading to a team that has momentum from playing at home.

It is for this reason that my selection for the football bet of the day is covering Saint-Etienne or draw and both teams to score. I have gone for double chance in the hosts' favour given their respectable record at their stadium and the struggles that the visitors have had, but the reason I have not backed them individually is because Metz have something that will concern the hosts.

For how poor their season has been, Metz have still boasted one of the top strikers in France this year. Georges Mikautadze, on loan from Ajax, has scored 13 goals in the top-flight this year. Of the 35 goals the club managed across the campaign, he himself has provided 37% of them.

He will be the visitors' biggest threat across these two legs and Les Verts cannot afford to underestimate him. He is a potent finisher and as long as he is on the pitch, Metz have a chance of keeping their place in Ligue 1.

I have added both teams to score to the bet to enhance the odds but because I see goals going in at both ends. Saint-Etienne are a force to be reckoned with when at home, and as I just mentioned, Metz have a striker who individually has had an excellent year in the top division.

Home advantage will be key for Saint-Etienne in this first leg, and they will want to capitalise on Metz's woes on the road. The onus will be on them to take the game to the visitors and I don't think they will shy away from that.

Mikautadze's quality does give Metz the chance to come and execute a sound game plan as the away side to perhaps grab a draw to take back to Stage Saint-Symphorien on Sunday, but if anyone is to edge in front heading into the weekend's clash, I think it will be Saint-Etienne.

St-Etienne or draw and both teams to score at 11/8 You can read all our latest Football Bets of the Day at our dedicated Betfred Insights content hub.

 

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