Weekend Ligue 1 Predictions: Toulouse can take advantage of OM’s European commitments

 | 19th April | 

6 mins read

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The European engagements of Paris Saint-Germain, Olympique Marseille and Lille OSC meant that last week's Ligue 1 fixture list included just six games, down from the usual nine. There was still plenty of drama to be had, though, with Lyon's stunning 4-3 comeback win over Stade Brestois 29 easily the highlight contest of round 29.

There's a full set of matches to enjoy this weekend with every team in action, and still so much to decide at the top and bottom. I've compiled my weekend Ligue 1 predictions below, picking out three of the best bets to consider from the French top-flight.

Weekend Ligue 1 Betting Tips - April 20/21

  • Both teams to score - Yes in RC Lens vs Clermont Foot @ 1/1
  • Away team total goals - over 1.5 in Lille OSC vs RC Strasbourg @ 3/1
  • Toulouse FC to win in Toulouse FC vs Olympique Marseille @ 2/1

Both teams to score - Yes in RC Lens vs Clermont Foot @ 1/1 (Saturday, April 20 - KO, 20:00, TNT Sports 3)

Ligue 1's Saturday night game comes from the Stade Bollaert-Delelis this week as two sides struggling for wins meet in Lens.

The hosts haven't tasted victory since March 9, losing three and drawing one of their following four, and that poor run of form has seen them drop down to sixth which, currently, is a Europa Conference League qualification spot. That would be quite the come down from the Champions League group stage fixtures they enjoyed this season as a result of last year's second-place finish.

Putting the ball in the back of the net hasn't been an issue for Lens recently - they've scored in their last 11 Ligue 1 matches - but keeping the opposition out has been a struggle. Les Sang et Or haven't kept a clean sheet since beating Brest last month, and that inability to keep it tight at the back may well cost them a top-four place.

The visit of bottom-club Clermont on Saturday, then, is probably just what the doctor ordered, as Les Lanciers have won just twice in Ligue 1 since November 12. They've also scored the fewest goals in the division (21) - six fewer than any other team.

However, Clermont have scored in their last two matches, the first of which saw Habib Keita open the scoring at the Parc des Princes as the relegation-threatened side led for over 50 minutes against Paris Saint-Germain, before Goncalo Ramos struck a late equaliser to snatch a point for the reigning champions.

In fact, Clermont have scored in eight of their 12 Ligue 1 games since the start of 2024, which should inspire confidence ahead of this weekend's trip.

Heading into round 30, Pascal Gastien's charges are four points behind 16th-placed Lorient, who occupy the relegation play-off spot, and six points off Le Havre who hold the final outright survival position.

Clermont need to start picking up points - and fast - which should lend itself to an exciting encounter on Saturday, when I can see a goal or two from either side.

BTTS - Yes in RC Lens vs Clermont Foot at 1-1

Away team total goals - over 1.5 in Lille OSC vs RC Strasbourg @ 3/1 (Sunday, April 21 - KO, 14:00, TNT Sports 3)

Lille haven't played a league game since April 5 owing to the fact that they have been allowed to concentrate on their Europa Conference League quarter-final tie with Aston Villa, the first leg of which they lost 2-1 in Birmingham. The return fixture took place at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Thursday night - they won the game 2-1 but lost on penalties - and that is also the venue for their Ligue 1 clash with Strasbourg on Sunday afternoon.

Paulo Fonseca's men will only have two full rest days between the games, and with several players still out injured, they could find it tough against a resurgent Strasbourg side.

Les Bleu et Blanc lost all four league games during January, scoring just three times, and they didn't start March in a great way either as a 2-2 draw with Montpellier SC was followed by a 1-0 loss at home to AS Monaco.

However, Strasbourg have since enjoyed a four-match unbeaten run which has included a pair of 3-1 wins over Stade Rennais and Stade de Reims, as well as a 2-0 victory over Toulouse FC.

They've actually scored at least twice in a game on four occasions since the start of March, only failing to find the net multiple times against Monaco and Toulouse (0-0).

Strasbourg scored twice in December's reverse fixture as they beat Lille 2-1 and I fancy them to help themselves to a couple this weekend with the hosts likely to be feeling the effects of Thursday's tussle with Villa, where six of their players lasted the full 120-plus minutes.

Away team total goals - over 1.5 in Lille OSC vs RC Strasbourg at 3-1

Toulouse FC to win in Toulouse FC vs Olympique Marseille @ 2/1 (Sunday, April 21 - KO, 18:00, TNT Sports 1)

Another side in European action in midweek was Marseille, who hosted S.L. Benfica at the Stade Velodrome in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie on Thursday. Like Lille, Les Olympiens lost their away leg 2-1 before winning the return fixture and forcing the tie to penalties. But unlike their French counterparts, Marseille did the business, and now have a European semi-final to look forward to.

At the Velodrome, was it ever really in doubt? Only Lille (33) have collected more points at home in Ligue 1 than Marseille this season, and only one side - PSG - has beaten them there in all competitions.

It's away from home where they have struggled immensely, picking up just 10 points from 14 Ligue 1 outings. That's fewer points than any other club, which is a frankly staggering statistic given they still harbour ambitions of qualifying for Europe through a top-six finish.

That objective won't be helped by the location of Sunday's league game, which takes place at the Stadium Municipal, the home of Toulouse, one of the most in-form sides in the division.

Les Violets looked to be heading towards an end-of-season relegation battle after a 2-1 home defeat to FC Nantes on February 11 left them in 14th, just a single point above the relegation play-off place.

However, heading into this weekend, Toulouse are now 10 points clear of 16th-placed Lorient and are eyeing up a top-half finish to the season. They can even draw level on points with Marseille with a win on Sunday, albeit Jean-Louis Gasset's side have a game in hand.

Toulouse should certainly be confident of taking maximum points in this fixture, not least because of their own form which has seen them beat Clermont and Rennes and draw with Strasbourg in their last three games. Two of those teams - Clermont and Strasbourg - were kept out of the scoring, and those defensive numbers don't bode well for Marseille, who have failed to score in two of their last three matches in the league.

Before Thursday, Marseille had actually lost their last five games, three of which came in Ligue 1. Unsurprisingly, given their wretched record on the road, they have won just once away from home in Ligue 1 this calendar year, and that was at bottom-club Clermont on February 3.

Following a bruising battle against Benfica on Thursday, I can see it being another tough slog away from the Velodrome for Marseille this weekend.

Toulouse FC to beat Olympique Marseille at 2-1

Check out the rest of our Football Betting Tips here.

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