The top tier of French football, Ligue 1, is ramping up to be one of the most exciting in recent years. At the time of writing it is not Paris Saint-Germain, Monaco or even Marseille who sit atop the table, but it is the side who dominated French football in the early 2000s: Lyon. Read on as we give our predictions about whether Les Gones can sustain their title challenge along with our betting tips for who will eventually win the Ligue 1 title.

Paris Saint-Germain have been the dominant force recently having won the Ligue 1 title in each of the last two seasons. Things are not going quite as planned in the current campaign, however, as although Laurent Blanc’s men have lost fewer games than any other side, they have drawn nine of their 24 games to date. These dropped points are beginning to cost them, but a recent 1-1 draw at leaders Lyon might ultimately prove crucial in the race for the title, a Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty cancelling out a first half strike from Cameroonian striker Clinton Njie.

Despite currently sitting only third in the table as things stand, PSG are the strong favourites to win the Ligue 1 title, with the best available betting odds being just 2/5 with Bet365. Of course, there is an argument that now is a good time to back Blanc’s side given that the odds are sure to get shorter still if they manage to turn things around and get back to the top of the table.

There has to be some value in taking the odds of 4/1 with Ladbrokes for Lyon to win their first championship since 2008 – which was their seventh on the bounce, incidentally. They may only be two points clear of both PSG and Marseille at the time of writing, but Lyon have a goal difference that is nine goals better than either of those sides and with a confident, hard-working and skilful side, they could feasibly take the title to the wire, and with PSG having a tough Champions League tie with Chelsea to distract them, Lyon could take advantage of any further slips.

Marseille, who are available to back at best betting odds of 10/1 with Ladbrokes to win the title, might be tempting to some, but we can’t see it. They don’t have the depth of talent within their squad to really challenge in our opinion. As for the others in the division, the odds speak for themselves. Monaco – who are only 10 points behind the leaders – are out at massive odds of 100/1 with BetVictor, but having got rid of their best players in the summer, they’ve already put paid to their challenge in our eyes. Further down we find St Etienne at 150/1 with Bet365 and then the rest at 1000/1 or greater.

We predict, however, that the Ligue 1 title battle will be a straight head to head between Lyon and PSG and – as we saw when they met in February – there really isn’t a lot to choose between them. With that in mind, and the fact that PSG will be stretched by their Champions League exploits – our main betting tip here is to back Lyon to go all the way at nice betting odds of 4/1 with Ladbrokes.


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