Beware the French Football Fallacy. This is that common condition people adopt when they bet on Ligue 1, and it’s in this league where it’s most prominent cross-Europe.
Trivia question: which football club have won the most top-tier French titles? Answer at the bottom of the intro – but have your guess ready.
Starting any season with back-to-back defeats sets a certain tone – especially as the Ligue 1 build-up has been like no other elite level competition in Europe.
Players and coaching staffs alike have had months preparing for 2020/21 and confidence in direction will be lost significantly quicker than usual due the disappearance of the ‘we didn’t have enough time to prepare’ excuse. For Stade Brestois, if the best that months of preparation can muster is a 4-0 defeat to Nimes, they’re in severe trouble.
For Marseille, the pressure of last year’s second place means they have to come flying out of the blocks.
Is it possible that they could get a jump on PSG if they’re suffering from post-Champions League fatigue?
That will have to be their mindset if they wish to replicate or even better 2019/20. Here’s a tasty Same Game Multi for you to sink your teeth into.
Oh, and the answer is St. Etienne. Did you get it?
I know this sounds bizarre, but there’s lessons to be learned from an opening day hammering, and it’s worth noting how much better Brest were at home last season compared to their away form.
Brest only conceded 11 times last season when hosting, the same total as Paris Saint-Germain. Away from home, they coughed up 26 times. This would be in line with what we saw on opening day, and I suspect that trend to continue.
The primary reason I believe Marseille will struggle here is that they’re coming out of a Covid scare, while Dimitri Payet – the mechanism that makes everything tick – will miss out.
Hoping that Kevin Strootman can contribute to attacking moves off the ball is hopeful at best and with Benedetto leading the line, I’m not sure they can play into feet and build play as they’d like to.
This game is set up for the 6ft 2’ Brest cult hero to show his manager just why he still needs to be selected to lead the line at 31, having only played the second half in the opening week.
Charbonnier is like glue – the ball sticks to him, and with an overly-adventurous Marseille having three in midfield, you’d suspect he’ll have time to turn and take aim as defenders give him a yard instead of trying to go through him.
The Frenchman contributed to a goal every three games in Ligue 1 last season and there is absolutely no reason he shouldn’t be central to their successes this year either.
And, if as I suspect, Brest take the lead, he’ll be left one-v-one a lot in behind to take advantage. There’s good value to be taken here.
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