Ligue 1 Matchday 28 Preview: PSG Loses Neymar, Still a Worthy Look

Remarkable Reims Go For 20 Matches Unbeaten

Will Still Breaking Records

Will Still’s story is quite unbelievable yet it’s completely true. The Reims manager fell in love with the football simulation Football Manager and quit playing to focus on coaching at age 17. When he replaced Oscar Garcia in October, the 30-year old became the youngest manager in Europe’s top-five leagues. Now, he’s become the only manager in the 21st century to go on a 19-match unbeaten run to open his career in a top-five European league. Because Still doesn’t hold his UEFA Pro Licence yet, Reims also get fined upwards of $25,000 every time he manages a match. Reims will now try to make it 20 straight league games without a loss on Ligue 1 Matchday 28 when they host Marseille. We’ll take a look at that blockbuster clash, along with some of the other top matches of the week.

Matches of the Week

PSG PSG vs Rennes REN

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Paris Saint-Germain made it four straight Ligue 1 wins when they downed Brest 2-1 on Saturday. Kylian Mbappe scored a 90th minute winner, which somewhat softened the blow of PSG’s Champions League exit. Now, the Parisians are only contending for Ligue 1 and they hold a 10-point lead with 11 games to go.

PSG host Rennes on Sunday, who are one of only three teams to defeat the Parisians in Ligue 1 this season. Even so, the Ligue 1 odds price PSG as -210 moneyline favorites.

The spread odds are as follows: PSG -1, -130 and SRFC +1, Ev. Since Ligue 1 restarted following the World Cup, Rennes have lost six of their 12 league matches. They’ve fallen to fifth place and their hopes of reaching next season’s Champions League are waning.

The visitors, who drew 0-0 with relegation candidates Auxerre last Saturday, are +525 moneyline underdogs. They are unbeaten in three of their last four league matches vs. PSG, though.

PSG have dealt with crippling injury problems lately and both of their starting center backs are out. Presnel Kimpembe has been ruled out for the season, while Marquinhos should return after the March international break. Achraf Hakimi and Nordi Mukiele are also doubts on the PSG back line.

Meanwhile, Neymar is out for the season with an ankle injury so Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi should shoulder even more of the scoring load. Mbappe is tied for the league lead, with 19 goals this season. Under three goals display -120 odds for this match, while bettors can also find a draw at +390 odds.

REI Reims vs Marseille OM

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The most intriguing match of Ligue 1 Matchday 28 could very well be Reims vs. Marseille. With Will Still at the helm, Reims haven’t lost a Ligue 1 match and haven’t done so since September. They’ve also gone six matches without conceding a goal, which is their longest shutout streak in the top flight.

Marseille have struggled a fair bit over the past month, which includes a 3-0 loss to PSG and an embarrassing Coupe de France loss to second-tier Annecy. OM also drew 2-2 with Strasbourg last weekend and blew a two-goal lead in the last few minutes of the match. Even so, Marseille are favorites to end Reims’ unbeaten run, which includes two draws vs. PSG.

Visitors Marseille come in at +130 moneyline odds and -140 odds to cover in this pick’em. Oddsmakers are a bit wary of Reims’ chances in this match despite an impressive 1-0 road win over Monaco last Sunday. Folarin Balogun scored his 16th goal of the season in the match and the Arsenal loanee is attracting attention from some big clubs.

The Ligue 1 odds price Reims pk at +110 odds and Still’s men sit at +200 moneyline odds. Reims are winless in their last five matches vs. Marseille and got humiliated 4-1 back in August. Despite Reims’ shutout streak, over 2½ goals display -125 odds for Sunday’s match.

A draw wouldn’t be a bad result for either side and one shows +255 odds. Marseille’s Leonardo Balerdi is suspended for this match, which means Samuel Gigot could fill in. Defender Sead Kolasinac is also day-to-day and bettors should monitor his status as the week goes on.

Meanwhile, Reims’ Emmanuel Agbadou is expected to miss out and will likely return after the international break. It remains to be seen whether Still’s record-breaking run will continue.

Other Important Matches

AJA Ajaccio vs Monaco MON

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Ajaccio are fighting to stay in Ligue 1, while Monaco are vying for the third and final Champions League place. The Monegasques have struggled over the last few matches and are winless in their last four, in all competitions.

Monaco crashed out of the Europa League a couple weeks back and have been shut out in two of their last three matches. Philippe Clement’s side are now in fourth, three points behind Lens. They’ll head to Corsica on Sunday needing all three points.

On the other hand, a win could take Ajaccio out of the relegation zone. With four teams facing relegation due to Ligue 1’s 2023-24 contraction to 18 teams, Ajaccio are in trouble. They’re in 18th place and have lost 18 of their 27 matches this season. The Ligue 1 Matchday 28 odds list the home side as ½-goal underdogs, at a +105 price to cover.

They’ve lost four of their last five Ligue 1 matches and come in at +400 odds to get their first win over Monaco since 2006. In the reverse fixture, Monaco smashed Ajaccio 7-1 as Wissam Ben Yedder scored a hat trick and Breel Embolo added a brace.

Monaco, who last won a Ligue 1 match a month ago, are -135 ATS and moneyline favorites in this match. Clement should get Eliesse Ben Seghir and Mohamed Camara back in time for Sunday. As Ligue 1’s lowest-scoring team, Ajaccio have found the net just twice in their last six games. Forwards Romain Hamouma and Yoann Touzghar are also nursing injuries. Under 2½ goals come in at -130 odds for the match, while a draw sits at +275.

NIC Nice vs Lorient LOR

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Ligue 1’s second-longest unbeaten run belongs to OGC Nice. The team from the French Riviera has gone 10 games in the league without a defeat. Now, they face Lorient on the Matchday 28 Ligue 1 schedule. Nice have lost just one of their last 11 league matches vs. Lorient and have won the last two meetings by a 2-1 scoreline.

Over their last five matches, Nice have averaged a solid 1.8 goals per game but under 2½ goals come in at -120 odds here. Visitors Lorient have kept shutouts in three of their last four matches and are currently level on 43 points with Nice. Due to goal difference, Nice sit in seventh place, while Lorient are in ninth.

Both sides are just four points outside of a European place and could certainly use a win here. Nice enter the match as one-goal favorites and haven’t lost a home match in Ligue 1 since September. Their moneyline odds are set at -155, while Nice -1 displays +110 odds.

However, Nice have drawn three of their last four matches and another shows +300 odds. Nice will also be on short rest heading into this match as they take on Sheriff Tiraspol in the UEFA Europa Conference League on Thursday.

Nice’s Terem Moffi, who joined from Lorient in January, is still Lorient’s leading scorer this season, with 12 goals. Lorient haven’t been the same team since he departed and have picked up just 11 points in the eight games since. Lorient +1 does show -140 odds, though and the Ligue 1 odds price Lorient at +400 odds to win.

Nice are dealing with multiple injuries, as all of Nicolas Pepe, Sofiane Diop, Youcef Atal and Antoine Mendy could miss out. Defender Julien Laporte is out long term for Lorient, while Gedeon Kalulu was a late scratch before the 2-0 win over Troyes.

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