Every hue was represented as street vendors peddled wares ranging from gas mask-style bongs to imperial Russian mink hats. The food stalls teemed with Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern, Spanish, Italian, Mexican and German cuisine. One nationality chronically under-represented were the French, however. Perhaps, they deem the tawdriness of food without a fork as being beneath contempt. Although I seem to remember it was okay to eat rat at around the time Marie Antoinette was telling her subjects to stock up on sweet treats. I digress, somewhat. The point of reference is French indifference and specifically our attempts to purloin a few euros from le bookies.
You may recall an experiment handed to me on a plate by a correspondent who claimed French teams were more interested in looking good, passing the ball around a bit and generally being a bit poncy than they were in sticking a couple of onions in the onion bag. Clearly, the onions are for soup or beef bourguignon.
The assessment that we should bet on games yielding under 2.5 goals was a sound one but what my interlocutor failed to realise was that once any theory or concept enters the mien of the Tenner Bet, it is doomed to failure no matter how solid the logic. However, that won't prevent me from flogging a dead horse (so many French references and so little effort) so without pause for further contemplation, mesdames et messieurs, je presente . . .
Having scanned this weekend's fixtures with a little help from my friends at oddschecker.com, I have whittled the games down to five:
Bastia v Monaco
Four of Monaco's last five and seven of Bastia's last nine at home have gone under 2.5. All six between these two played at Bastia have gone under 2.5. It's on offer at 8/13 with BetVictor.
Nice v Nantes
Seven of Nantes' last nine away have all gone under 2.5 goal as have Nice's last two home game and nine of the last 11 between these two. The option is available at 4/7 with BetVictor.
Rennes v Montpellier
Six of Rennes' last seven games and seven of Montpellier's last nine away matches have gone under 2.5 goals. Rennes' last four home games have gone under 2.5 goals. Six of the last eight between these two have all gone under 2.5 goals. It's 3/5 with Paddy Power.
Sochaux v Guingamp
Five of Sochaux's last six home games have gone under 2.5 goals. Six of Guingamp's last eight away games have gone under 2.5 goals. The last three between these two at Sochaux all resulted in under 2.5 goals. Under 2.5 is on offer at 4/7 with Paddy Power.
St Etienne v Marseille
Seven of St Etienne's last eight have gone under 2.5 goals. Four of the last five between the two have gone under 2.5 goals. It's priced at 4/6 with BetVictor
Perm any four from five and a five-game accumulator and split the tenner across the bet. The quad pays £33.16 and we'll lift £48.35 if the £5 accum pays out.
Sacre bleu! The debt's creeping up again: -£68.40