Lyon - Rennes - Saturday 16.00 GMT
Lyon finally kicked off their season last weekend with a scrappy win away at Guingamp (1-0). It was important to win after the poor draw of the opening day against Lorient (0-0), and Les Gones have now less pressure on their shoulders before Saturday’s game at home against Rennes.
They need to keep their winning streak but more importantly play better. They have been very average collectively and individually so far this season. They are far from the team they were last season, even in terms of unity. Their stars are also struggling. Lacazette and Fekir have been so poor so far this season. The manager Hubert Fournier was not happy at all with them after the Guingamp game. Lacazette looked angry and frustrated and Fekir was too selfish and individual when he was on the ball.
Lyon need to get their unit back and their collective game. They have not been playing for each other since the start of the season. However, Mathieu Valbuena started last weekend and will be in better shape on Saturday. Mapou Yanga Mbiwa has just arrived from Roma but he could be starting already. He will make their defence much stronger. With Rafael getting better too and Claudio Beauvue who scored the winner against Guingamp, the new players could play a much bigger impact in weeks to come.
For Rennes, the season didn’t start well with a defeat at Bastia in Week 1. Last weekend, the team got a lucky win at home against Montpellier (1-0) and I feel they will really struggle on Saturday at the Stade Gerland. They won only once there in their nine last visits. I think they will lose on Saturday, just like last season.
The odds are massively in favour of Lyon with a home win at 1.52. A draw is at 3.90 and a Rennes away win is at 7.30.
Alexandre Lacazette is favourite to score first at 3.35. My best tip is Lyon to win both halves at 3.95.
Score prediction: Lyon 2 Rennes 0 at 7.00
Toulouse - Monaco - Saturday 19.00 GMT
Only three days after their defeat in the Champions League playoff first leg at Valencia (3-1), Monaco face another trip on Saturday in Ligue 1, to Toulouse this time.
Leonardo Jardim and his players were very disappointed after the loss in Spain. They defended badly and felt robbed by the referees. They are in a bad position now to qualify for the Champions League group stages and mentally the defeat was a big blow. They need to bounce back on Saturday though away at Toulouse.
They could only drew 0-0 at home against Lille last weekend and they need to get back to winning ways. Moutinho is still out and so is Kurzawa and it is a double blow for the team. The team lacked composure and creativity without the Portuguese playmaker and Echilje, who replaced Kurzawa on Wednesday was dreadful. Monaco could face more problems at the weekend. Especially as the players will have their minds on the 2nd leg against Valencia next week too.
It is the most important game of the two for them and they might not be very focused on the Toulouse trip. Anthony Martial was on good form in midweek and he is such a key player for Monaco. He needs to keep this kind of form to lead his team, despite his very young age.
Toulouse have had an average start of the season. They had two players sent off in two games (Pesic and Spajic), won their opening game at home against St Etienne (2-1) before losing at Caen last weekend (1-0). As usual, they have been quite inconsistent already. This is a big game for them. There have been seven draws in the last 10 encounters between those two teams in Toulouse. But Monaco also won their last two games there and I believe they will make it three on Saturday with a narrow victory.
The odds are in favour of Monaco with an away win at 2.40. A draw is at 3.20 and a Toulouse home win is at 6.85.
Anthony Martial is favourite to score first for Monaco at 6.25. My best tip is Monaco to win with both teams to score at 5.75.
Score prediction: Toulouse 1 Monaco 2 at 12.00