Bordeaux v Lyon, Friday 7.45pm
This is the big game of the weekend in France. Bordeaux, currently fifth in the table, host Lyon, just a place above. With a win, the home side will come back to within just one point of the visitors (who have a game in hand though).
Bordeaux have been fantastic in 2017. They are unbeaten since the turn of the year and only Monaco and PSG have taken more points than them. They are playing very well in their 4-3-3 formation. Offensively, they have pace and skills with Kamano (three goals and two assists in the seven matches this year in the league), Malcolm, Laboured or Ounas.
They have found some consistency defensively as well since the return in goal of Cedric Carrasso whose experience is crucial for this young team. Toulalan is also back to his best in midfield.
The manager Jocelyn Gourvennec has no injury worries apart from the long-term ones of Sabaly and Touré. Bordeaux have lost only two of their last 14 games in all competitions, each against PSG (one in the league and one in the League Cup). They are full of confidence and momentum and are really up for this game.
For Lyon, this is a tough away match. But it is crucial that they get a positive result as they are hunted by Bordeaux, St Etienne and Marseille who will try to grab their fourth place in the table. They can’t afford any mistakes.
They have been in great form of late as well with four wins in a row in all competitions now and 20 goals scored for just four conceded (4-1, 4-2, 7-1, 5-0). Their thrashing of Metz last weekend was impressive and the manager Bruno Genesio is lucky to have a full squad available.
He had to make strong choices and left Ghezzal, Rebus and Nkoulou at home. He will set his team in a 4-3-3 formation with Gonalons, the captain, back in the holding role after missing last weekend’s match. Memphis Depay was exceptional against Metz (two goals and one assist) and Alexandre Lacazette is still flying (22 goals in 22 league matches now). Defensively, Lyon will have to be solid though against the pace of the Bordeaux wingers.
It will be a fascinating game and I think Bordeaux and Lyon will share the points with a draw.
The odds are in favour of Lyon with an away win at 2.30. A draw is at 3.40 and a Bordeaux home win is at 3.10.
Alexandre Lacazette is favourite to score first at 4.30. My best tip is a draw and both teams to score at 4.25.
Score prediction: Bordeaux 2 Lyon 2 (11.50)