Monaco - Angers - Sunday 16.00 GMT
Slowly, Monaco, who are hosting Angers on Sunday, are climbing back up in the table.
They are now 8th in Ligue 1 and have won back-to-back games for the first time this season after beating Qarabag in the Europa League last week and at Reims last Sunday, 1-0 in each game. After four draws in a row in all competitions, it was important for them to be able to get back to winning ways and to build on it. They want to continue their good run against Angers, the surprise package of the season so far who are sitting in second position in the table. but Monaco are only five points behind the visitors and a victory on Sunday means they will be right back in the fight for a top three finish, which is the objective of the season.
They continue to struggle up front though. Bernardo Silva scored the winner at Reims but Monaco have only scored two goals or more in the same game four times this season. Leonardo Jardim is still looking for the best system offensively. But the form of Stephan El Shaarawy and Silva will be great news. Monaco can rely on them. The team also kept two clean sheets consecutively for the first time this season. Defending well was their strength last season but they have been conceding too many goals so far. They are getting their solidity back. The last time they played Angers in the top flight was back in 1993 and they won. but they will have to be very careful this time.
Angers are playing very well despite a defeat on Tuesday in the League Cup, away at Tours (2nd division) and despite their draw against Guingamp (0-0) last weekend. They have failed to win their last two games for the first time this season.
They are incredible strong mentally and believe in themselves. They will feel no pressure going to Monaco as they have nothing to lose. They will play on their strengths: not conceding many goals and take their chances. With only 6 goals against them, their the best defence in the league with PSG. They are also very efficient offensively, especially on set pieces. I still think that Monaco will get a narrow win on Sunday.
The odds are massively in favour of Monaco with a home win at 1.60. A draw is at 3.60 and a Angers away win is at 6.25.
Guido Carrillo is favourite to score first at 5.20. My best tip is under 1.5 goals scored at 2.75.
Score prediction: Monaco 1 Angers 0 at 5.80
Nantes - Marseille - Sunday 20.00 GMT
Marseille play their second away league game in a row on Sunday evening at Nantes. But they will get there with more confidence after their 2-1 win at Lille on Sunday afternoon.
It was Marseille’s first victory in their last eight matches, with their last Ligue 1 back on September 13th! L’OM are now 14th in the table and hopefully they will finally be able to kick on their season and get a second consecutive win on Sunday. Michel, l’OM’s manager, will hope to build some momentum on the Lille win.
Marseille played well offensively and could have scored more goals but they also looked fragile defensively. They will need to find a better balance between going forward and defending. Michy Batshuayi, however, is on top form. He scored his 8th league goal of the season at Lille, which makes him top scorer in Ligue 1. Marseille all rely on him, once again, on Sunday. But the danger and the goals have to come from other players too. Alessandrini scored a screamer last weekend and will have to be consistent and produce another good performance on Sunday. Marseille have not won away at Nantes in almost ten years so it will be a tricky trip come Sunday. At least Marseille did not play in midweek as they had a bye in the League Cup.
Nantes had to play though, on Wednesday at Bourg en Bresse (2nd division) and had to go through extra-time as well during their disappointing defeat. It was a tough game and even if Michel Der Zakarian, the manager, rotated his squad, it will still be very tiring.
Nantes have now won their last three league games and are now 10th in the table. Der Zakarian has a few injury issues with Audel, Moimbé, Sigthorsson, Bedoya, Rongier all out. But the confidence is high and Nantes' home record against Marseille is good. However, I think that the visitors will get the three points.
The odds are in favour of Marseille with an away win at 2.17. The draw is at 3.25 and a Nantes home win is at 3.40.
Michy Batshuayi is favourite to score first at 5.50 but my best tip is Marseille to win without conceding a goal at 3.25.
Score prediction: Nantes 0 Marseille 2 at 11.00