Julien Laurens’ Ligue 1 Betting: Big game player Mario Balotelli can inspire Nice at Marseille


Marseille v Nice, Sunday 20:00

This is the big game of the weekend. Marseille host Nice on Sunday evening at the Stade Velodrome for a huge derby. There is a big rivalry between the two clubs and the hatred is massive between the two sets of fans. It will be a very tense match in the stands but also on the pitch with a lot at stake. 

This is probably the biggest derby in recent years between the two teams. L’OM were great at Caen last weekend with a superb win (5-1) and a hat trick by Florian Thauvin. Finally, Rudi Garcia’s men hit form and got some momentum. Caen were poor on the night but offensively, Marseille were excellent. And they will attack again on Sunday against Nice. They are not always the most balanced team but they have so much going forward with Gomis, Payet, Thauvin, Sanson. There is a lot of movement and the players are full of confidence. 

Marseille have been inconsistent in recent weeks, especially away from home. So the players and the manager will be hoping that they can reproduce the same kind of performances until the end of the season now and finish on a real high.


It won’t be an easy game though because Nice, as we saw last weekend against PSG, are in great form too. They played their best game of the season last Sunday. They were aggressive, good with the ball, efficient, clever. They taught Paris a real lesson (3-1) and are now just behind the Parisians in the table.

It would be amazing for them to finish second in the table. They have a tough schedule, though, until the end of the season, starting with this match away at Marseille. It is a tough place to go, especially with the rivalry between the two clubs. But they have been mostly good away from home, like in Paris for example, this year. 

Mario Balotelli scored his 14th league goal of the season last weekend, his 12th at home. He has only two away from home so far but he loves those big matches and he will be ready to go. I think it will be a very offensive game, with lots of goals and a draw in the end.

The odds are in favour of Marseille with a home win at 1.90. A draw is at 3.70 and a Nice away win is at 3.85.

Bafetimbi Gomis is favourite to score first at 5.10. My best tip is a draw and both teams to score at 4.70. 

Score prediction: Marseille 2 Nice 2 (13.00)


Lyon v Nantes, Sunday 16:00

Lyon host Nantes on Sunday afternoon, just four days after a disastrous performance in the Europa League semi-final first leg at Ajax. They were dreadful in Amsterdam and got punished for it. They need to bounce back in the league now to get some confidence back and prepare for the second leg on Thursday.

They need the points to secure this fourth place in the table and will have Alexandre Lacazette back from injury. He played the last 15 minutes at Ajax because the team needed him badly but he was not really ready to play. He will be fitter on Sunday but there is still a risk of a setback. 

So the player and the club will have to be careful. In his absence, Nabil Fekir started up front but was not good enough. Memphis Depay, who could not play in Europe, is back and could start this game. Lyon expect a tough match against Nantes and Sergio Conceiçao, their manager. 

They are going through a good patch at the moment after their win against Lorient last weekend. The journey since the Portuguese manager took over has been great and the players will work hard again on Sunday. They will be hard to play against and I think Lyon will struggle to bring them down while they will be efficient up front. I expect a draw between the two teams.

The odds are massively in favour of Lyon with a home win at 1.70. The draw is at 3.95 and a Nantes away win is at 4.70.

Alexandre Lacazette is favourite to score first at 3.65. My best tip is a draw at half time and a draw at full time at 6.00.

Score prediction: Lyon 1 Nantes 1 (8.00)