Lyon - Bordeaux - Saturday 20.00 GMT
Last weekend was both good and bad for Lyon. They were hammered by strugglers Caen (3-0) away from home on the Saturday which ended their title dreams. But on the Sunday, Marseille’s victory over Monaco (2-1) in the last ten minutes of the game meant that the Lyonnais are now sure to finish 2nd in the table and qualify directly for the Champions League next season, whatever happens in the last two games.
So there will be no pressure on Lyon on Saturday at home against Bordeaux. It is the last home game in this wonderful season for l’OL and the players and the fans at the Gerland Stadium will enjoy it and celebrate it nicely. Only PSG have a better home record than Lyon this campaign and the players will want to finish on a high as well. They want to thank their incredible fans for all the great support they received through the season and they also want to redeem themselves after the poor display at Caen last weekend.
So they will be very motivated for this game. For Alexandre Lacazette, it will be the last match of the season, because he is suspended for the trip to Rennes next weekend. He has scored 27 goals so far in the league and his dream is to reach 30 with a hat-trick and achieve what only Jean-Pierre Papin and Zlatan Ibrahimovic achieved in the last 30 years. It is a massive game for him. He has been great all season but he hasn’t performed as well since his injury at the end of January.
Nabil Fekir, the revelation of the season, has also been struggling a bit recently. He is not as effective and unstoppable as he was at some points. Overall, the whole Lyon team looked a bit jaded in Caen and the pressure got to them. So they are relieved by the fact that they are already certain to finish second in the table. It has lifted a big weight off their shoulders. And they will approach this game against Bordeaux in the best way possible. Hubert Fournier has almost all his squad available. Only Clinton Njie, Yoann Gourcuff and Milan Bisevac are out injured. Linday Rose is back from suspension.
For Bordeaux, things are different. The team is battling with Montpellier to finish 6th. They are three points clear of Roland Courbis’ team who they host on the last day of the season next weekend. So it is important for them to get something out of the game on Saturday.
They also have a good record at Gerland recently with two wins and a draw in their last four visits. There is a sense of pride as well. In the reverse fixture, back in December, they were humiliated (5-0) by Lyon in their own stadium. They want their revenge and Willy Sagnol, who lost his battle tactically with Fournier in the reverse fixture, has prepared a game plan to make sure Bordeaux can get at least a point. However, I think that for their last home game of the season, Lyon will be too strong for the visitors on Saturday.
The odds are massively in favour of Lyon with a home win at 1.75. The draw is at 3.70 and a Bordeaux away is at 4.60.
Alexandre Lacazette is favourite to score first at 3.65 and my best tip is Lyon to win and both teams to score at 3.65.
Score prediction: Lyon 2 Bordeaux 1 at 9.00
Lille - Marseille - Saturday 20.00 GMT
Marseille had an incredible game last Sunday against Monaco. The Vélodrome erupted when the home side scored two goals in the last ten minutes to win the match and come back just two points behind Monaco in third place in the table in the race for the last spot for the Champions League next season. It was a must win game for l’OM and they made it happen despite being dominated for most of the game. They showed great resilience and the victory has boosted the team for the rest of the season.
They now visit Lille on Saturday evening in a tricky game but one that they have to win, again, to put more pressure on Monaco. Marcelo Bielsa was obviously delighted by the win on Sunday. He has all his players available and will field his strongest team. Brice DjaDjedje is back from suspension and will start at right back. On Sunday, Florian Thauvin came on and made a difference against Monaco but so did Romain Alessandrini who took his place in the starting eleven and scored the winning goal and assisted the equaliser.
So Bielsa will have to choose between those two on the right hand side. The manager also replaced Gianelli Imbula early and it changed the game. However, he should start him against Lille. Marseille have some real momentum now going into the last two games of the season. Winning them both might not be enough considering Monaco are three points clear but at least l’OM are still in the race and still have something to play and fight for.
For Lille, it is different. The team are eighth in the table (six points behind Bordeaux in sixth place) so only a miracle could enable them to reach the last Europa League place. So they have nothing to play for really but they want to finish on a high in front of their fans for the last home game of the season. The stadium will be full and the atmosphere great. It is always a special occasion to face Marseille at home.
The good news recently for Lille is the form of Sofiane Boufal. He has been very promising in recent games. He has a great touch and can cause problems to the Marseille defence with his skills and pace. The club has announced this week that manager René Girard will leave at the end of the season, a year before the end of his contract. The players won’t miss him as there was something not right between him and the dressing room. So it has been a distraction for the club and the players but they hope they can regroup to put on a good performance against Marseille on Saturday. And I think Lille will get a point at home against l’OM.
The odds are quite level. An away win for Marseille is at 2.35. A draw is at 3.40 and a home win for Lille is at 2.95.
André-Pierre Gignac is favourite to score first at 4.80. My best tip is Boufal to score for Lille at 4.00.
Score prediction: Lille 1 Marseille 1 at 6.75
Montpellier - PSG - Saturday 20.00 GMT
This is the game which could crown PSG champions for the third season in a row. The Parisians only need a point from their trip to Montpellier on Saturday and they will win the title.
Last weekend was indeed very positive for them. They thrashed Guingamp (6-0) at home on Friday and on Saturday, Lyon lost at Caen (3-0). Paris are now six points clear of Lyon with a better goal difference with two games remaining. Not even a miracle could prevent Laurent Blanc and his players from winning the league. Even if they lose at Montpellier on Saturday, they will then face Reims at home to win the title. So there is no pressure anymore at all now that the title race is 99% over.
It is good because this is still a tricky trip. Montpellier are a tough team to play against, well organised and aggressive, especially at home. So it is a good thing that this is not a must win game for PSG, especially with the absence of Thiago Motta, Marco Verratti and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, three key players for the team from the capital. The first two are both suspended and will be replaced by Yohan Cabaye, Adrien Rabiot or Javier Pastore. David Luiz has been declared fit and will partner Thiago Silva in the centre of the back four.
Edinson Cavani scored a hat-trick last Friday and is in full confidence. Ibrahimovic scored a double and gave two assists as well. Blanc played in a different formation in the last two league games: a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield. Pastore was the number 10 behind Ibra and Cavani and it worked very well, however that might change with Verratti and Ibra not there, but the momentum is incredible in the PSG ranks. They have now won their last seven league games in a row. They are unstoppable when they play with so much focus and urgency. However, now that they have certainly won the title, they might take this game not as seriously as if there was still a title race with Lyon. Last season, for example, they also took their time to win it.
And Montpellier will give them a good run for their money, that’s for sure.
The home side can still qualify for the Europa League next season if they finish 6th and PSG win the French Cup at the end of the month. Montpellier are 7th right now but just three points behind Bordeaux who they will visit on the last day of the season. So this is a very important game for Courbis and his players, especially as Bordeaux travel to Lyon on Saturday as well.
They have only scored two goals in their last five league games though and their performance against Lens last weekend was dreadful, despite the last minute win (1-0). However, they usually play much better against big teams and especially Paris. Still, I can’t see Paris not winning an eighth league game in a row. They are simply too good right now.
The odds are massively in favour of PSG with an away win at 1.42. A draw is at 4.50 and a Montpellier home win is at 7.50.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is favourite to score first at 3.30. My best tip is PSG to win without conceding a goal at 2.20.
Score prediction: Montpellier 0 PSG 2 at 7.50