PSG – Ajaccio – Sunday 20:00 GMT
It’s David against Goliath, the giants against the minnows. Gazelec Ajaccio’s budget of €13.5m is less than Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s annual salary at PSG but the Corsicans are dreaming of a miracle at the Parc des Princes.
Two seasons ago the other Ajaccio club, AC, managed to grab an incredible 1-1 draw in Paris. The home side will try to avoid the same disappointment here.
The Parisians started their season well with a win over Lyon in the Community Shield, following that with an impressive 1-0 victory away at Lille last weekend without the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the not yet fit Angel Di Maria. That duo will also be absent this weekend, with the star striker struggling with a knee problem and the Argentine winger still far from being ready to make the match squad.
Adrien Rabiot is suspended after his red card at Lille but everybody else is available and Laurent Blanc will field another strong line-up. Thiago Motta only started on the bench in Lille but changed the game when he came on at half time and will start in midfield alongside Marco Verratti and Blaise Matuidi, while Edinson Cavani will replace Ibrahimovic once again in attack.
For Ajaccio, it is an absolute dream to be facing PSG at the Parc des Princes. The club have had four promotions in the last five years and are the smallest club to ever play in the French top flight. They are missing key players, such as defender Jérémie Brechet but they will play with their hearts and hope for a great display from their defence and their goalkeeper. However, I think PSG will be far too strong for Ajaccio and it could be a heavy defeat for the visitors.
The odds are massively in favour of PSG with a home win at 1.10. The draw is at 9.30 and an Ajaccio away win is at 28.00.
Ignoring Zlatan, Edinson Cavani is favourite to score first at 4.10 and my best tip is PSG to win both halves at 1.85.
Score prediction: PSG 3 Ajaccio 0 at 6.00
Reims – Marseille – Sunday 13:00 GMT
It has been a crazy week for Marseille. After their home defeat to Caen their manager Marcelo Bielsa announced he was resigning from his position thanks to a loss of trust with the chairman of the club. His announcement sent shockwaves through the club and the city. The players feel let down and have not reacted well to his departure. However, they need to regroup as they face a tricky game away at Reims.
Franck Passi, Bielsa’s assistant, is in charge for now, while the club looks for a foreign coach to take over. It is not the ideal preparation for a league game but the shock felt by the players may bring them closer together. Marseille didn’t deserve to lose against Caen. They hit the woodwork twice and missed many chances but they must react this weekend.
Passi will not make many changes to the team Bielsa started with last weekend but he will expect better performances from the likes of Romain Alessandrini, Florian Thauvin and Abdelaziz Barrada. New signings Abou Diaby, Lassana Diarra and Javier Manquillo are still not ready to start yet. At least Nicolas Nkoulou, the squad’s best defender, is back after his suspension and will boost the ranks.
The pressure on Marseille will be massive but they haven’t lost at the Stade Auguste Delaune since 1976.
On the other hand, Reims have nothing to lose after winning their opening game of the season. They have a lot of pace up front to play on the counter attack and have some very promising youngsters on the bench. Their win away at Bordeaux has given them a confidence boost and the momentum is with them. I think the Marseille players will rally together but I don’t think it will be enough to win.
The odds are slightly in favour of Marseille with an away win at 2.20. A draw is at 3.35 and a home win for Reims is at 3.25.
Mickey Batshuayi is favourite to score first at 5.80. My best tip is a draw and both teams to score at 4.75.
Score prediction: Reims 1 Marseille 1 at 7.50