Julien Laurens’ Ligue 1 Betting: Finish line in sight for Monaco as PSG continue their catch-up quest


Nancy v Monaco, Saturday 19:00

Monaco, who travel to Nancy on Saturday evening, are really close to their first league title since 2000 after PSG’s defeat at Nice last Sunday (3-1). The Monegasques are now three points ahead of the Parisians with a game in hand and a better goal difference.

Barring a disaster in their remaining four games, they will be crowned champions. On Saturday, they face a Nancy team fighting against relegation and on a plastic pitch so it is a tricky away game, four days after their loss against Juventus in the Champions League semi-final first leg and four days before the second leg in Italy.

The players still believe they can create an exploit so their minds will be already on the Juve game. However, they have such a big momentum at the moment that they will be solid enough to make sure they don’t drop points at Nancy.

Leonardo Jardim, the manager, will rotate his squad as he always does between two European matches. Moutinho, Raggi, Germain, Diallo or even Cardona could all start while Falcao, Mbappé, Bakayoko, Bernardo Silva or Lemar could be rested.

Benjamin Mendy who missed the clash with Juventus is still out too. Monaco have been very solid away from home with only two defeats all season, at Toulouse and Nice. On the other hand, Nancy, 19th in the table, level on points with Dijon in 18th, are desperate for points.

They have only won one of their last five league matches and lost the Lorrain derby against Metz last weekend. They will play with a back five hoping to frustrate the Monaco forwards and hoping that their opponents will have tired legs. However, I don’t think Monaco will drop any points on Saturday.

The odds are massively in favour of Monaco with an away win at 1.50. The draw is at 4.00 and a Nancy home win is at 7.00.

Kylian Mbappé is favourite to score first at 3.70. My best tip is Monaco to win both halves at 3.55.

Score prediction: Nancy 0 Monaco 3 (10.50)

PSG v Bastia, Saturday 16:00 

PSG, who host Bastia on Saturday afternoon at the Parc des Princes, have pretty much said goodbye to a fifth consecutive league title after their defeat at Nice last weekend (3-1). They lost their heads at the Allianz Riviera, Di Maria and Motta were sent off and will miss this match and the Parisians suffered their fifth loss of the season.

The tension is huge at the club at the moment and Unai Emery’s future is in doubt. PSG are now three points behind Monaco and have played a game more while Nice are only three points behind them. The pressure is really high now for Paris. They still have a French Cup final to play at the end of the month but not retaining their title would be such a disappointment.

The players will keep fighting though and hoping for a miracle and Monaco crumbling, although they don’t think it will happen. They have had a strong season at home where they are unbeaten for more than a year in Ligue 1 and their five losses have all come away from home this season.

So they will be confident they can bounce back from their poor game at Nice last weekend and get three points. They have a good record at home against Bastia and Emery will field a very strong starting eleven too.

On the other hand, there is no pressure at all on Bastia before this game. No one expects them to get even a point away in Paris so they have nothing to lose at all. Their win against Rennes last week was a boost for them. They are still alive despite being bottom of the table. But they are only a point behind 18th place and two behind 17th. So they still have hope to stay up. They will really be up for this game but I think PSG will get the win.

The odds are massively in favour of PSG with a home win at 1.14. The draw is at 8.50 and a Bastia away win is at 17.00.

Edinson Cavani is favourite to score first at 2.85. My best tip is Edinson Cavani to score a hat trick at 9.00.

Score prediction: PSG 3 Bastia 0 (6.75)