Monaco – Toulouse – Sunday 13:00 GMT
Monaco were very efficient last weekend in their win at Lorient but they struggled in midweek in their French Cup game against second division Evian. But they went through and they can focus on this league game on Sunday against Toulouse at home. They want to consolidate their second place in the table but they know it will not be an easy game as Toulouse are in good form.
Monaco rested some players in midweek with the likes of Subasic and Coentrao only coming on in the second half. But the manager Leonardo Jardim also played a very competitive team with the likes of Moutinho and Carvalho starting. However, he has some big injuries ahead of the Toulouse game. Lemar, Toulalan and Dirar should be out for this match.
Monaco are on a good run of results and have confidence and momentum. Vagner Love, their new signing, could make his debut as well. They really need a goal scorer up front and they are hoping that he will start scoring goals quickly for them. It will be interesting to see him. But if he is not in the squad because he is not totally fit yet, l’ASM will rely on Carrillo or Traoré up front once again. The Argentinian has really struggled since joining the club last summer and Traoré has not been decisive enough.
Toulouse, still 19th in the table, lost in Paris in midweek in the French Cup but played very well. They even took the lead at the Parc des Princes. They also did well in the league against PSG at home last weekend despite another defeat. I think they will cause problems to Monaco. They are well organized, have pace up front and skillful players. They are growing in confidence as well. I can see them getting a point on Sunday.
The odds are in favour of Monaco with a home win at 1.90. A draw is at 3.40 and a Toulouse away win is at 4.30
Lacina Traoré is favourite to score first at 5.50. My best tip is a draw and both teams to score at 4.90.
Score prediction: Monaco 1 Toulouse 1 at 7.00
Lyon – Marseille – Sunday 20:00 GMT
This is the big clash of the weekend in Ligue 1, the Olympico between Olympique lyonnais and Olympique de Marseille on Sunday evening in Lyon’s brand new stadium. They are always special matches and always very entertaining. Last season, those two teams were in the race for the Ligue 1 title with PSG until the end but they have disappointed so far this term.
Marseille are eighth in the table and Lyon ninth. Lyon lost the 100th Derby du Rhone in the French top flight last weekend at St Etienne despite playing well. They had a lot of regrets but they are definitely improving. Bruno Genesio, their new manager, is happy with his team’s displays but now they need to be more efficient offensively. They won easily against a third division team in midweek in the French Cup. Valbuena was back after his injury and scored, Lacazette played well too so the hopes are high before this clash with Marseille.
L’OL have no major injury worries before this huge clash. They have a great record against Marseille too, only losing once,in their last 10 home meetings. They have an edge psychologically for sure. But they are aware of Marseille great form away from home.
Marseille also won in midweek in the Cup, at home against Montpellier and produced a good performance with their first home win in all competitions for two months. It has boosted morale and the team gained momentum with two wins in the last two games (Caen in the league last weekend and Montpellier) before this trip to Lyon. Their form away from home is exceptional with five wins and a draw in their last six league matches away from home.
Lassana Diarra didn’t play in midweek because he was at UEFA in Switzerland for his libel case against his former club Locomotive Moscow. He should be back for Sunday but he would not have trained much in the week. Would he be in the right state of mind to play? He is indispensable for l’OM, especially in the game like this. Apart for Allessandrini, everybody else is fit.
It will be a cracking game in a great atmosphere and I think Lyon will just edge it. They have been playing well since the start of the year and they will get rewarded for their improvement on Sunday night.
The odds are in favour of Lyon with a home win at 2.15. A draw is at 3.25 and a Marseille away win is at 3.60.
Alexandre Lacazette is favourite to score first at 5.00. My best tip is Lyon to win and both teams to score at 4.20. Lyon to score in both halves at 3.20 is also tempting.
Score prediction: Lyon 2 Marseille 1 at 9.50