Julien Laurens' Ligue 1 Betting: Magnificent Monaco to keep their spot at the summit of the table


Guingamp - Lyon

Things are complicated at the moment for Lyon, who travel to Guingamp on Saturday. L’OL were beaten by St Etienne last weekend and Alexandre Lacazette was booed by his own fans in midweek during the victory against Nancy (4-0). The striker expressed his desire to leave the club at the end of the season and the fans reacted badly to his comments. Lacazette was distraught by the boos but still put great effort in. He has 10 goals and two assists in his last nine matches! However, there are a lot of tensions at the moment around the club.

Since the end of December, Lyon have been up and down in terms of results and performances. They are still fourth in the table but if they want to catch Nice in third (12 points clear with a game more played), they need to put on a great run of results. It starts away at Guingamp on Saturday. Corentin Tolisso is still suspended while Rafael and Valbuena are out injured. Diakhaby is doubtful. At least, Ghezzal is back from his suspension and Nkoulou, back from the Africa Cup of Nations, is also in the squad. Memphis Depay scored his first goal for his new club in midweek against Nancy, which will give him a boost after a disappointing start. Manager Bruno Genesio has ditched his 4-3-3 formation for a 4-2-3-1 less solid but which is better for Fekir and gives more option up front. He might go back to the 4-3-3 on Saturday.

For Guingamp, 2017 is a nightmare so far. The team was fifth at Christmas and are now ninth after two draws and four defeats in their last six league matches! They need to react and find a way to get back to winning. This is a tough game, as they know Lyon will be well up for it. But Guingamp have been strong at home where they beat PSG back in December for example. However, I think this game will end as a draw.

The odds are in favour of Lyon with an away win at 2.00. A draw is at 3.40 and a Guingamp home win is at 3.90.

Alexandre Lacazette is favourite to score first at 4.35. My best tip is a draw at half time and a draw at full time at 5.10.

Score prediction: Guingamp 1 Lyon 1 at 7.00

 

Monaco - Metz

Monaco had to fight hard to beat Montpellier away in midweek (2-1) but it means that they are still three points clear of PSG and Nice. They are coping well with the pressure of being in the lead and they host Metz on Saturday evening. They are taking nothing for granted but this should be a straightforward win.

Monaco have been on fire this season, only losing four of their 39 games in all competitions so far. They are scoring for fun (they average three goals scored per league game this season) and Metz’s defence is not the strongest either. However, Monaco have injury worries. Germain and Sidibé had to come off against Montpellier and they are both out, while Emerson is suspended after his red card in midweek. Carrillo is also still injured and Falcao didn’t train on Wednesday but he should be ok. Manager Leonardo Jardim will rotate his squad once again with Boschilia likely to start like Diallo, Touré and Mbappé.

 

Mentally, Monaco were really strong in midweek and they seemed driven. There are only 14 games to play and the players believe they can win the title ahead of PSG, which would be a great achievement. They have won nine of their last ten games, drawing the other one (away at PSG). They have a lot of momentum and confidence going into this game.

Metz also have momentum and confidence. They have won their last two league matches and only lost one of their last six! They beat Marseille last weekend and even got a point away at Nice a few weeks before. They will try to reproduce the same game plan on Saturday at Monaco to get a similar point. However, I think Monaco will be too strong. They have been great at home, bar the defeat against Lyon (3-1), and they will beat Metz quite easily.

The odds are massively in favour of Monaco with a home win at 1.24. A draw is at 6.50 and a Metz away win is at 11.00.

Radamel Falcao is favourite to score first at 4.10. My best tip is Monaco to win both halves at 2.38.

Score prediction: Monaco 3 Metz 0 at 8.50