Marseille v Dijon, Saturday 4pm
Marseille host Dijon on Saturday at the Stade Velodrome looking to get back to winning ways after their poor 0-0 draw away at Lille just before the international break. L’OM are still fifth in the table and have the ambition to overtake Lyon in fourth.
They are currently only four points behind and a win at home against Dijon would put pressure on Lyon who only play on Sunday. Marseille would be back just a point behind l’OL then. After two convincing wins against Lorient (4-1) and Angers, the draw at Lille was a step back. But Rudi Garcia is confident his team will bounce back on Saturday.
Bafetimbi Gomis will start this game, seven weeks after his last start due to an injury. He has scored 16 league goals this season for the club and is the captain. His return to form is a big boost. Patrice Evra is also back with the team and could start at left-back ahead of Henri Bedimo, who played in his absence.
Everybody else is available for Garcia who should continue with a 4-3-3 formation and the trio Vainqueur-Lopez-Sanson in midfield. Florian Thauvin was called up for the first time with France during this international break. He didn’t play a second but it was a great experience for him and a boost for his confidence in a very good season already (10 goals and six assists in the league so far).
For Dijon, this is a game with no pressure at all. No one expects them to get something from their trip to Marseille. However, they have proved that they are always strong against big teams (draw with Monaco, beat Lyon for example earlier in the season). However, this is a big task away from home where they have only won once, with nine defeats and five draws. I think Marseille will be too strong for Dijon on Saturday.
The odds are massively in favour of Marseille with a home win at 1.40. A draw is at 4.75 and a Dijon away win is at 7.50.
Bafétimbi Gomis is favourite to score first at 4.25. My best tip is Marseille to win both halves at 3.15.
Score prediction: Marseille 3 Dijon 0 (10.50)
Rennes v Lyon, Sunday 2pm
This is another very interesting clash on Sunday afternoon between Rennes, 8th in the table after three draws in their last three league matches, and Lyon in 4th, eleven points clear of them. Lyon were beaten away at PSG in the last league game before the international break and they have to be careful that the teams behind them (St Etienne, Marseille and Bordeaux) don’t come back on them.
Lyon dream, as well, to come back on Nice, fourteen points clear of them in the table. So they need a victory away at Rennes on Saturday. It is a big game for them, especially with the Europa League quarter-final against Besiktas coming up soon. Emmanuel Mammana is the only player missing and he should be replaced at the back by Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa who was not good in Paris and some key players like Alexandre Lacazette and Nabil Fekir have been able to rest during the international break as they were not called up by France.
On the other hand, coronation Tolisso, Lyon’s best player this season after Lacazette, celebrated his first cap with Les Bleus which will boost him for the rest of the season. Lyon have lost seven times on the road this season, but their league record at Rennes is actually quite good with only one loss in their last seven visits.
If Rennes want to keep some hope of finishing in the top six, they need a huge win on Saturday. They have been strong at home with only two defeats in 15 league matches this season so far and they are unbeaten in their last four. They have prepared this game very well tactically with Christian Gourcuff. It will be a special game for his son Yoann Gourcuff who played for Lyon for five seasons before joining Rennes last year. I think Rennes will be well organised but I can see Lyon winning over there.
The odds are massively in favour of Lyon with an away win at 1.83. The draw is at 3.80 and a Rennes home win is at 4.10.
Alexandre Lacazette is favourite to score first at 3.80. My best tip is Lyon to win without conceding a goal at 3.55.
Score prediction: Rennes 0 Lyon 2 (11.00)
Nice v Bordeaux, Sunday 8pm
Nice, who host Bordeaux on Sunday evening, have not won in their last two league matches. They dropped four points against Caen at home (2-2) and away at Nantes (1-1) before the international break. They are third in the table, seven points behind the leaders Monaco and four behind PSG now.
They are out of the title race and they need to focus on finishing third, which would be an incredible achievement for them. They are currently 14 points ahead of Lyon having played a game more. So they are comfortably ahead but this is a tricky game for them. They are still without their two best players in striker Alassane Pléa (11 goals this season) and midfielder Wylan Cyprien (8), both out for the rest of the season.
It is a huge blow for Lucien Favre and the team. Their replacements have done well enough, especially Mario Balotelli who is struggling to rediscover his best form. He was so good in the first half of the season and so poor since the turn of the year. He needs to be decisive again. Nice are also without captain Paul Baysse at the back. However, the team is unbeaten in the league at home (11 wins and 4 draws) and they humiliated Bordeaux last season in the league (6-1) too. Both managers have changed since then but Nice want to get back to winning ways.
Bordeaux’s form is, on the other hand, very good at the moment. They are 6th in the table and in the race for 4th place, only four points behind Lyon in 4th (who have a game in hand though). But the momentum is in Bordeaux’s favour with only two defeats, against PSG and Monaco, in their last 11 league matches! Offensively, they have been very good with Malcolm, Kamano, Laborde or Vada. They will test the Nice defence with their counter attacking game on Sunday and I fancy Bordeaux to get a draw.
The odds are in favour of Nice with a home win at 2.25. A draw is at 3.35 and a Bordeaux away win is at 3.25.
Mario Balotelli is favourite to score first at 5.50. My best tip is over 3.5 goals scored at 3.30.
Score prediction: Nice 2 Bordeaux 2 (6.50)