Julien Laurens’ Ligue 1 Betting: Monaco can clinch the title in emphatic fashion with PSG facing tricky trip to St Etienne


Monaco - Lille

Monaco, who host Lille on Sunday evening, can win the league this weekend with a win against the Northerners. It would be their first Ligue 1 title since 2000 and would reward their fantastic season. They have been great from start to finish. They need three points from their last three league matches (they have a game in hand against St Etienne still to play). They were disappointed on Tuesday when Juventus knocked them out of the Champions League. They won’t reach the final like in 2004 but they can hold their heads high. They had a great run in the competition and they will regroup for this league match.

The manager Leonardo Jardim will make a few changes the team beaten in Turin. Fabinho and Lemar will start. Mendy could be on the bench as he was not fit to start in midweek but only did because Dirar got injured in the warm up. Falcao could be on the bench too with Germain starting, but Jardim will field a very competitive starting eleven for sure. They are motivated to win the league on Sunday evening. They have lost only once at home in Ligue 1 all season, against Lyon in December (3-1), and drew against Guingamp (2-2) on the opening day of the season but for the rest, they have been exceptional, scoring three goals per game at the Stade Louis II. They have netted 98 times in the league this season! They have great momentum and confidence and even if they are tired (it is their 61st game of the season), they will have some energy left in the tank to clinch the title.

Lille are safe and the players are already thinking about their holidays. They were beaten at home by Metz last weekend (2-0) and they have nothing to play for anymore. They lost at Monaco in the French Cup quarter-final (2-1) back in April but they have a good record away at Monaco actually with three draws in their last three visits and a win the year before. However, on this occasion, Monaco will dominate Lille and will get a big win to be crowned French champions.

The odds are massively in favour of Monaco with a home win at 1.18. The draw is at 7.50 and a Lille away win is at 13.00.

Kylian Mbappé is favourite to score first at 3.30. My best tip is Mbappé to score at least two goals at 4.00.

Score prediction: Monaco 4 Lille 0 at 10.00

 

St Etienne - PSG

PSG travel to St Etienne on Sunday evening knowing that Monaco will probably clinch the title at home against Lille at the same time. However, the Parisians will want to finish the season on a high and get to 89 points, which would be the second highest total of points in their history. They need two wins against St Etienne and at home against Caen. The players are disappointed not to be in a position of winning the league but they will do their best to put pressure on Monaco. They know they need a miracle though! Unai Emery, the PSG manager, has to do without Kurzawa who is out for the rest of the season after having surgery. Meunier is a doubt but should be ok, while Motta and Di Maria are still suspended. Cavani, Draxler and Pastore didn't train on Thursday but they will be ok for Sunday. Emery will field a strong team and will hope that Paris continue their great run at St Etienne where they have not lost in the league since 2008!


 


 

On the other hand, St Etienne, currently 7th in the table and who can’t finish 6th, have announced that their manager Christophe Galtier will leave at the end of the season after seven years at the club and despite having another year left on his contract. It is the end of a cycle for Les Verts and the players and the fans will want to end Galtier’s tenure at the club on a high and with a great performance. The stadium will be packed and the atmosphere will be special. St Etienne have only lost one of their last eight league matches. And I think they will battle hard against PSG and will get a point.

The odds are massively in favour of PSG with an away win at 1.33. The draw is at 5.25 and a St Etienne home win is at 9.00.

Edinson Cavani is favourite to score first at 3.20. My best tip is a draw and both teams to score at 7.00.

Score prediction: St Etienne 1 PSG 1 at 11.00

 

Nice - Angers

It has been a wonderful season, again, for Nice, who host Angers on Sunday evening, and the team will want to celebrate it with the fans for the last home game of the campaign. Nice have secured third place in the table and a place in the third qualifying round of the Champions League next season. After their defeat at Marseille last weekend (2-1), they want to bounce back to finish on a high at home, where they are unbeaten this season in the league. They have done so well at the Allianz Riviera, beating Lyon, Marseille, Monaco and PSG for example. Despite all the players missing, especially Cyprien and Plea, two of the best Nice players this season, they have still been very consistent all season, pushing Monaco and PSG all the way. Their win against Paris (3-1), two weeks ago, was surely the highlight of their season. So the players will be well focused and determined to win their last home game.

Lucien Favre, the Nice manager, has been linked with a move to Dortmund which has unsettled the club and the players. He is doing a fantastic job and he wants the players to perform very well one last time at home to reward the fans. Mario Balotelli, the Italian striker, who has scored 15 goals in Ligue 1 so far (12 at home) in what is his best season in his career, could be playing his last home game for Nice too. Favre will field his team in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Balo up front.

Angers, on the other hand, are sure to stay up after their draw last weekend at Lorient. So they have no pressure before this game. They will just want to do well, which they have not done for most of the season away from home (12 defeats in 18 games!). Nice will be too good for this Angers team with nothing to play for and I expect a big win from the home side.

The odds are massively in favour of Nice with a home win at 1.70. A draw is at 3.70 and an Angers away win is at 4.90.

Bafetimbi Gomis is favourite to score first at 4.70. My best tip is Nice to win both halves at 4.70. 

 

Score prediction: Nice 3 Angers 0 at 13.00

 

Bordeaux - Marseille

This is the big game of the weekend. Marseille travel to Bordeaux on Sunday evening for what looks like the final for fifth place. Both teams are fighting for it with Marseille currently in fifth position just a point clear of Bordeaux in 6th. L’OM are only five points behind Lyon in fourth but it’s very unlikely that they could catch l’OL.

So they need to fend off Bordeaux to secure fifth place. It feels like a final and there is a big rivalry between the two clubs. Bordeaux only drew at St Etienne last weekend (2-2) which meant that Marseille, with their win over Nice (2-1), overtook Les Girondins in the table.

Bordeaux want their fifth place back and will fight hard for it. They have been great at home since the beginning of 2017, especially with their front three of Malcolm, Laborde and Kamano. Their last and only loss at home in 2017 was in February against PSG.

They also have an incredible home record against Marseille. Their last defeat was 40 years ago, back in 1977. They have not lost to Marseille in their ground in 31 matches (20 wins, 11 draws). It is the longest unbeaten run in French football top flight history.

However, they have their two centre halves suspended (Pallois and Lewczuk) so Toulalan will drop from midfield to play at the back with Jovanovic. The absence of Toulalan in midfield will be a blow though. But Bordeaux have some momentum and confidence.

Like Marseille, their win against Nice last weekend (2-1) was superb. They really want to finish in fifth place and the manager Rudi Garcia has motivated his players all week for it. Thauvin came off in the first half last weekend through injury but he is fit again to start on Sunday. Septic, who would face his former club, is doubtful.

But the OM front three with Thauvin, Payet and Gomis is in great form and they will create a lot of chances. I think Marseille can finally end their Bordeaux curse by getting all three points on Sunday.

The odds are in favour of Bordeaux with a home win at 2.40. A draw is at 3.45 and a Marseille away win is at 2.90.

François Kamano is favourite to score first at 6.10. My best tip is Marseille to win and both teams to score at 4.90.

Score prediction: Bordeaux 1 Marseille 2 at 10.50 

 

Montpellier - Lyon

Lyon travel to Montpellier on Sunday, four days after their heartbreaking elimination in the Europa League semi-final by Ajax. They were so close but it is a huge disappointment for the players and the club and the fans to miss out on the first European final in their history.

They blew their chances in the first leg with an incredibly poor performance. They have been really poor at defending this season and are totally unbalanced defensively. Offensively, they have great talent like Fekir or Lacazette but it’s not always enough.

This is a tricky game for them, away at Montpellier. Lyon have not performed well away from home in 2017 with defeats at Guingamp for example or at St Etienne. They have a full squad available for this game as Memphis Depay, cup tied in Europe, is back in the squad and should start on the wing.

Mammana should be back in the squad like Yanga Mbiwa to give more defensive options to the manager Bruno Genesio. He needs to find the right balance if he wants to get something out of this game. Lyon are not yet sure to finish fourth.

They need at least a point to make sure they do which would be very important for them. However, the question is how will they deal with the disappointment of the Europa League? I don’t think they will be up for this game at Montpellier.

Montpellier still need a point to make sure they safe and in Ligue 1 next season. They will play with a lot of motivation and intensity as well, in front of their fans for their last home game of the season. They will want to finish on a high. They already beat PSG, Marseille and Bordeaux at home. However, their current form is not that great with just two wins in their last 10 league matches. I still think they will be hungrier than Lyon and will get three points with a narrow win.

The odds are in favour of Lyon with an away win at 2.30. The draw is at 3.40 and a Montpellier home win is at 3.10.

Alexandre Lacazette is favourite to score first at 4.35. My best tip is Montpellier to win without conceding a goal at 7.00.

 

Score prediction: Montpellier 1 Lyon 0 at 15.00