Julien Laurens' Ligue 1 Betting: Monaco To Lose Further Ground In Race For Second Place

PSG – Caen – Saturday 16:00 GMT

PSG host Caen on Saturday afternoon, four days after being knocked out by Manchester City in the Champions League quarter final. The European competition was the team’s big objective and now the players will need some motivation to keep going in the league this season. They still have a League Cup final and a French Cup semi-final to play but they are already champions so it might be difficult for them to get the desire in every game until the end of Ligue 1. But they need to bounce back.

The league winners were devastated after being beaten by City. A lot of the players didn’t understand Laurent Blanc’s tactics in both legs and the manager is now under massive pressure for the rest of the season. He also needs to find a way to motivate his players for games like this one, at home against Caen.

Thiago Motta is out, as is Marco Verratti but David Luiz and Blaise Matuidi, who were suspended in Manchester, are back in the squad. Javier Pastore played well when he came on against City and he should start on Saturday. He has been struggling with injuries all season but PSG need him to get back on track after a tough last few weeks. The Parc des Princes might not be full on Saturday but the fans, despite the huge disappointment of this week, will still want to show their support to the team and hoping for a big display and a big win.

It is a tough game to approach for Caen. Yes, PSG could still be hungover and really affected from their Champions League exit and then it is a good time for Caen, who have nothing to play for in 9th place in the table, to play them. But Caen could also be the victim of PSG’’s redemption after their defeat at City. The visitors will try to play on their strengths, quick, counter attacking football. They have nothing to lose in Paris. However, I think that the Parisians will bounce back this weekend in the league with a win.

The odds are massively in favour of PSG with a home win at 1.40. The draw is at 4.90 and a Caen away win is at 7.50.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is favourite to score first at 3.45. My best tip is PSG to win both halves at 3.25.

Score prediction: PSG 2 Caen 0 at 8.00


Monaco – Marseille – Sunday 20:00 GMT

This is the big clash of the weekend in Ligue 1, Marseille travel a few miles to Monaco on Sunday evening and this is a huge match for both teams! Marseille could only draw 0-0 last weekend against Bordeaux which angered the fans. The club is now officially for sale but only six points clear of the bottom three and they desperately need points in 14th place in the table. There is a very big tension between the club and the fans, between the owner and the chairman, between the players and the manager as well.

Michel made some very strange choices tactically last weekend against Bordeaux. He should finish the season but he needs to get a win now. They have not won in 10 games in the league now. The problems this season has been the number of draws they have had (16), one every two games almost. They are still without their best player, Lassana Diarra, still injured and Nkoulou is suspended for this game too. Offensively, Batshuayi, Marseille’s best striker, has been on the bench for the last two games. He should come back into the team on Sunday evening and lead his team by example. It is always a big rivalry between Monaco and Marseille and it makes it an even more important game for both sides.

Monaco won this derby twice in the last two seasons (1-0 and 2-0) but Marseille did very well before that with four wins and a draw in their previous five visits. The home side is going through a tough time at the moment. They have lost their last two league games, which is very rare for them and lost their second place in the table too with Lyon overtaking them last weekend thanks to a better goal difference. Monaco were even humiliated at Lille (4-1) last weekend. They are all over the place defensively and in midfield as well while offensively they don’t create enough opportunities. They can’t afford to lose again, especially not against Marseille and Lyon could put them under pressure as they play on Friday evening. I think Monaco are going through a negative spiral and will only manage a draw on Sunday.

The odds are in favour of Monaco with a home win at 2.05. A draw is at 3.30 and a Marseille away win is at 3.85.

Vagner Love is favourite to score first at 5.50. My best tip is a draw and both teams to score at 4.60.

Score prediction: Monaco 1 Marseille 1 at 6.75