Monaco - PSG - Sunday 20.00 GMT
This is the big game of the weekend in Ligue 1. The Champions PSG travel to Monaco who finished second last season. It is 2nd against 4th in the table and a very dangerous game for Paris. Monaco will be on fire after their impressive win at Arsenal on Wednesday in the Champions League (3-1) while the Parisians also impressed against Chelsea (1-1) in that competition the previous week.
Let’s start with the visitors and a PSG team getting back to its best collectively and individually.
They beat Toulouse easily last weekend and are now two points behind Lyon. but they know they need a perfect end of the season to retain their league title. This is a massive game for them and they will face Monaco again, but in Paris this time on Wednesday in the French Cup quarter-finals. For now, it is Ligue 1 that matters and Laurent Blanc still has some key players missing. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is suspended. Lucas, Cabaye and Aurier are still injured while Motta is not fit yet to come back in the squad and will also miss out on this game.
It is a shame as him and Lucas are two very important players for PSG. But Blanc has a big squad enough to deal with it. Verratti and Luiz are back from suspension which is good. Rabiot was outstanding last weekend with two goals against Toulouse and would deserve to keep his place. Luiz can play in midfield if needed while Pastore is now back to full fitness and looked very good against Toulouse too. Paris need to keep their momentum. They have a good run of eight wins and three draws in their last 11 games in all competitions. But Paris have not won away in Monaco since 2007 and they drew their last two league games over in the Principality.
However, the big problem for PSG is the absence of Zlatan. The striker is suspended for this game and it is a massive blow for the champions.
This is the kind of game where you need your best player. They will have to cope without him and the team plays so differently without Ibra. But Cavani is back scoring and Verratti and Silva are in the form of their lives. They will need to carry the team on Sunday and Paris will need a perfect collective performance to beat this incredible Monaco side.
Even without their back four, Jardim and his players pulled out of the biggest upset of the Champions League by beating Arsenal in midweek. It was a superb performance, one that no one had predicted before kick off. They were perfect from start to finish and Jardim and his men deserve credit for it. It has boosted their confidence and momentum for sure for this Sunday clash.
Yes, they still have a few big players out like Raggi, injured or Abdennour, suspended. But Carvalho could be back and Ferreira Carrasco and Kurzawa, rested for most of the Arsenal game, will be fit and ready. Monaco will still be very hard to break with the players they have, whoever plays with Wallace at the back. They were very strong in midfield against Arsenal and will fight hard against PSG too. They have a great team spirit and work ethic as well. Physically, they lost a lot of energy in London but they will still give a proper game to the Parisians. However, I still expect the visitors to get a narrow win.
The odds are in favour of PSG with an away win at 2.25. The draw is at 3.10 and a Monaco home win is at 3.40.
Edison Cavani is favourite to score first at 5.20 and my best tip is PSG to win without conceding a goal at 3.25.
Score prediction: Monaco 0 PSG 1 at 6.75