Julien Laurens' Ligue 1 Betting: PSG and Monaco to stick with the ferocious pace at the top

PSG v Lyon, Sunday 8pm

This is the big clash of the weekend in Ligue 1, second against fourth and already a crucial game in the title race and the race for 3rd and 4th place. PSG cannot afford not to win at home against l’OL so they can stay in touch with leaders Monaco. Lyon have Marseille only five points behind them before this weekend and again could be put under pressure if they don’t win in Paris. It will be a fantastic game between two very offensive teams. Lyon have scored four goals again last weekend in their demolition of Toulouse with a goal of the season by Memphis Depay. 

PSG bounced back at Lorient (2-1) after their humiliation in Barcelona in the Champions League last week (6-1). However, Paris will have to be better on Sunday against Lyon than they were at Lorient. Only a top performance will guide them to victory. Marco Verratti is back from suspension which is a huge boost for the team. Lucas, Matuidi and Thiago Motta are also fit but Thomas Meunier remains doubtful. 

If he could not feature, then Serge Aurier would start at right back and enjoy a rare start. This is a huge game for Unai Emery. He will keep his 4-3-3 formation with Draxler, Cavani and Di Maria up front. He will have plenty of options in midfield too (Verratti, Motta, Rabiot, Matuidi, Nkunku, Pastore). At the back, Kimpembe could start alongside Marquinhos. PSG are unbeaten in the league at home this season and have not lost there for a year now! They have an excellent record at home in Ligue 1 against Lyon. Their last defeat was back in 2007 against them and they won eight and drew two in their last ten visits. 

Lyon played in midweek and knocked out Roma in the Europa League which is a wonderful result. It will boost their confidence even more. They are playing really well at the moment and have great momentum. They have no injuries or suspensions either so Bruno Genesio will field his strongest team, probably in a 4-3-3 formation to be a bit more solid defensively.

Lacazette will be a big threat up front, once again, and Memphis Depay, who is cup tied in Europe, will be back for this game. He scored the goal of the season last weekend, from the halfway line, and has five goals and four assists in his nine games since joining the club in January. Lyon will be a tough opponent for PSG but I still think the home side will win.

The odds are massively in favour of PSG with a home win at 1.46. The draw is at 3.10 and a Lorient home win is at 8.50.

Edinson Cavani is favourite to score first at 3.45. My best tip is PSG to win both halves at 3.35.

Score prediction: PSG 3 Lyon 1 (11.00)


Caen v Monaco, Sunday 2pm

Monaco knocked out Manchester City in midweek after a wonderful performance and travel to Caen on Sunday afternoon to continue their quest for a league title. They are three points clear of PSG and playing the best football in the country. They have confidence, momentum and loads of talent. Despite Caen beating Nice at home earlier in the season (1-0), this game should not be a problem for Monaco if they take it seriously, which they will.

The win against City has boosted them even more and Leonardo Jardim will field a very strong team even if he will rotate a bit his squad. Djibril Sidibé is suspended so Touré will start at right back. Kamil Glik, suspended in midweek, will come back and Falcao should take part despite missing out the City game too for a little injury.

Moutinho should start in midfield too. The Monégasques put in a great effort against City and this will be their 48th game this season already. At least they can rely on Kylian Mbappé, the 18-year-old prodigy, who scored again in midweek – his 11th goal on 11 games and who is unstoppable at the moment.

Caen, only 15th in the table, still have a few players unavailable (Delaplace, Makengo, Malbranque) but they got a good draw at Nice last week (2-2). However, they had been struggling before that with four defeats and two wins only in their previous six league matches. However, they have got nothing to lose and their striker, Ivan Santini, is having a great season with 12 league goals already, 10 of them at home. Still, Monaco will be far too strong for Caen on Sunday.

The odds are massively in favour of Monaco with an away win at 1.66. A draw is at 4.00 and a Caen home win is at 5.00.

Radamel Falcao is favourite to score first at 4.60. My best tip is Monaco to win without conceding a goal at 3.15.

Score prediction: Caen 0 Monaco 2 (10.00)