Julien Laurens' Ligue 1 Betting: PSG to pile the pressure on Monaco with another home victory

Nancy - Marseille - Friday 7:45 PM

Marseille travel to Nancy on Friday evening, five days after hammering St Etienne at the Stade Velodrome. After three draws in a row, l’OM finally put things right with a great performance against les Verts. They were excellent offensively and had one of their best displays under Rudi Garcia as manager. They are still sixth in the table but just a point behind Bordeaux and not too far from Lyon (three points) who have a game in hand.

Marseille need some momentum now to finish on a high the season with their aim trying to catch Lyon in fourth. It will be hard but they believe they can do it. Bafétimbi Gomis, the captain and striker, is suspended for this game though, which is a big blow. He scored a wonderful goal last weekend and was back to his best. In his absence, Marseille don’t really have a proper replacement so Garcia will have to choose Njie or Cabella up front. But the team will rely once more on Payet and Thauvin on the wings, they were outstanding against St Etienne. In midfield, William Vainqueur is doubtful too with a knee problem so Anguissa could start with Sanson and Lopez. It is at the back that Marseille are the most problematic. They concede too many chances and the plastic pitch at Nancy could be a problem for players like Evra or Rolando.

Marseille have been poor away from home this season with eight defeats already and only three wins. They have to do better on the road and they have a good record at Nancy in the league, with five victories in their last five visits to Marcel Picot!

If Marseille are chasing european places, Nancy are right in their battle against relegation. They are currently 17th, level on points with Lorient in 18th and in the playoff position and just two points clear of 18th place Dijon and three of 19th place Bastia! It is all very tight at the bottom and Nancy are desperate for points. They have not been great at home this season with eight defeats already but they need something special. Even just a point would be a great result. But I think Marseille will follow up their great win against St Etienne with another good performance and a win on Friday.

The odds are in favour of Marseille with an away win at 2.05. A draw is at 3.40 and a Nancy home win is at 3.70.

Remi Cabella is favourite to score first at 6.00. My best tip is Marseille to win without conceding a goal at 3.35.

Score prediction: Nancy 0 Marseille 2 at 10.00


PSG – Montpellier – Saturday 4:00 PM

PSG, who host Montpellier at the Parc des Princes on Saturday afternoon, have a great opportunity to put pressure on Monaco. They are currently level on points with the league leaders but having played a game more. Beating Montpellier will put them three points clear and will surely put Monaco under huge pressure before travelling to Lyon on Sunday. Paris won a miraculous game on Tuesday at Metz when Matuidi scored in the dying seconds to win three crucial points in the title race (3-2) but it was far from perfect from the Parisians. They will have to be focused from start to finish on Saturday, despite the fact that Montpellier, 12th in the table, are safe and have nothing to play for anymore. So it could turn out to be an easy game for the reigning champions.

Unai Emery might decide to rotate a bit, with Pastore, Thiago Silva, Rabiot or Aurier all potentially recalled to the starting eleven. Julian Draxler could also be back from injury and Hatem Ben Arfa from illness. Only Kurzawa should be missing. Therefore, the PSG manager could have many options to pick the right team for this game. Paris cannot afford to drop points. To win the league they need to win all their remaining six matches now, including this weekend. They have been unbeaten at home in Ligue 1 for more than a year, even if they are not always perfect there. They are confident at the moment and feel the late, late win at Metz was a sign that they can retain their title. They have a very good record against Montpellier at the Parc des Princes with just one loss since 2003!

Montpellier are eight points clear of the playoff position and ten of the bottom two. The players know they are safe and will feel no pressure before this match. They are huge underdogs but this game is not going to make a difference anyway. It will be a special one for the Montpellier manager though, Jean-Louis Gasset, who was assistant of Laurent Blanc at PSG for four years and knows the Paris players very well. He will probably play with a back five to try to frustrate the Parisians but overall they will still be too strong and will win.

The odds are massively in favour of PSG with a home win at 1.20. The draw is at 8.00 and a Montpellier away win is at 11.00.

Edinson Cavani is favourite to score first at 3.10. My best tip is PSG to win and both teams to score at 2.43.

Score prediction: PSG 3 Montpellier 1 at 11.00