Lorient – Marseille – Saturday 16:00 GMT
Marseille’s poor season continued on Wednesday with a disappointing 1-1 draw away at Gazelec Ajaccio. The game was postponed 10 days ago because of the bad weather in Corsica and Marseille, despite opening the scoring, could not get the three points.
Marseille travel to Lorient on Saturday and are still 11th in the table, far from the Champions League places, which was their objective at the start of the season. They have drawn 14 games so far this season in Ligue 1, more than anyone else. They are unbeaten away from home since October but they have not won at home since September! It is an incredible season, especially considering that they were in the title race at this stage last year!
L’OM will be happy that this game is away as they are clearly more at ease far from the Vélodrome. However, seeing how poor they were on Wednesday at Ajaccio, you do wonder what kind of Marseille team will turn up in Brittany. Michel is being criticised more and more, by the fans and even by his own players. They are not impressed at all by his methods and the results are not in his favour either.
L’OM played in a 4-4-2 formation for the last few games with Fletcher and Batshuayi up front but could come back to a 4-2-3-1 this weekend. They have a good record at Lorient, with two wins and a draw in their last three visits there in Ligue 1. It will give them a bit of confidence.
For Lorient, 12th in the table, it’s the opportunity to overtake Marseille in the league. They are in good form with only one defeat in their last seven games in all competitions. They are on the up and have qualified as well for the French Cup semi-final. They will face PSG at home in April. For now, they will focus on the league where they are unbeaten at home since January and a loss against Monaco. They will make it difficult for Marseille and I think will get a point.
The odds are in favour of Marseille with an away win at 2.30. A draw is at 3.25 and a Lorient home win is at 3.25.
Michy Batshuayi is favourite to score first at 5.40. My best tip is a draw and both teams to score at 4.60.
Score prediction: Lorient 2 Marseille 2 at 15.00
Troyes – PSG – Sunday 13:00 GMT
PSG travel to Troyes on Sunday afternoon, four days after beating Chelsea in the Champions League and qualifying for the last-eight of the competition. The French champions were impressive at times at Stamford Bridge and after two league games without a win (defeat 2-1 at Lyon and draw 0-0 at home against Montpellier) they will be looking to go back to winning ways. They will have the momentum from their Champions League win.
This could be a key game for them as they could be crowned French champions for the fourth season in a row as early as this weekend! They are indeed still 23 points clear of Monaco with only nine games to go.
So, if Monaco don’t win against Reims on Friday and PSG get a victory on Sunday, they will be out of reach and officially champions. They will play for something and they were disappointed by the last two league results even if it didn’t change anything in the table and in the course of the club’s season.
PSG want to be champions as early as possible to then focus on the Champions League, which is the big priority now. Laurent Blanc could rotate his team as well with Kurzawa, Van der Wiel, Pastore, Cavani all possible starter.
They will have a whole week then to prepare their clash with Monaco at the Parc des Princes where they will have another chance to be crowned champions if they are not already this weekend. They travel to Troyes, bottom of the table almost since the start of the season and have only won twice all season in Ligue 1!
It’s bottom vs top and for Troyes, it is the biggest game of the season at home. They know they will go down, even if it’s not official yet. They are 18 points behind the first team outside the bottom three but they will try to finish the season on a high and to do well against PSG. However, it will be a tough evening for them and they will get beaten quite heavily.
The odds are massively in favour of PSG with an away win at 1.28. The draw is at 5.50 and a Troyes home win is at 13.00.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is favourite to score first at 3.05. My best tip is PSG to win both halves at 2.70.
Score prediction: Troyes 0 PSG 3 at 8.50
Rennes – Lyon – Sunday 20:00 GMT
Lyon, who travel to Rennes on Sunday evening in the big clash of the weekend in France, are the most in-form team in Ligue 1 at the moment. They thrashed Guingamp 5-1 last weekend at the Parc OL, a week after being the first (and only for now) team to beat PSG in the league. They are playing some breath-taking football at the moment and are unstoppable. They are now third in the table, after having been as down as low as ninth earlier in the season. They have won five out of their last six league games and they are now putting Monaco under pressure in the race for the second place.
Lyon are six points behind them but will host Monaco in a few weeks. Bruno Genesio is doing a great job since taking over at the end of December. The team now plays in 4-3-3 formation with a lot of pace and rhythm. They have been very good at home especially, but have suffered a bit more away from home with a surprising defeat at Lille (1-0) three weeks ago and at Bastia (1-0) before that. They need to reproduce away from home what they do in their own stadium. It won’t be easy against a strong Rennes team.
The hosts are fifth in the table, just a point behind Lyon and would overtake them with a win on Sunday evening. So, for them as well, it is a big game. They have in their team, the new prodigy of French football in Ousmane Dembélé. He is only 18 but scored his first hat-trick for Rennes last weekend against Nantes (4-1) in the Brittany derby. He has pace, skills, two great feet and all the big clubs in Europe are after him. This is a big test for him though and it will be very interesting to see how he does against the Lyon defence.
Rennes have lost only one of their last five league matches and are in great form after demolishing Nantes last weekend. It will be a great game and despite Rennes’ good form, I can see Lyon getting the three points there on Sunday.
The odds are in favour of Lyon with an away win at 2.40. The draw is at 3.20 and a Rennes home win is at 3.10.
Alexandre Lacazette is favourite to score first at 5.25. My best tip is Lyon to win and both teams to score at 5.10.
Score prediction: Rennes 1 Lyon 2 at 10.00