Nantes - PSG - Sunday 20.00 GMT
PSG are in a very strong position before facing Nantes away from home on Sunday evening. They went back to the top of the table on Tuesday with a 3-1 win at home against Metz. At the time of writing the Parisians are now three points clear of Lyon with an almost similar goal difference (+37 against +39) and just four games to go.
The champions are more favourites than ever to retain their crown for the third year in a row. With their experience, it is hard to think that they can bottle it and let Lyon come back to win the title but they are not taking anything for granted, especially not this game. They are aware that it won’t be an easy match. Nantes recently beat Marseille at home in the league and back in January they defeated Lyon in the French Cup at home as well. But Paris are looking very strong right now.
In their last three league games, they scored twelve goals and Zlatan Ibrahimovic was not even there! The star striker was out suspended and he will make his return on Sunday. The team has payed well without him and Edinson Cavani scored four goals in those three games without Ibra. But the Swede is an exceptional player and even if the team doesn’t have the same fluidity with him than without, it is still stronger when he is there.
In his absence, Javier Pastore was absolutely magnificent and he will have to find a way to be as efficient with Ibra in front of him. Defensively, Thiago Motta and Thiago Silva are both fully fit now and started the game on Tuesday. It has made the team stronger and the momentum is also very positive. If you don’t count the two defeats against Barcelona in the Champions League quarter finals, PSG have won their last seven games in all competitions.
They have also only lost once at Nantes in their last eight visits and won their last three games there in all competitions. They have also beaten them twice already at home this season (2-1 in the league and 2-0 in the French Cup). They will be very hard to stop but the pressure of their title race with Lyon is there. However, they are full of confidence before this away game at Nantes.
For the home side, the victory against Marseille two weeks ago (1-0) was a great achievement. But the draw at Toulouse last weekend (1-1) was not as great. It is the story of this team this season: very inconsistent and unpredictable. There is talent there but you never know what kind of Nantes team will turn up.
They could very good against the top teams like when they beat Lyon and l’OM or drew with Lyon as well earlier in the season. They will have to rely on the pace of Gapke up front and be very strong collectively and defensively. They played well on the counter attack against Marseille and they will have to do the same on Sunday. However. I think PSG will not slip up and will get the three points.
The odds are massively in favour of PSG with an away win at 1.35. A draw is at 4.50 and a Nantes home win is at 10.00.
Edinson Cavani is favourite to score first at 3.45. My best tip is PSG to score from a penalty at 5.50 as no team in Europe has got more penalties than PSG this season.
Score prediction: Nantes 0 PSG 2 at 6.25