Julien Laurens's Ligue 1 Betting: Lille To Make Life Tough For PSG

PSG 1.35 Draw 4.75 Lille 9.50

Before hosting Lille on Saturday at the Parc des Princes, PSG had another horrible Champions League game this week in Barcelona.

After the home defeat last week (3-1), they were outclassed once again at the Camp Nou by a wonderful Barça team (2-0). The Parisians’ performance was not good enough once again individually and collectively. It was a big disappointment and now the French Champions have to refocused on the league and the title race because it won’t be easy to stay ahead of Lyon.

They did well by winning at Nice (3-1) last weekend after the hammering by Barcelona in the first leg. They have to do the same on Saturday against Lille.

Right now they are level on points with Lyon but with a game in hand. So they have the edge in the title race but they cannot afford any mistakes at all. So the pressure will be high before this game and the players will be tired as well.

Saturday will be their seventh game in 21 days. At least Blanc will have Thiago Motta back for this crucial game, although Thiago Silva is out. The manager will be able to rotate the team a bit as well. But first and foremost, Paris need to defend better. They have kept only one clean sheet since March 4th! They have to stop conceding goals.

This is a tricky game against Lille even if PSG have a great home record against them. For the second league game in a row, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is suspended though. It was not a problem against Nice with Cavani starting up front and scoring as well. The Uruguayan will have to do the same on Saturday.

Ibra will also miss the next match, against Metz at home on Tuesday. A win for Paris on Saturday though would put the pressure on Lyon who only play on Sunday. It is a story of cat and mouse between the two clubs at the moment.

Paris can go in front on Saturday and Lyon will have to try and catch them on Sunday.

But it will not be easy for Paris. Even if Lille have only won 5 times in 37 games at the Parc des Princes, they will make life difficult for Paris this weekend. They are a very well organised team, strong defensively with four clean sheets in their last six league games.

They are in very good form as well, probably their best form of the season. They won six and a lost just once of their last seven league games and they are now back in 8th place in the table. They beat Lyon at home back in February that kicked off their very good run of results and gave them a lot of confidence.

Their January signing, young Sofiane Boufal was outstanding in the last two games, especially last weekend against Bordeaux (2-0). He is a Paris kid, born and bred and will want to do well against his hometown.

It will be difficult for PSG, especially four days after their Champions League exit but I still think they will get a narrow win.

Best bet: Under 1.5 goals scored at 3.45

Score prediction: PSG 1-0 Lille at 5.50