Lyon – Metz – Sunday 13.00 GMT
Lyon experienced a little hiccup in midweek with a defeat away at Nantes (3-2) in the French Cup. Hubert Fournier put out a very strong eleven and Alexandre Lacazette continued to shine with yet another goal and an assist as well, but Lyon made too many defensive and individual mistakes.
It was only their second defeat in their last 20 games but it showed that they were not invincible. However, the reception of Metz at the Stade Gerland on Sunday afternoon is probably the best fixture possible to bounce back after a defeat.
Lyon are exceptional at home this season with nine wins in a row in the league in their home ground. Only Marseille have done better with 10 in a row. And you can’t see how Metz could stop Lyon’s impressive home run of victories. Once again, the Ligue 1 leaders will rely on their two best players, Lacazette and Fekir.
They are having an outstanding season so far, especially Lacazette who now has 20 goals in 21 league games so far this season. As long as he keeps scoring, Lyon will stay at the top and it is not against Metz that he will stop.
Lyon beat Lens easily last weekend away on a very difficult pitch and destroyed Toulouse at home the previous weekend on their nice Gerland pitch. So it seems that they can adapt to any situation and follow their guide, Lacazette. However, the pressure might get to them at some point.
Maybe not against Metz on Sunday but towards the end of the season as they are a very young squad, not used to being in this situation of leading with Marseille and PSG chasing behind them. Let’s see how they deal with this game and how they make it easy against a team that is the worst away from home in the league (only one win, two draws and eight defeats).
Metz have not won in the league since November and nine games (two draws and seven defeats). They are really struggling, both offensively and defensively and they have a mountain to climb away at Lyon on Sunday. I think they will get hammered by the leaders.
The odds are massively in favour of Lyon with a home win at 1.32. A draw is at 4.90 and a Metz away win is at 10.00.
Alexandre Lacazette is favourite to score first at 3.05. My best tip is Lyon to win both halves at 3.10.
Score prediction: Lyon 3 Metz 0 at 9.00
St Etienne – PSG – Sunday 20.00 GMT
This is the remake of the League Cup quarter final played at the Geoffroy Guichard Stadium 10 days ago. On that day, PSG won thanks to a goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a solid defensive performance overall with a clean sheet.
The French champions were under big pressure in that game, three days after their humiliating defeat at Bastia (4-2) in the league. But they bounced back and have won their next two matches too, against Evian (4-2) in the league and Bordeaux (2-1) in the French Cup on Wednesday. So the momentum is coming back little by little.
The team is not playing great but there are some positive signs. Cavani was excellent against Bordeaux while Ibra was rested. Cabaye did very well too in midfield, like Marquinhos at the back. Overall, the team is in a much better place travelling to St Etienne this weekend than 10 days ago. And Paris have a good record in St Etienne where they have not lost in the league since 2008.
Laurent Blanc will also be able to field his strongest team as everybody is now fit. The only question mark could be over Ibrahimovic. He is the leader of the team but he has been underperforming so far this season. He might not be totally over the heel injury that kept him out for eight weeks between September and November. He is frustrated and quite angry and he has not scored in the league for four games now, his longest goalless streak.
But he likes facing St Etienne. He scored a hat-trick at the Parc des Princes against them back in September and he netted the winner in the League Cup ten days ago too. The problem for St Etienne is that their big centre half Bayal Sall got injured in their French Cup game against Tours (5-3) in midweek and he will miss the game.
The list of injured players is starting to be significant for Les Verts as Hamouma and Theophile-Catherine are also a big doubt, Clerc, Cohade and Corgnet are out while Pogba and Diomandé are away at the Africa Cup of Nations.
St Etienne is the best defence in Ligue 1 (13 goals conceded) but they also struggle to score (only 24 goals scored in 21 games). They will be hard to break down for PSG on Sunday evening once again but I do think that PSG will take the three points.
The odds are in favour of PSG with an away win at 2.12. The draw is at 3.30 and a St Etienne home win is at 3.50.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is favourite to score first at 4.00 and my best tip is under 1.5 goals scored at 3.00.
Score prediction: St Etienne 0 PSG 1 at 7.50