Julien Laurens's Ligue 1 Betting: Paris To Win At Lacazette-less Lyon

Lyon 3.55 Draw 3.40 PSG 2.10

This is the biggest game of the season so far. It is without a doubt a title decider, even in February!

The leaders Lyon host the Champions PSG at the Stade Gerland on Sunday evening. Only two points separate the two teams and with Marseille playing on Saturday afternoon at Rennes, the pressure could be massive on those two teams.

Let’s start with the hosts. Lyon are the surprise of the season and have done extremely well to lead the league with 15 games to go. They could only draw at Monaco (0-0) last weekend which cut their lead by two points but this is a massive opportunity for Fournier and his players to show their title credential! If they manage to beat Paris, they will surely become favourite for the title. They are the strongest team at home in the league this season with 11 wins and 1 defeat only.

But they are without Alexandre Lacazette, their best player and main striker. He scored 21 goals in 22 league games this season and carried his team all the way to the top. Without, Lyon struggled offensively last weekend at Monaco. Clearly, something was missing. It will be even more difficult for them on Sunday against PSG.

The confidence is there though for Les Gones with seven wins and a draw in their last eight league games. But the absence of Lacazette is a massive blow. Hubert Fournier, their manager, has started mind games on Friday stating that Zlatan Ibrahimovic was consistently insulting the referees during games. It is very unlikely that it will unsettle the star striker but Frowner was surely trying to influence a bit the referee of the game.

Anyway, PSG will fancy their chances at the Stade Gerland. They love those big games and have the best record against Top 5 teams so far this season.

Their experience and their big players are usually key in those clashes. Thiago Silva is back to his best and the Paris all Brazilian back four with Marquinhos, David Luiz and Maxwell is looking very strong. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not yet back to his best.

He was disappointing against Lille but he is still the players who can win any game for PSG. The club is also on a great run of results with six consecutive wins in all competitions. On Tuesday, they qualified for the League Cup final after beating Lille (1-0).

They didn’t have to try too hard either to win this one and they will be well ready for their trip to Lyon. They know that if they win it, they will be in the leading seat for the title then. And I think they will get the three points on Sunday.

Best bet: Marco Verratti to be booked at 2.20

Score prediction: Lyon 1-2 PSG at 10.00


Guingamp 3.40 Draw 3.10 Monaco 2.25


Once again Guingamp are surprising everybody this season.

They are 11th in the table which is a great achievement considering they are still qualified in the Europa League and have not suffered from being involved in the two competitions. Jocelyn Gourvennec, the manager and the club are doing miracles once again this season.

They have only lost two of their last thirteen games in all competitions! Their striker Claudio Beauvue, who has scored 20 goals in all competitions this season, has been one of the revelations of Ligue 1. He is in fantastic form and everything is going his way. Behind him, the team is playing with a lot of heart and discipline as well.

They have not lost in ligue 1 since mid-november and Monaco are facing a very difficult game. Gourvennec is one of the brightest young french managers and unlike the visitors, his team has not played 120 minutes in midweek before this match. They are hosting Monaco with a lot of confidence on Sunday afternoon.

Indeed, Monaco was knocked out of the League Cup at home in the semi final by Bastia on penalties on Wednesday evening. The Monégasques were really disappointed in the game and didn’t deserve to go through. They left a lot of energy in the tie and this game. They could pay for it physically this weekend.

Monaco are still very strong defensively with 13 clean sheets in their last 14 games in all competitions but don’t create enough chances offensively. They are not scoring enough and this could be an issue again at Guingamp. After their draw against Lyon last weekend (0-0), it means now that Monaco cannot compete for the title anymore.

They are still nine points behind the leaders in 5th place. They are also 7 points behind PSG and Marseille but they will try to put pressure on them to get back in the race for the Champions League places. But this is a tricky game.

Twice Monaco faced Guingamp this season (in the league and in the Cup) and each time, they found it very tough. They were lucky to get a win each time. And this time, I think they will drop two points.

Best bet: Claudio Beauvue to score at anytime at 3.65

Score prediction: Guingamp 1-1 Monaco at 6.50