Laurens: Neymar inspired PSG will continue perfect start but Marseille’s standards could slip


WEEK 3

PSG v Toulouse, Sunday 8pm

PSG are getting ready for Neymar’s home debut on Sunday evening at the Parc des Princes against Toulouse. The Brazilian superstar impressed on his debut las weekend at Guingamp (3-0) with a goal and an assist. He was excellent and now the home fans will finally see him.

Greatness is expected from him again. He will know his teammates even better and will be even fitter than last weekend. Neymar made PSG better on his debut. With him, Unai Emery kept his 4-3-3 formation and should do again on Sunday. PSG lost Blaise Matuidi who is on his way to Juventus but he had become a fringe player anyway.

So the Parisians should have the same starting XI as last weekend with Cavani and Di Maria alongside Neymar up front. Emery has all his players available and will field his strongest side. PSG have not lost in their last 34 home league matches, a record.

Toulouse managed to get a point at the Parc des Princes last season with a very defensive performance. They will try to do it all over again. However, they have a really bad record in Paris with eight consecutive defeats prior to the 0-0 of last season. They played well in Monaco on Matchday 1 and lost narrowly (3-2) before beating Montpellier last weekend (1-0) but without playing well.

They should have Diop back from injury but Michelin is out. The Toulouse manager could field his team in a 3-5-2 formation. With Neymar, PSG are in a different league and they will show it again on Sunday. Even if they will have to work hard for a victory against Toulouse, they will get it, winning 2-0. Neymar will likely score the first goal (3.50) but my best bet is a draw at half time and a PSG win at full time.

The odds are massively in favour of PSG with a home win at 1.08. The draw is at 11.50 and a Toulouse away win is at 23.00. Edinson Cavani is favourite to score first at 2.75.

Score prediction: PSG 2-0 Toulouse (7.00)

First goal prediction: Neymar (3.50)

Safe bet: Draw HT PSG FT (4.40)



Marseille v Angers, Sunday 4pm

Marseille, who host Angers on Sunday afternoon, have the started the season very well with two wins in two matches. They haven’t always played well but they have managed to take six points to be at the top of the table with PSG, Monaco and Lyon for example. They will be looking to continue their winning streak against Angers.

It will not be an easy game but l’OM players are full of confidence at the moment. They also drew away in Slovenia against Domzale in the Europa League playoff on Thursday evening (1-1). Fitness wise, it could have an impact because manager Rudi Garcia played his strongest team in midweek and will do so again probably on Sunday.

Dimitri Payet is still out though so Lucas Ocampos could replace him on the right hand side with Florian Thauvin on the left and Valère Germain in the centre. Rolando is also a doubt at the back after missing the midweek game so Gregory Sertic could replace him alongside Adil Rami. The Marseille players have played a lot already this season but they have a good momentum going with them at the moment. They have a good home record against Angers, despite being beaten by them at the Velodrome two seasons ago.

The visitors will try to reproduce that performance. They will want to frustrate Marseille and play on the counter. They will also be very dangerous on set pieces too. They have nothing to lose in Marseille but they started their season well too with a win and a draw so far so Marseille can’t take them lightly. So I think it will be a draw 1-1 between those two sides. I think that Florian Thauvin will score first at 6.00 and my best bet is a draw and both teams to score.

The odds are massively in favour of Marseille with a home win at 1.60. A draw is at 4.00 and a Angers home win is at 5.50. Valère Germain is favourite to score first at 4.50.

Score prediction: Marseille 1-1 Angers (7.50)

First goal prediction: Florian Thauvin (6.00)

Best bet: Draw and both teams to score (5.25)



Lyon v Bordeaux, Saturday 4pm

This is the big game of the weekend in Ligue 1. Lyon, the league leaders before Matchday 3, host Bordeaux on Saturday afternoon. There is a little rivalry since a few years back between the two clubs so it should be a tasty match. Both sides are also quite attacking. The home side has started the season very well with two convincing victories against Strasbourg (4-0) and away at Rennes.

Mariano Diaz, Lyon’s new striker, has scored in both, like Nabil Fekir, who is looking sharp again as well. Defensively, Lyon don’t always look very secure but experienced new signing at centre half Marcelo is a great addition to the team. Lyon are looking good and efficient at the moment.

This is without a doubt their biggest test so far though. Strasbourg and Rennes were not as strong as this Bordeaux team is so far this season. Lyon will be careful as well because Bordeaux won at the Parc OL last season, convincingly as well (3-1).

The visitors are very strong when they can play on the counter attack and they intend to do just that on Saturday at Lyon. They gained confidence after two first good results, a win and a draw. They will be without their striker Diego Rolan and defender Maxime Poundjé who want to leave the club. But Brazilian winger Malcolm, who is wanted by Wolfsburg, has decided to stay which is a big boost by the club. He will start on the left in a 4-3-3 formation.

I think Bordeaux have the potential to frustrate Lyon and get a point at the Parc OL. I think the game will end 1-1. Nabil Fekir will score first at 5.75 and my best bet is a draw at half time and a draw at full time at 6.75.

The odds are massively in favour of Lyon with a home win at 1.60. A draw is at 4.10 and a Bordeaux away win is at 5.40. Mariano Diaz is favourite to score first at 4.60. 

Score prediction: Bordeaux 1-1 Lyon (8.00)

First goal prediction: Nabil Fekir (5.75)

Best bet: Draw HT/Draw FT (6.75)