Laurens: PSG face bogey team Guingamp but will be a totally different team with Neymar in the line-up


WEEK 2

Nantes v Marseille, Saturday 4pm

Marseille travel to Nantes on Saturday afternoon after starting their season with a win last weekend. At home, l’OM beat Dijon (3-0) but had to wait until the second half to dominate the game and start scoring. Before that, they were very poor. Clinton Njie made a huge difference when he came on for the injured Payet. The former Tottenham player scored twice and led Marseille to the win.

Payet is out injured for the game on Saturday and Njie will start on the left hand side in the 4-3-3 formation chosen by the manager Rudi Garcia. He will be hoping that his team can play the whole game like in the second half of last weekend. He wants more movement and creativity up front, where Valère Germain was too isolated at times in the first 45 minutes against Dijon.

New signing Jordan Amavi is not on the bench as he is not ready yet with Patrice Evra starting at left back. Payet is the only player missing for the visitors. Marseille don’t have a good record against their old rival Nantes, having won only one of their last six visits there in the league.

The home side are already under pressure to win after being battered by Lille in the first game last weekend. They were just not good enough on the day. They will have to be more aggressive on Saturday, at home, in front of a sell-out crowd as well. Their new manager Claudio Ranieri will keep his 4-4-2 formation but will start his new signing Ciprian Tatarusanu in goal. Left back Lucas Lima is also back from suspension. The manager expects a reaction from his players. Nantes have won five of their last seven league home matches. However, I think it will be a draw between these two teams on Saturday.

The odds are in favour of Marseille with an away win at 2.25. A draw is at 3.30 and a Nantes home win is at 3.30.

Valère Germain is favourite to score first at 5.20. My best tip is a draw and both teams to score at 4.40.

Score prediction: Nantes 1 Marseille 1 (6.40)

 

Dijon v Monaco, Sunday 4pm

Monaco, the reigning French champions, who travel to Dijon on Sunday afternoon, started their season well last weekend with a home win against Toulouse (3-2). They had to work hard for it after twice falling behind. But they showed great character to come back and get three points. It was not a vintage performance from the Champions and it was a bit nervy at times but the most important was to win.

L’ASM has had a week to prepare for this game away at Dijon. Monaco are huge favourites even if they only drew there last season. The manager, Leonardo Jardim, wants his team to improve both defensively and offensively. Falcao and Kylian Mbappé will both start up front in the 4-4-2 formation. Thomas Lemar and Rony Lopes should start on both wings as well. Almany Touré is the only player out which means that Sidibé will start on the right and Jorge on the left.

Confidence and momentum are high for the team at the moment. The players are approaching this game with a lot of determination to win, even away from home. Defensively, you can expect Monaco to be far more solid than in the first game.

Dijon lost comprehensively in Marseille last weekend (3-0) but played well throughout the first half. The players then got tired and crumbled but they are a good side, well organised. They should be fitter than last week too and will try to hit Monaco on the counter, like Toulouse last weekend. But I think that Monaco, even away from home, will be too strong for Dijon.

The odds are massively in favour of Monaco with an away win at 1.52. The draw is at 4.10 and a Dijon home win is at 6.25.

Kylian Mbappé is favourite to score first at 3.85. My best tip is Monaco to win both halves at 3.90.

Score prediction: Dijon 0 Monaco 2 (8.50)

 

Guingamp v PSG, Sunday 8pm

PSG travel to Guingamp on Sunday and Neymar will make his debut for his new team. He should even start. The Brazilian superstar missed last weekend’s win against Amiens at the Parc des Princes. It was a bit shaky from the Parisians but understandable with the changes made. But Neymar will play for a bit this weekend and this is a huge boost for the team.

PSG should stay in a 4-3-3 formation with Neymar either on the left or in the centre. It will be a very attacking line up chosen by Unai Emery. Paris didn’t have Neymar last weekend at home against Amiens but the Parisians easily started the season with a win. Thiago Silva is back after coming off at half time in the first game. Lucas is a doubt while Serge Aurier is out like Jesé, Ben Arfa and Krychowiak, all on their way out.

PSG usually struggle away at Guingamp. They lost there last season for example but with Neymar, this will be a totally different team. The other players are so excited to start playing with the Brazilian number 10. It is a very exciting time for the club and the fans. The game will be a sell out and Guingamp are hoping they can surprise the Parisians.

They are always very good at home against them and Neymar’s debut will add to the challenge to beat them again. There is no pressure on the home side. Guingamp should play in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation with Jimmy Briand on his own up front. Guingamp won last weekend and Etienne Didot is back from suspension.

I think it will be very hard for Guingamp to stop Neymar and PSG who will have to work hard but will win.

The odds are massively in favour of PSG with an away win at 1.26. The draw is at 6.10 and a Guingamp home win is at 10.00.

Edinson Cavani is favourite to score first at 3.10. My best tip is Neymar to score in the first half at 4.00.

Score prediction: Guingamp 0 PSG 2 (6.75)