PSG - Evian
PSG had a terrible last weekend where they got beaten away at Bastia (4-2) despite being 2-0 up after just 20 minutes. They are now fourth in the table and under massive pressure despite their solid win against St Etienne in the League Cup quarter final on Tuesday evening (1-0). They cannot afford anything else than a win on Sunday against strugglers Evian at the Parc des Princes.
The crisis is there already though. The club is 4th in the table, three points behind Marseille and four behind the new leaders Lyon. A lot of people are actually even wondering if they will retain their title whereas they were the massive favourites at the start of the season. Laurent Blanc is under intense pressure too. He has been struggling to manage this team and to get the best out of his players. Too many PSG big stars, like Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva or Thiago Motta have underperformed this season. They didn’t carry the team as they should have done and the results have suffered.
Now, it is time to wake up for the Parisians and Evian could be on the end of a battering on Sunday if this team starts finally to play at its best. PSG have a good record against them at home but they have always found it difficult playing against them and breaking their defence. However, Lavezzi and Cavani will be back for this game and will want to prove a point after being dropped for the last three games. Ibra also seems that he has his mojo back. He looks angry and he is always at his best when he is angry. He could have a big game on Sunday.
Like every year, Evian are fighting not to go down and have been quite inconsistent this season, as usual. They have had good games and more difficult ones, especially away from home. They are preparing themselves for a big fight. They like facing PSG. They drew at home earlier in the season and beat them twice too recently in the league and in the cup.
They have nothing to lose on Sunday at the Parc des Princes and they will make life very difficult for the champions who have to win this weekend. And I think PSG will finally play at their best and get a win.
The odds are largely in favour of PSG with a home win at 1.17. The draw is at 7.00 and an Evian away win is at 17.00.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is favourite to score first at 3.10 and my best tip is Ibra to score at least 2 goals at 4.00
Score prediction: PSG 3 Evian 0 at 6.75
Marseille - Guingamp
The start of 2015 has been very difficult for Marseille. After being knocked out of the French Cup by 4th division club Grenoble in the first weekend of the year, l’OM were beaten at Montpellier in the league last weekend. They have lost their position at the top of the table to Lyon as well and you can tell that they are struggling a bit physically after a very tiring first half of the season.
This game is massively important then for Marcelo Bielsa and his players. They cannot afford a third defeat in a row which has never happened so far this season. By the time they kick off their game against Guingamp at the Stade Vélodrome, they could be fourth in the table if St Etienne and PSG have both won before them. So they will be under pressure due to their recent results and also their possible position at kick off.
They need to react and show that they can stay in the race for the title until the end of the season. The problem is that they are not as strong as they used to be earlier. They don’t score as many, like Gignac who started with 10 goals in the first 10 league games and has 2 in 10 since. Payet also looks shattered and is less effective. They are more fragile at the back after the departure of Nkoulou to the African Cup of Nations while Imbula is too often too isolated in midfield.
They will need to find solutions to all this problems but this is a tricky game for a not-in-form Marseille. Having to face Guingamp is not a present at all. The French Cup winners last season are difficult to play against. They lost in midweek in the League Cup at Monaco (2-0) but they played very well and were down to 10 men for an hour almost.
They will miss Mandate, who got the red card, but they have one of the men in form in Ligue 1 in Claudio Beauvue. They can cause problems to the Marseille defence. They also defend well and Gourvennec, their manager, is very astute and clever tactically. It will be a very interesting battle between the two teams and the two managers and I think Marseille have a lot to lose on Sunday.
The odds are in big favour of Marseille with a home win at 1.42. A draw is at 4.40 and a Guingamp away win is at 8.00.
André-Pierre Gignac is favourite to score first at 3.70 and my best tip is both teams to score at 2.00.
Score prediction: Marseille 1 Guingamp 1