PSG are still eight points clear of Monaco at the top of the table after both teams won last Sunday in two big Ligue 1 clashes: PSG beat St Etienne (who are fourth) easily at home but Monaco suffered away at fifth-placed Lyon. Monaco is the place to be this week as they host third placed Lille in another massive Ligue 1 game, but first comes PSG’s trip to Lorient on Friday night.
Lorient 7.05, the draw 4.35, Paris SG 1.45
PSG were once again untouchable last Sunday against St Etienne.
Despite playing against their bogey team, the Parisians played a perfect first half where Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice, and then they controlled the rest of the game to continue their incredible run of seven wins in a row in all competitions.
When their star striker is in this mood, it is almost impossible to stop him and the St Etienne defenders could do nothing against him last Sunday. The fact that Ibra was decisive again was not a surprise. However, there were more positives: Blanc gave Yohan Cabaye a rare start to rest Marco Verratti, Edinson Cavani and Ibra played very well together and the team kept a clean sheet despite conceding a few chances after the break.
Nevertheless, they were never really tested and it will be the same here. Lorient are going through a big crisis in terms of management. It is probably the best time to play the Merlus considering the chaos they are going through, although PSG don’t need that. They have always done well in Brittany. They have lost only once in their last eight visits at the Stade du Moustoir.
They won 3-1 last season and the artificial pitch there doesn’t seem to be a problem at all for the Champions. They trained on the same surface this week to get used to it but Paris are so dominant at the moment, home and away, that nothing seems able to disturb them.
Lorient were rocked this week by a new rift between their owner and their manager. Christian Gourcouff is the soul of the club and has been in charge, in total, for 25 years taking the team from lower divisions to the top flight.
He is at war with the owner Loic Féry and has rejected the offer of a new deal given by the club. Gourcuff is out of contract in June and his departure will be a disaster for the club. They are 12th in the table after an up and down season so far. They are capable of playing very well, like when they almost beat Monaco at home (2-2) but the turmoil at the top of the club is having a bad impact on the team and the results too.
They have won only two of their last 11 league games, losing five. Last weekend, they were beaten comprehensively by Sochaux, who are 19th in the table, after a non-performance.
It will be really tough for them. They are struggling to score goals. Their best scorer, Vincent Aboubakar (12 goals in Ligue 1) has not found the net in six weeks now. PSG will be too strong for them and I think they will be easily beaten.
Ibra is favourite to score first at 3.50, but my best tip is PSG to win both halves at 3.60.
Score prediction: Lorient 1 PSG 3 (12.50)