Valenciennes 2.75, Draw 3.20, Lyon 2.60 – BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 16.00 Sunday
Lyon (currently fifth) lost a massive game last Sunday at home against arch-enemies St Etienne (2-1). The defeat has ended all their hopes to finish third this season.
They are still in course for the Europa League, a competition they are still in, facing Juventus in the quarter-finals. That’s the problem though. They lose a lot of energy in those European nights and it will be the case again this week before their trip to Valenciennes on Sunday.
On top of that, they have a lot of key players injured like Clement Grenier, Milan Bisevac, Anthony Lopes and Gueida Fofana. Rémi Garde has a small squad and he relies a lot on Bafetimbi Gomis and Alexandre Lacazette up front. They are the only two players on the squad that can make a difference. They combined well to score against St Etienne last weekend with Gomis the provider and Lacazette the scorer.
Lyon don’t do well in Valenciennes too: they have only won once there in their last five visits in the league. They could struggle to cope with the determination of the home side battling for survival.
It is indeed a key game for Valenciennes, 18th in the table. Two weeks ago, they lost at home to bottom of the table and already doomed Ajaccio (3-2) in a crucial game for VA’s survival. They fought back last weekend with a positive draw away at Montpellier (0-0). The momentum is back even if they are still five points behind Evian, the first team outside of the relegation zone. With seven games to go (four at home), they can still stay up but they need a result on Sunday.
In Majeed Waris, the Ghanaian international striker, they have a matchwinner who has scored eight goals in his 11 games at the club since joining in January. His pace and power will cause problems to the Lyon defence. I think he will score and take advantage of the tiredness of the Lyon players. And Valenciennes will be solid at home too.
Waris and Lacazette are favourites to score first at 6.00. My best tip is Lyon not to score at 3.05 but Waris to score at 2.70 is also interesting.
Score prediction: Valenciennes 1 Lyon 0 at 9.00.
Monaco 1.40, draw 4.25, Nantes 8.75 – BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 20.00 Sunday
Monaco were very poor and disappointing last weekend away at Evian (1-0). They conceded their fourth defeat of the season, after the ones against at Lille, Valenciennes and at St Etienne.
Claudio Ranieri got his tactics completely wrong from start to finish. He played James Rodriguez wide and the Colombian playmaker had no influence on the game at all. Monaco didn’t deserve anything. They haven’t been playing well overall in the last few weeks. They got lucky to beat Lyon (3-2), struggled against Sochaux (2-1) and can’t keep a clean sheet.
This is another tricky game for them. They have a French Cup semi-final against Guingamp to look forward to in 10 days but before they need to be careful as Lille are just six points behind them in third place.
The team of the Principality have problems at the back. Ranieri has frozen Eric Abidal and tried Nicolas Isimat-Mirin and Aymen Abdennour alongside Ricardo Carvalho but nothing works. They keep conceding goals and chances.
However, on Sunday, the manager should come back to his usual 4-4-2 formation with a diamond midfield with Rodriguez behind the two strikers Valere Germain and Dimitar Berbatov. He should have never changed his tactics last weekend. He needs to be careful as he is under big scrutiny from Dimitry Ryboloviev, the club’s Russian owner.
On the other hand Nantes, 14th in the table, are breathing a bit better now after a horrendous start to 2014. The Canaries struggled for form and dropped places in the table. They are now eight points clear of the relegation zone and should be okay to stay up. They are a team who like to pull off a coup, like the one they did against Marseille by winning there earlier in the season.
The big blow for them is that Filip Djordjevic, their captain and striker is still out and without him, they will struggle to find goals. But they have a great team spirit again. They will fight for each other and will make Monaco’s life very difficult.
They rarely do well in Monaco though and considering the home side will want to bounce back after last weekend’s disappointment, it will be a very difficult task for Nantes to even get a point at the Louis II Stadium on Sunday. I think Monaco will react and get the three points.
Berbatov is favourite to score first at 4.50. My best tip is the home team to win both halves at 3.50.
Score prediction: Monaco 3 Nantes 0 at 9.00.