PSG 1.29, Draw 5.25, Nantes 11.00 – Saturday 16.00 GMT
PSG missed a great opportunity to go top of the Ligue 1 table on Wednesday. They needed to beat Lille away to overtake Marseille as leaders but they could only draw 1-1, which meant they still trail l’OM by a point.
However, they deserved to beat Lille and it was one of their best performances of the season. They were not clinical enough in front of goal but a win on Saturday against Nantes at the Parc des Princes will see them overleaping Marseille who only play on Sunday evening. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was rested for the trip to Lille, should be back in the squad for this weekend. He will be fresh and full of energy which is a very good news for the champions.
After winning their nine previous games in all competitions, the draw at Lille was not a setback. Paris are still unbeaten in all competitions this season and the display was promising. Edinson Cavani scored again, and has eight goals in his last nine games with PSG. The return of Ibra will also be positive for the team. The only distraction will come from the game coming up next week away at Barcelona in the Champions League. The Parisians will surely be more focused on that than on Nantes.
I still expect them to do the job though and win on Saturday but after a slow start. Considering the Barcelona game and the fact that they usually start their League games slowly, I only see them scoring after the break.
In the past, Nantes have always struggled at the Parc des Princes. They lost 5-0 there last season and conceded 12 goals in their last four visits! They also have a poor record against top eight teams this season: they lost at Marseille, drew with St Etienne, Rennes and Lyon. Lille and Monaco have also beaten them this season.
They have lost their last two league games, in Marseille last weekend (2-0) and at home to Toulouse in midweek (2-1) and are still struggling to find goals: they have netted only nine times in their last 10 league games. They will find it very difficult in Paris on Saturday.
Zlatan is favourite to score first at 3.05 and my best tip is a draw at half time and a PSG win at full time at 3.95.
Score prediction: PSG 2 Nantes 0 at 5.60
Rennes 1.97, Draw 3.30, Montpellier 3.95 – Saturday 19.00 GMT
With PSG, the other in-form team in Ligue 1 is Rennes.
The Stade Rennais are on an incredible run of eight unbeaten game now after their victory away at Nice in midweek (2-1) (nine if you include their League Cup win against Marseille). They have not lost a game since the end of September and they are now 5th in the table, competing with the big guns for a place in the top three. They are only two points behind Lyon in 3rd place after winning their last four Ligue 1 games in a row.
They are very strong at home, have lost only once there this season and the communion between the players and the fans is impressive. There is a real spirit at the Stade de la route de Lorient which is becoming to be like a fortress.
If Rennes are so good right now, it is mostly thanks to Paul-George Ntep. The winger is the best player in the league right now and he has been unstoppable for a few weeks. He scored again in midweek after beating Monaco (2-0) by himself last weekend. He is a prodigy who is taking Rennes to the top. His pace, his skills and his better decision making have carried Rennes for the last two months. He will be too hot to handle on Saturday for the Montpellier defence, which struggled in midweek against St Etienne (0-2). He is the star of a Rennes attack on fire at the moment.
The visitors are 10th in the table but have had a very inconsistent season. They have won just two of their last 11 league games. Their away form is even worse. They have won just once away from home. It was in Marseille but back in August (Week 2) when Bielsa was still teaching his methods to his players. Since then, Montpellier have struggled on the road (three draws, four defeats). It will be the same on Saturday where Ntep will cause them far too many problems for them to even get a point.
Ola Toivonen and Paul-George Ntep are favourite to score first at 4.90. My best tip is over 3.5 goals scored at 4.25, but Ntep to score at anytime at 2.65 is also very good.
Score prediction: Rennes 3 Montpellier 1 at 19.00