Rennes 6.85, draw 4.20, PSG 1.47 – Saturday 16.00 GMT
After a slow start of the season, PSG are back to full flow. The champions destroyed St Etienne at the Parc des Princes (5-0) two weeks ago before the international break with a hat-trick for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Laurent Blanc’s men are still without Thiago Silva, and David Luiz also got injured with Brazil so they will both miss this game. It means that 35-year-old Papus Camara will start alongside Marquinhos at the back. PSG have not lost in Rennes for three years but they want their revenge after losing to the Brittany team at the Parc des Princes last May, on the evening where they were crowned champions.
Blanc has many options in midfield and up front and four days before a Champions League clash away at Ajax, he could decide to rotate his squad. One player who will start for sure though is Ibrahimovic. He has five goals now in the two games he played this season (he came off injured after a few minutes in his third appearance this year). He is in top form and is looking to bully the Rennes defence once again.
For the home side, this is the biggest test of the season so far. Rennes have been very inconsistent, as it was the case last season too. They are capable of solid performances and in other games, they get totally dominated. But it has been a positive start for them this season. They are 5th in the table and even if everything is not perfect, they have some momentum going into this game.
Ola Toivonen has been their best player and he will want to make an impression against Ibra, his fellow Sweden striker. However, defensively, Rennes don’t seem ready to face the super offensive powers of the champions.
Mexer and Sylvain Armand will have to stop Ibra which will be difficult. But the team did it in Paris last season. They will have to reproduce the same disciplined and efficient performance. But I think PSG and Zlatan will too strong for them this time around.
Ibrahimovic is favourite to score first at 3.20, but my best tip is Ibra to score twice at 4.00.
Score prediction: Rennes 1 PSG 2 at 9.00
Evian 3.60, draw 3.15, Marseille 2.15 – Sunday 20.00 GMT
The last 10 days have been very frantic in Marseille and the team has not prepared for this game in the best way possible, as the open war between Marcelo Bielsa, the manager, and Vincent Labrune, the chairman, has reached new peaks.
Bielsa accused Labrune of having lied to him and not respected his promises this summer over transfer targets. Bielsa is furious and Labrune is still away on holidays. He will only come back on Monday and the squad has been troubled by this incident.
It is a shame because the team won its last two matches in a very positive way, especially the last game against Nice (4-0). The confidence is higher, the momentum is there but as always in Marseille, a club like no other, things are never simple.
However, Bielsa will be able to start his new centre half, Brazil U21 international Doria, highly rated through Europe. Up front, ‘El Loco’ has many options too and could play Andre-Pierre Gignac wide on the right and start with Michy Batshuayi, the promising young Belgium striker, in the centre. Dimitri Payet, outstanding in the last game, will be the key player for Marseille once again as they look to keep their run of good results alive.
For Evian though, this is a crucial game. The Savoyards are one of two teams only (with Reims) not to have yet won a game this season in Ligue 1. They have had a tough schedule though, as they have already played PSG for example but they have been poor overall even if they managed to get a point against the champions with a very defensive game plan.
They will try to do the same on Sunday evening. They desperately need points or the situation will already start to get worrying, so they will be defensive and aggressive.
They have only lost once against Marseille in four home games. I can see Marseille dropping points in the current climate at the club and against an Evian team which will play for a draw.
Batshuayi is favourite to score first at 5.10. My best tip though is under 0.5 goals to be scored at 8.00.
Score prediction: Evian 0 Marseille 0 at 8.00