Bastia v Lyon, Sunday 4pm
Lyon, who travel to Bastia on Sunday afternoon, won an epic battle against Besiktas on Thursday evening in the Europa League at the Parc OL with a lot of crowd troubles. But they scored two late goals to get a win and a lead before the second leg in Turkey next week.
The Lyon players will have their minds on that European game as the Europa League is their priority now. They also need points in Ligue 1 though because if they can’t reach Nice in third, they have to be careful about their fourth place as Bordeaux and Marseille are chasing them just five and six points behind them.
But this is a very difficult away game in Corsica. Bruno Genesio, the Lyon manager, will make changes to the team because of the Europa League. So it should not be Lyon’s strongest team lining up against Bastia on Sunday afternoon.
Even Alexandre Lacazette or Corentin Tolisso, Lyon’s two best players this season, could be rested. Memphis Depay, who is cup tied in Europe, will be back and will start, either up front or on the wing like Maxime Gonfalons, the captain, who was suspended in midweek. But Genesio has all his squad available again apart from Nicolas Nkoulou.
For Bastia also it is a huge game. The Corsicans are bottom of the table but they won last weekend away at Dijon after 14 games without a victory! It has brought them hope to stay up as they are only three points behind the first team outside the relegation zone.
They will fight hard to stay up and have promised their fans to give a huge battle to Lyon on Sunday. Bastia have only had four defeats at home this season in the league and have proven difficult to beat. Monaco only drew there for example (1-1). They will give everything they have and play with their hearts and I think they will take a point.
The odds are massively in favour of Lyon with an away win at 1.59. The draw is at 4.35 and a Bastia home win is at 5.20.
Alexandre Lacazette is favourite to score first at 3.55. My best tip is a draw and both teams to score at 5.40.
Score prediction: Bastia 1 Lyon 1 (9.00)
Marseille v St Etienne, Sunday 8pm
Marseille host St Etienne on Sunday evening at the Stade Velodrome on the back of three consecutive draws in Ligue 1. They have been really disappointing in those three last matches and have been overtaken by Bordeaux in fifth place and now sit in sixth place, just three points ahead of St Etienne who also have a game in hand.
So it is a big game for Marseille to extend the gap between them and their opponent and try to put the pressure back on Bordeaux and Lyon ahead of them. Rudi Garcia has many options available in defence, midfield or attack.
The OM manager was disappointed by the performance of Bafetimbi Gomis up front, who was really poor. He could be tempted to change a few things like putting Remi Cabella as the number nine where he did well during Gomis’ injury.
Marseille have failed to score in two of their last three league matches now and have only scored one goal in those last three matches. Florian Thauvin and Dimitri Payet also need to do more in attack. Marseille have six matches until the end of the season to finish well and the players need to convince the manager to keep them next season as he is planning a big clear out.
This is a classic game between two of the biggest clubs in French football. L’OM have been good at home this season with just two defeats against PSG and Monaco and 10 wins and four draws. They have a fantastic record at home against Les Verts as their last defeat against them at the Velodrome was back in 1979.
And St Etienne are not in great form either with only one win in their last eight matches in all competitions. They are struggling offensively to create chances and to score goals. That’s why they have dropped from fifth in the table to seventh. They have a big fight on their hands now if they want to finish fourth or fifth and they have to win on Sunday. They have more big games coming too with PSG or Bordeaux, but I think Marseille will finally wake up and win this match.
The odds are massively in favour of Marseille with a home win at 1.85. A draw is at 3.45 and a St Etienne away win is at 4.50.
Bafetimbi Gomis is favourite to score first at 4.80. My best tip is Marseille to score in both halves at 3.00.
Score prediction: Marseille 2 St Etienne 1 (9.00)