Ajaccio v Strasbourg
Ajaccio and Strasbourg go head-to-head in a battle between two clubs in the Ligue 1 relegation zone. While the Corsicans expected to struggle this season, though, Racing were thought to be destined for a top-half finish. Instead, they have won only one game.
There have been signs of a resurgence from Julien Stephan’s side in recent weeks, though. In each of the last two weeks, they have wriggled out of tight spots, coming back from 2-0 down to pick up 2-2 draws. Last weekend’s point against Marseille should particularly have heartened them because of the manner in which it was achieved. They rallied late on brilliantly.
Furthermore, the return of last season’s top scorer Ludovic Ajorque should make a significant difference to their attack, particularly since Kevin Gameiro must be feeling better about his game after a terrific equaliser last weekend.
Ajaccio are a team they should feel they can beat. The Corsicans are second from bottom in the table and have yet to win a home match. After beginning the season at Stade Francois Coty with a 0-0 draw against Lens, they have gone on to lose five in succession at the venue. While their performance against PSG a fortnight ago was credible, they followed it up with a 1-0 loss in Auxerre.
A lack of goals is crippling the home team, with only two scored this season. This was always likely to be the case, with defence their strength as they won promotion last term. They have already conceded more goals at home (11) than they did in the whole of their Ligue 2 campaign last year (8).
Strasbourg’s main issue this season has been drawing too many matches – more than half of their Ligue 1 games. With this in mind, draw no bet seems the best way to get value in this match.
Lorient v PSG
It finally appears that Lorient’s bubble has burst, with the Breton side, who were as high as second in the standings, having failed to win any of their last three fixtures. They have timed their loss of form badly for the visit of PSG, who will be looking to finish up before the World Cup with a flourish, particularly after the frustration of finishing second in their Champions League group.
Lorient post a strong home record this season, with four wins from six games, yet those two missteps come in their last couple of matches. They were held by 10-man Reims and then beaten by Nice, a side that has not really hit its straps this season.
There are a handful of factors that fall into the hosts’ favour. Firstly, they will have a strong squad available, with Terem Moffi set to start after injury restricted him to the bench last weekend. Secondly, they have typically done well at home against PSG. They are undefeated in their last couple and have not lost by more than a single goal in eight games.
Equally, though, this will have flagged Les Merlus as complicated opponents to PSG, whose firepower is now such that they are capable of dismantling any side. Neymar will come into the team fresh after missing the Juventus match in midweek because of a ban, while Nuno Mendes is liable to make his first start after injury.
This is an important match for PSG. Fail to win it and they are suddenly back within striking distance of a number of teams, but take the three points and they will at least maintain a healthy advantage over the chasing pack. Expect them to treat it seriously, and with that comes the potential of a comfortable success.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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