PSG v Rennes
Friday 11th February – 8:00PM KO
Paris Saint-Germain have exploded into life in Ligue 1 lately, finally showing the type of offensive football that has long been expected of them. They should have scored more than two against Brest, while they followed that up with four against Reims and five last weekend against defending champions Lille.
Their 11 home league games this season have yielded an impressive 33 goals, 27 of which have been scored by PSG, who have been dominant at Parc des Princes. Indeed, Nice are the only visiting side to have avoided defeat at the capital venue this season. PSG have otherwise won 13 of 15.
The Friday night kick-off means that they are unlikely to rotate too heavily prior to their Champions League meeting with Real Madrid on Tuesday, though that is undoubtedly their priority for the week. This should also mean that Neymar gets some minutes in order to sharpen him up before that game.
Rennes, meanwhile, are in a period of poor away form. They have lost their last four on the road, including a shock 2-1 reverse against Clermont three weeks ago in their last Ligue 1 away game.
Bruno Genesio’s side did beat PSG 2-0 at home earlier this season, but that should just stir the Parisians into a response on Friday. Rennes have a Ligue 1-low four draws for the season, the likelihood is there will be a decisive outcome in this match, and the odds are stacked in favour of the hosts to get it.
Prediction: PSG to Win, 1.57 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐)
Montpellier v Lille
Saturday 12th February – 4:00PM KO
Montpellier have lost four of their last five matches in all competitions but have often been masters of their own downfall. Against Strasbourg and Troyes, they had players sent off before collapsing late on. An injury to goalkeeper Jonas Omlin last weekend, meanwhile, changed the momentum of their match against Saint-Etienne, transforming a 1-0 lead into a late 3-1 loss.
For Saturday, they will welcome back Teji Savanier, a key playmaker who has six goals for the season. This is a major boost.
Furthermore, their home record is one of the best in Ligue 1. They have seven wins and just three defeats in 12 matches. Only PSG and Rennes post more home victories in France’s top flight.
Conversely, Lille are a poor side away from home. Last season’s champions have just three victories in 12 away matches this season. In late January, they turned a pitiful performance against mid-table Brest as they were defeated 2-0 on the occasion of their last Ligue 1 road trip.
LOSC do boast a good record against Montpellier, against who they are undefeated in seven. However, four of these ended in draws.
They may be strong enough to preserve that record, but last weekend’s ugly 5-1 defeat against PSG will have left mental scars, and it would be a remarkable achievement if they were able to bounce back away against one of Ligue 1’s strongest home sides, especially with doubts hanging over the participation of striker Burak Yilmaz.
Prediction: Montpellier Double Chance, 1.57 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐⭐)
Lyon v Nice
Saturday 12th February – 8:00PM KO
Nice have won their last two Ligue 1 matches against Lyon and will be aiming to complete a hat-trick of successes at Parc OL on Saturday against a home side that is rocking after some indifferent recent performances.
Although Lyon picked up wins over Troyes, Saint-Etienne and Marseille in succession before losing to Monaco last weekend, they were convincing in none of these matches.
Meanwhile, their home form this season has been riddled with inconsistency, despite finding the net in their last 21 top flight games in front of their fans. This is highlighted by the fact that they have won only half of their 12 league matches in front of their home support. Moreover, they have lost two of the last three at home against Nice.
The guests will be on a high after a commanding performance as they beat Marseille 4-1 in the cup on Wednesday.
Moreover, they post the best away record of any team in the league in terms of points per game, having won eight of their 11 road trips, scoring 20 goals and conceding only five. They tend to fare better against opponents who like to have the ball, such as Lyon, although that did not stop them surprisingly losing at home against Clermont last weekend.
Nice will travel to Lyon with a strong squad and should have the capacity to at the very least avoid defeat, with players such as Melvin Bard and Amine Gouiri motivated to prove themselves against the club where they came through the academy.
Prediction: Nice Double Chance, 1.83 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐⭐)
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