Ligue 1 returns after a busy midweek that included a full slate of league fixtures. Once again, I’m back attempting to pick the results of this weekend’s matches.
Lille vs. SC Amiens
Lille looks to have finally regained their fine form after slipping up around the new year. They still sit second in the table and look ready to compete for one of the coveted European places in Ligue 1. SC Amiens are a bit of a different story as they currently find themselves only one point from the relegation playoff. Their recent form hasn’t been encouraging, and they will need their very best if they hope to steal valuable points on the road. Lille has been better lately, and I see that continuing against relegation opposition.
Prediction: Lille 2-0 SC Amiens
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Guingamp
PSG come into this fixture the dominant force in Ligue 1 that they always seem to be. They actually lost this exact fixture in the league cup, but I expect that PSG will put a far better foot forward in this match. Meanwhile, Guingamp come into this match in the bottom spot in Ligue 1 and facing a relegation crisis as they sit five points from safety. They have seen a reversal in their fortunes recently by picking up valuable wins, but still have an uphill climb in this clash. I cannot see past a comfortable victory for the home side in this clash.
Prediction: Paris Saint-Germain 3-0 Guingamp
AS Monaco vs. Strasbourg
Monaco come into this clash following a draw with mid-table Nice, but Thierry Henry hasn’t been able to reverse the fortunes for Monaco who continue to battle against relegation. They have been able to cobble together more draws recently, but they need all three points from this fixture. Strasbourg are currently flying as they have won four of their last five matches in all competitions. They aren’t completely out of the fight for European football next term, but they will be more than content with their current position in the league. I see a victory in this for the road side who should be able to capitalize on the weakness of their opponents’ defense.
Prediction: Strasbourg 2-1 AS Monaco
Nimes vs. Toulouse
Nimes currently sit in the bottom half of the league table, but their recent form has been far from inspiring. They have only managed to win one of their last five matches which has led to them sliding down the league table ahead of a clash that could help them stay closer to the middle of the table. Toulouse have been better lately, but they only find themselves four points outside of the relegation zone. They will understand that even a point could help them in this match, and they will hope to build on their draw the last time out. I see a draw in this match as both of the sides are fairly evenly matched.
Prediction: Nimes 1-1 Toulouse
Stade de Reims vs. Nice
Reims have fluctuated between wins and draws over their past five matches which has been positive for the newly promoted side. They currently sit in tenth and look fairly safe which will have been their mission coming into the season. Nice come into the match following a draw and what has been uninspiring form for the European hopefuls. Their squad should have enough quality to secure a win, and they will be hoping to claw back into the competition for the European places. I see a win for the road side as they are the team with the superior quality which should carry them through.
Prediction: Nice 1-0 Stade de Reims
Stade de Rennes vs. Montpellier
Rennes come into this match flying high as they have only lost one of their previous five matches and find themselves in eighth place. They have a solid combination of scoring goals and preventing them which has catapulted them up the league table. Montpellier had been soaring in the league as they once occupied a European place, but they have slid on the back of lackluster performances that have only seen them grab two of their last fifteen points. They still possess one of the best defenses in Ligue 1, so they should rebound sooner rather than later. I see a Montpellier victory in this one as their quality should shine through.
Prediction: Montpellier 2-1 Stade de Rennes
Angers vs. Nantes
Angers come into this match in dismal form and they currently sit three points from safety. They have a decent goal differential, but they will need to turn the results around if they hope to survive. Nantes sit three points clear of their opponents and two places higher in the league table. Their form has been better, but they will hope to curb their losing streak at two matches. I see a draw in this match between two fairly even teams.
Prediction: Angers 1-1 Nantes
Caen vs. Marseille
Caen enter this match one point clear of the relegation places and in decent form. They have been fairly stable for most of the season and will hope to pick up points against an under-performing Marseille side. Marseille have experienced a recent drop in their league form which has mostly dashed their hopes of European football next term. They boast a potent attack which they hope will propel them to victory in this less-than-straightforward away encounter. Marseille have sufficient quality to dispatch of their opponents, but it may not be comfortable.
Prediction: Marseille 2-0 Caen
Bordeaux vs. Dijon FCO
Bordeaux enter this fixture on inconsistent form, but they will hope to change that against opposition in the heat of the relegation battle. They still have quality in the squad, but the likes of Malcolm are surely missed, even if the funds from his sale have left the club in a better place financially. Dijon possess one of the league’s worst defenses and are paying for it by sitting in the relegation playoff place. Their last two matches have helped better their condition in the table, but they will need more than that if they hope to climb out of the relegation zone. I think Bordeaux has enough to see this match through.
Prediction: Bordeaux 1-0 Dijon FCO
Saint-Etienne vs. Olympique Lyon
Saint-Etienne have ridden their recent form into a European place and look like serious contenders to hold one at the end of the season. This match will determine who occupies the final Champions League place, and the home side are in control as they sit two points clear of their visitors. Lyon come into this match desperately needing all three points following disappointing league results lately. Normally a Champions League mainstay, Lyon will be hoping to get back into the hunt for a Champions League place with a win. I see a cagey affair that will not produce any goals despite plenty of opportunities.
Prediction: Saint-Etienne 0-0 Lyon