Lyon – Montpellier
Lyon simply trashed Marseille. After being humiliated at Toulouse hosts took revenge on Marseille. Everything worked out for them just as they planned. they took advantage of Marseille’s impotent defense. The defensive midfielders were enough to keep the net safe and sound. Upfront every single chance was converted, pragmatism at its finest. Defender Lovren is still out but fellow defender Kone is back from suspension, and winger Bastos from injury.
Montepellier improved a bit since early rounds but they still have some troubles defending. There are many mistakes in the defensive phase so offensive players have to make twice the effort. There are some good news as fullback Jeunechamp will return from suspension, same as defensive midfielder Saihi. For their sake, let’s hope this will improve their defensive display. Upfront they are acting better and especially the offensive midfielders are on good form.
Some time is still needed for Montpellier to completely bounce back and achieve full potential, and until that happens hosts have the upper hand here and should take all the points. Their defensive midfielders are capable of creating walls that will prove to be rock solid for Utaka and company.
Evian – Nancy
Hosts just don’t stop surprising. They are acting just as last season, when, besides Montpellier, they were football lovers’ favorites because of their display. Now once again they show they are a truly united group, always ready to stand together for better or worst. This is their major strength and no matter the weaknesses they have, this kind of strength can compensate… Another plus for them is that they will welcome back some players, 2 of them being very important: forward Khelifa and midfielder Barbosa. Striker Sagbo will also return from suspension. Only midfielder Sorlin will miss being suspended.
If Nancy won’t make some acquisitions, like transferring in 10 or 11 new players, they’ll relegate… Their game is chaotic and relies a lot on chance. Forward Zenke is injured and forward Moukandjo is suspended. They do not have any proper strikers for Ligue 1 level anyway, and with these two being out most probably we will see a lot of 50 or 60 meters goal attempts….
Evian should win this game without much efforts or emotions
Bordeaux – Sochaux
Hosts rested several players last round away at Montepellier (among them fullback Tremoulinas, without whom they have a different look). As a consequence they lost, even though the game was played until the final seconds. Now Tremoulinas will be back and only midfielder Obraniak will be an important absence. They have a solid defense that can successfully hold ground against talented players. Even if lately they were a bit hesitant upfront their actions on the flanks can hypnotize any defense in this league.
Sochaux were clueless last round at home vs Nice. They were dominated and smart played. There aren’t much resources available for a change in tactics and to be honest not much resources available even for a change in attitude… They still havve some serious injury problems, among the most important ones are: defensive midfielder Doubai (one of their best player in the early rounds), defender captain Kante (doubtful), and defenders Carlao and Peybernes also doubtful. Upfront Boudebouz started playng regularly but he’s far away from the form that consecrated him, when he had Maiga and Martin as teammates (those were the times… )
This won’t be a trashing but Bordeaux will do just enough to secure the win. It should be a relatively comfortable game for the hosts. Nice material for accumulators…
Lille – Bastia
These teams played against each other just a couple of day, in the Cup. The result, 3-0 for Lille, is a bit harsh considering how the game evolved. Anyway Lille is doing so and so lately, and it’s clearly visible from their alternating results. The good news is that they will welcome back Balmont after he fulfilled his suspension in the Cup game. That will be a big boost, as they are always more convincing and aggressive with him in the field.
bastia on the other hand have big issues before this game. They will be without midfielder Rothenm defender Marchal and midfieler Cahuzac. Now these guys are injured for several rounds already, but the new awful bad news is that wingers Maoulida and Khazri are also out. Their game relies only on actions carried on the flanks, especially when Rothen is out and there’s nobody create tunnels in the middle.
No matter how many mistake will Lille’s defender make, the way Bastia looks now it will all finish with a happy end for the hosts. Can be used with confidence is combos.
Nice – PSG
Now this game should not be missed. Nice are doing wonderful lately. They have confidence but the most important thing is that there’s no pressure on their shoulders. I mean pressure for what? For keeping the 10th place? The central defense with Civelli and Pejcinovic on top form, may just be the the defense that will put a stop to Ibrahimovic’s good form. Upfront Cvitanich is so slick that he can eventually find a way to score, especially when he’ll be helped either by winger Bautheac or veteran experienced midfielder Meriem.
It’s been written here before: if PSG’s owners care about the team and the fans, Ancelotti will pack his bags, cash in a new fat paycheck and leave for coaching Eritrea’s national team… The midfielders that are supposed to be the brain of the team, to create and build are just statues on the field. Yelling at them at a training session, like Ancelotti does won’t make them more confident and won’t give them form.
Filled with confidence Nice are up against a PSG side that is on the verge of self destruction. Hosts will keep at home at least 1 point…
Valenciennes – Reims
Hosts took the foot of the pedal past rounds. They became too relaxed and maybe even ignorant of the results. The bad part is that they were up against top teams in France (like Montpellier or St Etienne) so not many may realize the danger, thinking that mediocre results are normal in front of tough opponents. The alarm bells most probably didn’t rang for them and because of that there’s a high possibility for them to go on having the same soft attitude. Defensive midfielder Ducourtioux will return from suspension.
Guests have a good defense, but besides that they are Ligue 2 material. Forward Courtet is still injured and that is a major set back, as before getting injured he was their sole solution upfront, and his collaboration with winger Diego was delivering results. But now, even Diego started fading, as he’s got nobody that truly understands his intentions.
Valenciennes are a good side, with Le Tallec upfront and Dossevi and Danic behind him on the sides. But because of their attitude as of late, a bet on them would probably give more emotions than getting inside a lion’s cage… Better leave it alone.