The top two clash in Ligue 1 this week, as Lille host PSG at the Stade Pierre Mauroy on Sunday evening, kicking off at 9:00pm local time. Despite them being top two, there are 20 points separating them, and if PSG don’t lose this match, they’ll be crowned champions at the full time whistle.
Home Team: Lille
Not many football pundits and onlookers would have anticipated that Lille would have been the closest ‘challengers’ to PSG, but they are, and credit must be given to them. With 7 games left on their calendar, Lille will hope to cement 2nd spot, which would secure them a place in the Champions League for next season. Lyon would be the only side that are capable of sneaking above them, but there is currently a 5-point deficit. Therefore, this game is far more crucial for the hosts, to make sure that they don’t see their gap reduced.
Lille drew their last game, with Portuguese defender Jose Fonte scoring in a 1-1 draw, as they couldn’t hold out for the victory. Lille are in the place they are now due to their impressive away form, but their home form has been far from perfect, dropping points in 6 out of their 15 matches. Can they produce their finest home performance of the season, and prolong PSG’s wait for the title?
Away Team: PSG
PSG’s season will always be judged on their performance in the Champions League, and regardless of their inevitable walk to the French title, they know that the players should be preparing for a Champions League quarter final this week – but they’re not. Manager Thomas Tuchel has had a positive impact, and albeit a crazy 2nd leg against Manchester United, this team are more than capable of challenging in the latter stages of the Champions League had they had a bit more bottle.
In their domestic league though, they have been fantastic and are looking likely to surpass 100 points in a season. In their most recent fixture, they drew 2-2 at Strasbourg at home, meaning they couldn’t win the title this past weekend. In the highlight of the match, former Stoke striker, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, missed one of the easiest chances ever, as he deflected a ball that was going in, to the post which rebounded back out – and he was on the goal line! It’s a must-see if you haven’t already watched it. PSG will hope to claim the title in style on Sunday, by beating their closest rivals in the league, on their patch.
Head to Head
PSG have been utterly dominant in this fixture over recent seasons, as they will aim to win an 8th consecutive match against Lille in all competitions. In Ligue 1, they have won 11 out of the last 13, with the other two being draws. Lille haven’t beaten PSG since 2012, and have only earned a point on a couple of occasions from then until now. At Lille, PSG have won 3-0 and 1-0 twice in their three visits. In the reverse fixture this season, PSG won 2-1 as goals from Kylian Mbappe and Neymar were enough to earn a hard-fought win.[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot]
Predictions and Betting Tips
[geot exclude_country="US,CA" ][/geot]Lille are at 10/3 to spoil the party for PSG, who are at 8/11. A draw, which would suit the visitors, is at 3/1. If you want to back PSG to win the title, therefore avoiding defeat, you can back them in a double chance bet, to either win or draw at 2/11. It’s never wise to back against PSG in the French Ligue, no matter how hard the fixture could be deemed on paper. I expect them to record a win here, and win the championship with elegance.
[geot country="US,CA" ][/geot]My score line prediction would be a 2-0 away win at 8/1. Kylian Mbappe should return to the starting line-up, and he is at 5/6 to score at any time, or 7/1 to score a brace. If you want to back Lille in some capacity, you can bet on them to hold on until half time (half time result – Draw) at 13/10 or score 2+ goals at 2/1 – both offering decent value. Finally, my final tip is for the tipsters, as I would recommend betting on PSG to win from behind to secure the championship, priced at 17/2.
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