France Ligue 1 – Lyon v Rennes Preview (11/12/16)

Lyon preview

  • Were involved in a distasteful incident last week when goalkeeper Anthony Lopes was hit by a firecracker at Metz, forcing abandonment. Lyon might get the win by default eventually, which would be a slice of good fortune considering they were losing 1-0.
  • OL were frustrated in the midweek CL, held to a 0-0 draw by Sevilla at home in a match they dominated. Bruno Genesio’s men had over 20 shots in the match and hit the woodwork twice, but instead will have to settle for a place in the Europa League after Christmas.
  • At full strength with no injuries or suspensions to worry about. The midweek match might have taken a bit out of them, probably mentally more than anything. But at least a few days have passed to recover.
  • Lyon actually have the fifth worst home record in Ligue 1 this season. They’ve already lost 3 out of 7 fixtures in front of their own fans but this stadium has mostly been a fortress since it opened at the start of the year.

Rennes preview

  • The Brittany outfit are up for fourth after beating St Etienne 2-0 last week. They’ve done well since Christian Gourcuff took over at the start of the season and are situated higher than expected.
  • Rennes aren’t very good away from home though, with a poor 1-1-5 record. Just 4 of their 18 goals have been scored on the road and they’ve already suffered some disappointing defeats at the likes of Lorient & Dijon.
  • Have a sprinkling of injuries and suspensions, but this mostly just affects their bench depth and not a lot of actual starters are ruled out. Nevertheless, the squad could certainly be in better health.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Lyon are -1 handicap favourites here, which in some ways is understandable. They are the better team, have more quality and some other factors are favouring them. However, a dodgy home record and an ability to sometimes produce a sloppy display is slightly off putting.
  • Rennes haven’t played well on the road this season but are no mugs under Christian Gourcuff. He’s an experienced coach who I’m sure will come up with an interesting gameplan which could cause OL problems.
  • The Rennes approach is the key to how this game pans out. If they come with a positive mindset looking to attack, then the fixture is a strong over candidate. However, the goal line is set between 2.75 and 3, which is really high for French football and shouldn’t really be backed.
  • Maybe a Lyon win by exactly one goal with both teams scoring is the most likely outcome. I don’t personally see any value pre match. This could be a good game to watch but before the event kicks off I just don’t think it’s a great betting prospect.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: None