France Ligue 1 – Lyon v Lille Preview (28/1/17)

Lyon preview

  • OL are in good form having won 8 of their last 10 games. It seems they’ve gotten their swagger back in recent matches after beating big rivals Monaco & Marseille respectively.
  • Lyon can still be vulnerable, as the shock defeat to Caen proved at the start of the month. In terms of performances though things have looked very good of late and their offensive juggernaut especially lively.
  • New signing Memphis Depay could potentially start here and will be at least guaranteed a bench spot. He is eager to impress and this is the sort of environment he should thrive in.
  • Lyon are at full strength minus Moktar Diakhaby at the back. The young centre back has been one of their revelations of the season and his presence in defence will be missed.

Lille preview

  • The visitors have started 2017 with three consecutive draws and have only lost 1 of their 8 games since Patrick Collot took over as interim manager.
  • Their league position has improved since Frederic Antonetti was sacked. However, in terms of raw talent and the quality available, Lille are definitely one of the big underachieving sides so far.
  • Their away record isn’t great (1-3-6) although has improved under Collot. I would expect them to try and contain Lyon as much as possible here.
  • A number of attackers are ruled out including Eder, Lopes, Mendes and youngster Terrier.
  • Five players remain on African Nations duty and they are affected badly in midfield too.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Lille are at full strength in defence but are missing so many other players that their options are limited. I’m sure they’ll set out their stall to defend and keep things tight, but Lyon might only need one or two goals to beat them today.
  • The hosts have looked pretty good in January and seem to have regained their attacking swagger. They have a number of players who can all unlock a defence and they’ll likely dominate possession today.
  • It’s no surprise to see Lyon favourites in between a -1 and -1.25 handicap. This looks like a good time to face Lille and they should win.
  • Something irks me about taking them though. Lille can be a resilient side and something like a 1-0 win is quite possible. This fixture ended 0-0 last season and the same scoreline can’t be ruled out again.
  • The extra quality of Lyon should shine through but I’m happy enough to leave them alone. The chances of an exact one goal win are quite high.
  • The goal line set at 2.75 seems a little high to me. Lille probably won’t contribute towards this too much and it’s possible Lyon might need to score four goals for this to cover. I would lean towards the unders if I had to choose.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None