The Lorraine side obtained promotion to Ligue 1 as champions of the second tier. The key to their success was a great run of results in Autumn, then also finishing the campaign strongly which enabled them to pip Dijon for the title. I wouldn't say Nancy were an exceptional side, but at Ligue 2 level they were a class above most. It will be interesting to see how they fare this season. They are highly likely to be involved in the relegation battle but might have a chance of surviving. Pablo Correa is an experienced coach, but I feel the last time he was in this division his tactics were too negative. Whether he’ll learn from that and stick with the more positive approach that got them promoted I'm not sure. Key centre back Mickael Chretien is injured for this match, as is Diallo Guidileye (CM). Experienced striker Youssouf Hadji competes their injury list, but probably wouldn't have started anyway
The big loss for Lyon this summer was centre back Samuel Umtiti who transferred to Barcelona for over £20m. Coming in as replacements are Emanuel Mammana from River Plate & Nicolas Nkoulou from OM. Lyon will also have a new left back this season, Maciej Rybus who arrives from the Russian league. There has been transfer speculation regarding Alexandre Lacazette all summer but he’s in the squad for this trip to Nancy. Nabil Fekir isn’t included though due to ongoing conflicts regarding a new contract. Lyon have no major injuries with only right back Christophe Jallet ruled out. OL did play a somewhat competitive match last week in the Trophee des Champions which they lost to PSG 4-1. This will be an easier contest as the visitors hope to at least match their second placed finish from a year ago.
Conclusion & betting analysis
The first thing to mention here is that this match will be played on an artificial surface. Nancy are the only team in Ligue 1 who have this type of pitch and it’ll be their last season using it, the field will be dug up next summer. Some players don’t like this sort of thing so maybe the odd Lyon player will be uncomfortable today. Having said that, it should actually aid Lyon’s technical football and I don’t personally see it as a hindrance. OL should be one of the top challengers for a Champions League position and may well be best of the rest after PSG. They can’t afford to slip up away against a newly promoted side. I don’t think they will have it easy today but should ultimately find a way to win. Lyon will probably dominate possession and maintain the pressure throughout. Their extra technical skill and class might be the difference come the final whistle. I like backing the visitors on a -0.25 handicap which offers some draw security. Over 2.25 goals looks a tempting bet as well, but this match will be kicking off in the heat of the afternoon and this time of year these type of games tend to be lower scoring. So I’ll just stick with the Lyon pick which looks solid.
Recommended bet 1 unit: Lyon -0.25 @ 1.87 (minimum odds acceptable 1.70)