France Ligue 1 – Nice v Lyon Preview (14/10/16)

nice-olNice preview

  • The surprise Ligue 1 leaders are the only remaining unbeaten side in the division.
  • New coach Lucien Favre has enjoyed an excellent start to his tenure on the south coast, and his ability to get the most out of striker Mario Balotelli is helping them massively.
  • Nice have been playing with great confidence this season in all areas of the field. The international break has given them a good chance to recharge their batteries following difficult experiences toggling European and domestic matches together.
  • Squad condition is excellent with no suspensions and their only injuries are to long term casualties.

Lyon preview

  • Victory at home to local rivals St Etienne (2-0) just before the international break was imperative and a timely boost.
  • The fact that Lyon have already lost 3 out of 8 matches this season can’t be forgotten though and the reason why they are already seven points off the top of the table.
  • Key striker Alexandre Lacazette returns from injury and might be a contender to start. However, fellow attacking duo Nabil Fekir & Mathieu Valbuena are unavailable.
  • Centre back Emmanuel Mamama is suspended but a whole raft of players such as Rafael, Yanga Mbiwa, Gonalons & Cornet all return to the squad.
  • Road form has been a concern for OL, failing miserably on their travels since an opening day win at Nancy (3-0).

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Nice defend their unbeaten record but are sure to be tested fully by a strong and talented Lyon outfit.
  • The visitors are however inconsistent and their defence especially can gift too many chances to the opposition. Nice will get some good opportunities tonight and someone like Mario Balotelli could feast upon any mistakes.
  • Nice are slight underdogs on a DNB handicap which could be considered something of an insult. They have been in excellent form this season and smashed Monaco 4-0 here a few weeks ago.
  • This should in theory be a fairly open game between two teams who like to attack. However, the goal line is odds on over 2.75 and this is too short in a ligue like this.
  • The weather forecast is poor all day in Nice, with heavy rain and thunderstorms expected. This could lead to unpredictable conditions both overhead and on foot.
  • I was close to backing Nice DNB and over 2.5, but I just feel like it would be too dangerous to take either outcome when considering all factors.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: None