Ligue 1 Tips: Lille to maintain title challenge while Lyon will stumble without Depay

After nine winners from his last 14 picks, James Eastham reveals the smart selections ahead of the latest round of matches in France's top flight...

Lille to claim derby win

Lens vs Lille (5th vs 1st)
Fri, 20:00 BST
Live on BT Sport 2 and Betfair Live Video

This is one of France's biggest derbies but there's a lot more than local pride at stake this time.

Hosts Lens are chasing a Europa League place while league leaders Lille will see their first league title since 2011 coming into view if they can win to maintain at least a one-point advantage over nearest challengers PSG.

After this game Lille's two remaining fixtures are against opponents with nothing to play for - St Etienne (home) and Angers (away) - so a win here would put them in a formidable position.

The stakes have been upped by Lens no.10 Gael Kakuta - outstanding this season - saying he would rather see PSG win the title. Lille's inspirational Turkey international striker Burak Yilmaz hit back by saying Kakuta would have been better to keep such thoughts to himself.

Every ball will be fiercely contested but Lille should have the edge and are a good bet to collect the three points.

Christophe Galtier's title challengers have been magnificent on the road - indeed, over the past four months, they have played better football away from home than in their own stadium.

Lille are W12-D4-L1 away from home for the season and W10-D1-L0 from their last 11 away games, an amazing run stretching back to December 2020.

Their defensive solidity has been remarkable - they've kept eight clean sheets in those 11 away matches - and they have almost always had the attacking quality to nick the goals they need at some point.

Lens will be pumped up but Lille have shown over a number of months they know how to win games like this, making the visitors the smart selection.


Team news will trip up Lyon

Lyon vs Lorient (4th vs 17th)
Sat, 16:00 BST
Live on BT Sport Extra 1 and Betfair Live Video

Lyon have everything to play for but dreadful team news means the hosts will struggling to secure the convincing win they are looking for.

Thanks to a thrilling 3-2 win at Monaco last weekend Lyon (4th) are back in the fight for a Champions League spot and gunning for another victory this weekend to keep the pressure on the sides above them.

Yet manager Rudi Garcia (pictured above) has a rash of injuries and suspensions to deal with and this greatly reduces Lyon's hopes of claiming a good victory.

Defenders Marcelo and Matteo De Sciglio are suspended, while fellow defenders Jason Denayer, Melvin Bard and Djamel Benlamri are injury doubts. If Denayer and Benlamri join Marcelo on the sidelines Lyon won't be able to field an established central defensive partnership.

Even more significantly, however, Memphis Depay is suspended. He has been outstanding this season and Lyon will be far less effective in the opposition half without him.

Depay has scored 19 goals and is joint-top of the Ligue 1 assists chart with 10. This is the first league game he has missed all season and Lyon will be far more limited without the quality he brings to the team.

Lorient are not yet safe from relegation so have everything to play for. They have also played some excellent football in recent weeks and will go into the game fearlessly.

In 14-goal top scorer Terem Moffi and high-speed foil Yoane Wissa the visitors have two of the division's most exciting attackers.

With two wins from their last two matches (2-0 vs Angers, 4-1 vs Bordeaux) Lorient will expect to cause Lyon problems.

Despite their team news Lyon remain strong favourites. They're 1.44 to win, with Lorient 7.8 and The Draw 5.4.

This opens up the opportunity to back Lorient at good odds on the Asian Handicap market. For a full guide to how this market works, click here.

With our selection, you'll make a profit if Lorient win, if the game ends in a draw and even if Lorient lose by a single goal.

Motivation key factor for l'OM

St Etienne vs Marseille (12th vs 6th)
Sun, 12:00 BST
Live on BT Sport ESPN and Betfair Live Video

A potential difference in motivation makes Marseille a good odds-against selection to collect all three points this weekend.

Jorge Sampaoli's visitors are locked in a three-way battle with Lens and Rennes to earn a Europa League place by finishing fifth.

By contrast, St Etienne effectively sealed Ligue 1 survival thanks to their 2-1 win at Montpellier last weekend.

There will be some decompression in the home camp now they're safe and that will play straight into Marseille's hands.

The visitors' form has fluctuated in recent weeks but the effort and attitude of the players has been excellent since Sampaoli was appointed earlier this year.

Back l'OM to collect the points against apathetic hosts who will have one eye on their summer holiday plans.

0 nhận xét Blogger 0 Facebook

Post a Comment