Angers v Lyon – Stade Jean-Bouin at 16:00 Live at BT Sport
Lyon lost several big-hitters in the close season but still have their sights set on a strong showing in 2017/18. President Jean-Michel Aulas claims he has five or six stars of tomorrow in the ranks as Les Gones bid to reach the final of the Europa League their home stadium is hosting whilst progressing domestically.
Mariano Diaz has already made a positive impression as Alexandre Lacazette’s replacement in attack and Bertrand Traore has also been quick to make an impact. With Nabil Fekir back to full fitness, Lyon has the attacking tools to match most in Ligue 1 this season.
But Bruno Genesio’s boys have made a frustrating start. Despite creating more chances and fashioning numerous opportunities, OL leaked a stoppage-time leveler at Apollon Limassol in their Europa League opener and their league form hasn’t fared much better.
Last time out in Ligue 1, Les Gones were held to a 3-3 draw by relegation battlers Dijon at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais to make it just a sole success in six across all competitions. Lyon has drawn three of five and conceded two or more goals on three occasions whilst also firing back-to-back blanks on the road.
Awkward away day
The former French giants face a mightily tough task in European action on Thursday night when Atalanta arrive and so there’s a danger they might be fatigued by the time they travel to Angers for an awkward Sunday away day.
Les Scoïstes have recorded five draws in seven games already this season but they tend to be tough operators at their Stade Raymond Kopa home. Since the start of last season, Stephane Moulin’s men have been downed just seven times in 22 games in front of their home supporters.
But with the hosts’ goalscoring woes – Angers have only scored more than once in eight of those 22 fixtures – hampering progress, I’m going to overlook attractive odds on the home handicap and instead back a low-scoring clash with Under 2.5 Goals available at 2.090 here.
Les Scoïstes haven’t conceded more than two goals at the Raymond Kopa since the start of 2016/17 and seven of their most recent 11 games when welcoming top-half teams have featured fewer than three goals. I’m happy to back a repeat at the price on offer.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Under 2.5 Goals at 2.090
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