Lille v Nantes – Stade Pierre-Mauroy at 16:00
PSG might already be five points clear at the summit of Ligue 1 but Lille are amongst the chasing pack after clinching three victories from their first five fixtures (W3-D1-L1), including last weekend’s 3-2 success at Amiens that was capped off by a Nicolas Pepe hat-trick.
After slipping to their first defeat of the season at Angers just before the international break, Les Dogues were seeking to get back on track against an Amiens side that had gone unbeaten in their last two outings. Christophe Galtier’s men made a bright start and deservedly took a first-half advantage.
Pepe scored twice from the spot to give the guests a two-goal lead and although Amiens fought back, the former Angers forward ensured Lille again went two goals ahead. He will undoubtedly have even more suitors in the future if he continues playing with such nerveless style and swagger.
There’s no doubt Les Dogues are one of the early surprise packages in France. LOSC were embroiled in a relegation battle last season but early signs suggest the current crop can at least table a cushy mid-table finish. Despite being early on in the campaign, Lille have posted an 85% Expected Goals from open play ratio – a divisional best in Ligue 1.
Lille appeal on the Asian Handicap line
LOSC are giving up very few goalscoring opportunities and should the hosts be capable of sustaining their current form on Saturday, picking up a result at home to Nantes should be well within their capabilities. Indeed, backing Lille with a -0.50 start on the Asian Handicap line holds plenty of appeal at 1.85.
The visitors Nantes spent heavily, by their standards, this summer. Marquee signings Anthony Limbombe and Lucas Evangelista have impressed and looked good value for their fees, but manager Miguel Cardoso is struggling to wring the best from his side tactically.
Despite a surfeit of attackers, he played a negative 4-3-3 even at home to promoted Reims, with Limbombe and Gabriel Boschilia only featuring from the bench. Edouard Mendy did impress in goal for Reims, but Nantes have only scored five goals in as many matches. If they don’t become more clinical in attack, Cardoso will come under fire – and not without some justification.
The guests have only played Monaco of note and yet are still generating a paltry 0.46 xG from open play average per-game and their 33% ratio return is the third-worst in the league at this early stage. Opposing the out-of-from Les Canaris is a straightforward play.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Lille -0.50 at 1.862
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.
Let’s go to fútbol with La Liga’s Levante v Sevilla showdown!