Lille v Toulouse – Stade Pierre-Mauroy at 20:00 GMT
Lille have been one of the surprise packages in France this season. LOSC are runaway league leaders PSG’s nearest challengers, and whilst they might sit 10 points behind the league leaders, Christophe Galtier’s group have impressed and excited for large swathes of the campaign.
Les Dogues were embroiled in a relegation battle last season but early signs suggest the current crop can compete for European qualification following a superb W10-D4-L4 return as we reach the midway point of the campaign. Such results are backed up by very impressive performance data returns.
Lille have posted a 58% Expected Goals from open play ratio – a figure only bettered by PSG and Lyon – with LOSC giving up very few goalscoring opportunities. The hosts are allowing only 0.55 xG from open play per-game on average, conceding fewer than 6.50 attempts from inside the penalty area.
Lille impressive in both boxes
Galtier’s men have silenced six sides already in 2018/19, although their forward play has also been eye-catching. Les Dogues are averaging 1.56 goals per-game, with in-demand forward Nicolas Pepe creating plenty of headlines with his excellent displays in the final-third.
Meanwhile, at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille have been particularly impressive. LOSC have only dropped points on three occasions (W6-D3-L0), collecting 21 points from a possible 27. Lyon, Sainte-Etienne and Marseille have all pitched up and failed to leave with a victory and the hosts should be backed to enhance that record when they welcome renowned poor travellers Toulouse on Saturday.
Lille can be backed at 1.75 to overcome a -0.50 Asian Handicap hurdle, a very appealing play considering TFC’s issues on the road.
Terrible travellers Toulouse
Alain Casanova’s charges suffered a gut-wrenching last-minute loss at fellow strugglers Caen in midweek, making it four Ligue 1 losses on the road this term. Les Violets have now been beaten in 16/28 (57%) away trips since the start of last season, with Les Pitchouns failing to score in 11 of those encounters.
The visitors have lost all four of their meetings with teams currently occupying the top-six, conceding at least three goals in three of those games, suggesting they might not be capable of handling a hot Lille outfit this weekend.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Lille -0.50 at 1.750
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.