Lyon v Caen – Parc Olympique Lyonnais at19.45 live on BT Sport 1
Lyon’s star man Alexandre Lacazette recovered from injury to start and duly bagged a hat-trick in last weekend’s season opener at Nancy for Les Gones.
The sought-after striker helped Bruno Genesio’s side move on quickly from their humbling Super Cup loss to PSG seven days earlier with a clinical away performance that sent Lyon straight to the top of the Ligue 1 standings.
Les Gones weren’t completely dominant but they were surprisingly solid at the back. The visitors controlled the game but created relatively few openings – however, seven of their nine attempts on Nancy’s goal were on-target.
Lyon concluded 2015/16 on a wonderful run of 11 wins from 15 fixtures, scoring at least twice in 10 of their final 12. Friday night’s hosts were comfortably the highest scorers in the division, with the exception of PSG, but they did ship 43 goals – the second-most of any top-six side.
I’m not at all convinced Genesio’s fixed those defensive faults just yet and the home head coach might have to do without left-back Jeremy Morel here. It’ll give guests Caen hope of at least grabbing a goal in what’s likely to be a game that ultimately ends in defeat.
The past five meetings between the two sides have seen the Over 2.5 Goals selection pay-out whilst Lyon plundered four goals in both of last year’s head-to-head duels.
With seven Ligue 1 wins from eight as hosts and 21 of Lyon’s 38 league outings in 2015/16 returning profitable Over 2.5 Goals punts, the home success in a goal-filled game certainly looks like the right approach to take.
Since the start of 2014/15, Les Gones have won 26/38 (68%) of their home matches with exactly half of those victories arriving by a margin of two goals or more. With that in mind, the 1.70 on offer for Lyon -1 in the Asian Handicap betting market looks too good to ignore.
Caen haven’t kept their sheets clean in 15 road trips and shipped 52 goals on their way to seventh last term – their best season in Ligue 1 since 1991/92.
Patrice Garande’s group opened their 2016/17 account with a thrilling come-from-behind 3-2 success over Lorient but Stade were 2-0 down after only 18 minutes and it took visiting centre-back Zargo Toure’s 26th minute red card to turn the tie in their favour.
New signing Ivan Santini struck a brace as Caen showed no sign of missing the exiled Andy Delort in attack but their weakness down the flanks once again stood out. Last season’s right back Dennis Appiah has departed and early signals suggest Garande is still looking to plug those gaps.
Despite their lofty finish, Caen concluded their campaign with the third worst goal difference in Ligue 1 last season and although they’re willing and able to play their part in an open encounter here, they could end up on the end of a rough scoreline if they don’t tighten up.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Lyon -1 at 1.70 & Over 2.75 Goals at 1.94
Prices correct at time of writing.
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