Strasbourg v Lyon – Stade de la Meinau at 17:30 GMT
Strasbourg’s rejuvenation continued last weekend as the Alsace outfit enjoyed the biggest winning margin in Ligue 1 on Matchday 14. Thierry Laurey’s troops followed up their 4-1 thrashing against Nimes at their Stade de la Meinau home by battering Amiens 4-0 at the Stade de la Licorne to move into mid-table.
Post-match, Laurey was particularly pleased with his team’s finishing, saying: “We played well but the main thing was that we were clinical. This result will have done everyone a lot of good. We were a bit worried because we had not scored a goal away from home since the season began.”
Le Racing were excellent at Amiens, winning the shot count 16-5 and landing eight attempts on-target. The visitors generated 2.10 Expected Goals (xG) from open play and also hit the woodwork in a domineering display with Laurey also suggesting his side are beginning to find their rhythm again after a tough start.
Due to Strasbourg’s European commitments, Le Racing’s season started at the end of July, and there was a clear feeling that the extra fatigue had started to impact upon a small, young squad. Laurey added, “Little by little we are getting back a bit of freshness which we maybe didn’t have two months ago.”
Lyon finding form
Lyon travel to Russia on Wednesday night for a crunch Champions League tie against Zenit on the back of four wins from five across all competitions. Les Gones made the journey without skipper Memphis Depay and Houssem Aouar and the duo are rated major doubts for Saturday’s showdown here.
And Rudi Garcia’s group haven’t been helped by French schedulers. An important contest in St Petersburg – where Lyon won’t arrive home until Thursday morning at the absolute earliest – is followed by a tricky away day in Strasbourg where Les Gones kick-off in the early Saturday slot.
Last weekend Lyon overcame Nice 2-1 at the Groupama Stadium as Moussa Dembele converted his league-leading 10th goal of the season from the penalty spot. It was a feisty fixture which saw left-back Marcal dismissed, giving Garcia more food for thought with his selection for Saturday.
Despite their difficult start to 2019/20, Strasbourg appear to have finally found their feet. Le Racing have motored up the Ligue 1 performance data rankings over the past month and are devilishly difficult opponents at their atmospheric Stade de la Meinau home, losing here just six times since the start of last season.
The hosts avoided defeat when welcoming last season’s top five in Ligue 1 and Laurey’s men should be backed to pick up another positive result on Saturday. Lyon are unlikely to be at full-strength for the showdown and must also deal with an unfortunate schedule that leaves little room for recover from Russia, or preparation for their trip to the Alsace region.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Strasbourg +0.25 at 1.810
Preview by: @MarkOHaire