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European Football Tips: Lyon host Lille in Ligue 1's crunch match

European Football Tips: Memphis Depay features
European Football Tips: Memphis Depay features

The cynosure of this weekend's footballing action in France takes place at 20:00 on Sunday, however, this top of the table bout will be worth the wait as it will be pivotal to the title race.

This eagerly anticipated clash pits fourth placed Lyon against leaders Lille as just three points separate them. Despite the fact that the league table tells a different story, Lyon are priced at even money favourites here and this price could even represent some value because Lille- priced around 13/5- have only won 21% of their games when priced as such.

In terms of team news, Rudi Garcia looks set to continue with the 4-2-3-1 that has served him so well in his sides recent fixtures. Islam Slimani and Karl Toko Ekambi were both rested in their sides midweek cup defeat to Monaco but should come back into the started XI here. 

Today's football tips

As for the visitors, Renato Sanches is back available having overcome a minor injury and could feature in Lille’s engine room from the off at Groupama Stadium. Elsewhere, Timothy Weah misses out with a thigh problem which should see Jonathan David alongside Burak Yilmaz up top.

Lille +0.5 on the Asian Handicap
Odds correct as of 2021-04-24 15:35 Odds subject to change.

Perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly, leaders Lille boast the best away record in the French top flight having taken 37 points from their 16 fixtures on the road this campaign. It is also worth noting that Les Dogues have not struggled overcoming Les Gones in the past as their recent history indicates. Since 2015, these sides have locked horns on 12 occasions, Lyon have won just once!

Lille also boast the best defence in Ligue One conceding just 20 goals this season and given the current standings at the helm of the table you have to assume Galtier would take a point here. Therefore, I am happy to take his side with a half a goal headstart as this means we get paid out as long as the visitors avoid defeat. 

Lucas Paqueta anytime goalscorer
Odds correct as of 2021-04-24 15:40 Odds subject to change.

As alluded to, Rudi Garcia switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation- a shape he has previously tinkered with- in Lyon’s cup game at the start of the month to great success. Since then his side have won all three of the games they have played when he has set his stall out accordingly.

One player who seems to be thriving in this new system is Lucas Paquetá. The Brazilian has played the majority of the campaign in central midfield but has moved to a more advanced role with more attacking freedom since the switch. Since then his offensive output has increased drastically as he has racked up eight shots, an xG of 1.61, scored one and assisted two! Therefore, as long as he continues in this position I think his anytime goalscorer price is worth a punt. 

Memphis Depay and Benjamin Andre to be carded
Odds correct as of 2021-04-24 14:45 Odds subject to change.

Given the magnitude of this game and the ramifications it will have on the title race it could get tasty and with a favourable refereeing appointment it would be daft not to have a dabble on some cards here.

Aurélien Petit has the whistle for this one. The Frenchman has overseen 13 Ligue One fixtures this season, dishing out an average of 4.15Y and 0.23R cards per game.

For the hosts I like the look of a Memphis Depay card at 4/1 with Sky Bet and William Hill. It might be worth shopping around though as not all bookies have released their prices for this market yet. For club and country, Depay has only picked up seven cards in 46 appearances, however, what is interesting is the circumstances he receives them. In his last ten appearances for Lyon he has picked up three bookings. Over the same period his side have failed to win on four occasions, Depay was booked in three of those four games! Thus highlighting the fact that he is not the greatest sportsman when things are not going his way.

For the visitors, I like the look of a Benjamin André card. The versatile Frenchman has accumulated eight bookings this season, making him his side's most carded player. He also tops his side's charts in terms of defensive output as he averages 3.4 tackles, 2.3 interceptions and two fouls per game. He will have his work cut out trying to contain Paquetá as well as the tricky Brazilian has drawn eight fouls in his last two starts!

You can combine these two at odds of 14/1 with William Hill’s ‘Build #YourOdds’. Best of luck if you are backing any of these selections and please remember to gamble responsibly. 

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