CARDS specialist Chris Goodwin (@CGeorgeGamble) picks out his favourite fancies from Thursday night's Ligue 1's Sunday showdown between Lens and PSG.
Lens vs PSG | Thursday 10th September 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
Newly-promoted Lens welcome Champions League runners-up PSG to the Stade Bollaert-Delelis in their second game of the season. The newcomers’ first fixture back saw them battle valiantly away to Nice but unfortunately fell to a 2-1 defeat.
Things have gone from bad to worse recently for PSG, mind. Not only did they have their hearts broken by a formidable Bayern Munich, but their squad has also now been hit by coronavirus.
At the time of writing, seven players have tested positive; Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Marquinhos, Mauro Icardi, Keylor Navas, Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes are all going to be out of this game meaning Lens will be far more confident of causing an upset.
It’s extremely unfortunate for PSG, and whilst said players make their recovery, Thomas Tuchel will have to rely on the rest of his squad to step up in place of their stars.
- Committed a huge 18 fouls in their last game away to Nice.
- Tend to commit a lot of errors.
- Play direct football and look to get plenty of crosses into the box.
- Look to utilise their aerial threats from set-piece situations.
- Scored in 12/14 home games last season.
- Have won five of their previous five season-opening games (four at home and one away).
- Scored 75 goals last season, the players reportedly unavailable through COVID contributed to 51 of those goals.
- Have seen over 2.5 goals in their last six league games.
- Are undefeated in last 15 Ligue 1 games.
- Are Undefeated in last 12 games against Lens.
My first pick is for there to be Under 2.5 Goals (10/11 Bet365). As previously mentioned, the players missing for PSG contributed to 51 of their goals last season – a massive 68% of their total tally.
If you’re a newly-promoted side having to play PSG, this will be the time you’d want to play them. Obviously, the nature of the reasons behind those missing is concerning, but there is still a match to be played and Lens will fancy their chances much more than if those players were involved.
Because of the firepower that is missing, this is a bet I have to play. Although, interestingly, the last time PSG played away from home in their opening fixture was five seasons ago and they won that by a single goal.
Secondly, I’m going to have a play on Lens Double Chance (11/10 SkyBet). Despite the mistakes in their game against Nice, the hosts looked a decent side in stages – in particular, goalscorer Gael Kakuta. I think there is value here given the reasons above.
Lastly, I’ll be getting on an OddsOnThat from Betfair. The home side scored in 12 of their 14 home games last season in Ligue 2 and scored again away to Nice. They also racked up the corner count with their direct play and crosses into the box.
With so many players missing, i think this one will be a stern test for Tuchel’s team. The potential hangover from their Champions League defeat is a possibility and maybe there could be some rustiness when trying to deal with Lens attack, meaning mistimed challenges.
At the price (11/2 Betfair), I’m willing to have a small punt on Lens to Score, Lens 5+ Corners and PSG 2+ Cards.