LILLE host Rennes in Saturday night's live Ligue 1 action. Jack Wright (@JackWright_BSB) is on-hand to preview his favourite fancies.
Lille vs Rennes | Saturday 22nd August 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
As 2019/20 Ligue 1 champions PSG prepare for the final game of their elongated campaign against Bayern Munich, the opening round of fixtures of their new domestic season gets underway in their homeland.
My focus will be on the game between sides who finished third and fourth behind the Parisians in that abruptly shortened French season in a repeat of the opening fixture from 2018/19.
Lille, who ‘finished’ just one point behind their visitors Rennes, underpinned their campaign with a fantastic home record, second only to the aforementioned champions, and lost just twice (W12-D2-L2) in their last 16 games as hosts in all domestic competition.
Before that early conclusion Lille were in fantastic form, winning six of their final seven league games with five completed without conceding a goal.
In normal circumstances you would snatch the hands off of any bookies offering 11/8 for another home win, however we are unsure what impact the new restrictions will have on a side usually so powerful in front of their own fans, coupled with Rennes decent record against their hosts in the last eight head-to-heads (W5-D1-L2) is enough to put me off putting that selection forward.
Goals unlikely to flow
Unlike its German, Italian, and dare I say it Norwegian counterparts, Ligue 1 is not the go to destination for goals with 734 coming from 279 games at an average of just 2.63 per fixture last season. Les Dogues conceding just nine from their 15 home games and that led to centre back Gabriel Magalhaes, being brought to the attention of not only Arsenal, but now also Manchester United and PSG.
Losing a star component of their miserly defence having already seen 13 goal top scorer Victor Osimhen depart for Napoli would be a big blow. Maybe the 22-year-old will see this as his final audition ahead of a big money move and will want to sign off by adding another clean sheet to the collection.
Julien Stephan’s visitors will play in this season’s Champions League for the first time in their 119-year history and qualification was also built around another rock solid defence. The 10 goals conceded from their 14 road trips was the lowest total in the league, however only eight sides scored fewer than Les Rouge et Noir’s 13 away– a combined total then of just 23 goals at an average of 1.64 per game.
With Christophe Galtier’s hosts scoring 24 home league goals, their games averaged 2.20 so it is no surprise then to see everyone’s favourite bet, Under 2.5 as low as a very prohibitive 6/10.
The betting angle
With what looks likely to be a low-scoring affair, I explored a different angle. Alongside their fondness for a ‘win to nil’ (available at a tempting 5/2 here) Lille’s 15 games at their Stade Pierre-Mauroy last season only saw both teams score on five occasions (33%) with the visitors total of four from 14 an even lower percentage.
A combined total of 20 BTTS ‘no’ games from 29 respective home and away fixtures represents a staggering 69%, giving implied odds of 4/9 so therefore the 37/40 available with BetVictor offers value I simply cannot pass up, implying only a 52% probability of both teams not scoring.
Lille vs Rennes – Both Teams To Score ‘No’ (37/40 Bet Victor)