Lyon vs Dijon | Friday 28th August 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
Lyon kick-off their Ligue 1 campaign on Friday night as they welcome Dijon to the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes. Les Gones have barely had chance to catch breath following their valiant Champions League run which saw they lose to eventual winners Bayern Munich in the semi-finals just 10 days ago.
Meanwhile, this will be Dijon's second game of their 2020/21 season following their 1-0 defeat at home to Angers last Saturday.
Despite the hosts quick turnaround, they have only two absentees and neither are due to injury. Rafael is suspended after receiving a red card in the Coupe da la Ligue final and striker Tino Kadewere has returned to Zimbabwe for personal reasons.
Despite opting for a 3-5-2 in the Champions League, Rudi Garcia is expected to revert back to the 4-3-3 he deployed in the league last season as follows; Lopes; Dubois, Marcelo, Denayer, Cornet; Caqueret, Guimaraes, Aouar; Reine-Adelaide, Dembele, Depay.
Dijon were handed a blow last week as their top goalscorer from last season requested to leave, he is currently out injured. Midfeilder Pape Chiekh Diop cannot play against his parent club but Fouad Chakfik should return. This should see the visitors line-up with a 4-3-3 as follows; Gomis; Chafik, Manga, Lautoa, Muzinga; Ndong, Marie, Amalfitano; Ebimbe, Scheidler, Choular.
Lyon to win and Under 3.5 Goals (21/20 Betway)
In terms of stats, Lyon won 21 games last season in all competitions, 12 of those featured fewer then four goals. Dijon's only game of the current season was a 1-0 defeat and during last term, of their 14 defeats this bet landing in 12. It was only in their matches against PSG (6-1 loss in the cup and 4-0 defeat away) that the guests were beaten in a game featuring four or more goals.
Both sides have solid defences and you could argue Dijon's Ligue 1 status was secured as a direct consequence of their defensive solidarity last season. However, whilst keeping the ball out of their own net is a strength, putting it in the opposition’s is their Achilles heel. Only Toulouse and Reims scored fewer goals last season and both were relegated.
Lyon were one of the most defensively sound sides amongst the French elite with only PSG and Reims conceding fewer. Les Gones’ defensive solidarity is best epitomised by the fact that last season they had an xGA of 24.73, which was only bested by champions PSG.
In terms of attacking prowess, Lyon averaged just 1.5 goals per-game in the league and xG suggested this was an overachievement as they had an output of only 1.29 xG per-game.
Therefore, given the underlying stats and how short Lyon are to win outright, I like this Bet Builder. In terms of price, this is a bet that is consistently priced across most bookies. The same price is also available on Betway and Unibet and most other bookies have it at evens.
Jason Denayer Tackles (Ladbrokes)
Towards the back end of the last campaign, Lyon deployed a 3-5-2 more frequently which saw Denayer line up as a right-sided centre back of a back three. This saw a spike in the number of tackles he completed as his exposure grew.
During his last five starts as a RCB, he completed 1.8 tackles per-game with two tackles landing in 3/5 of those games and three tackles landing in 2/5.
Against Dijon, his direct opponent should be the Owls key man; Mounir Chouiar. The young Frenchman was a standout performer last season in what was a bleak campaign for the side from western France. Staggeringly, only Neymar averaged more dribbles pe- game in Ligue 1 last season than Chouiar.
Chouiar averaged 5.6 per-game, successfully completing 3.75 and was dispossessed 2.7 times. Last week, his direct opponent completed two tackles.
It's a big if but if Rudi Garcia sticks with the formation that saw Les Gones overcome Juventus and Man City in the Champions League and Denayer starts RCB then tackles is a play.
Only Ladbrokes and SkyBet have this market priced up and the former have the best prices by some distance. For Denayer to complete two tackles Ladbrokes have odds of 23/10 (evens on SkyBet) and too complete three tackles, Denayer is 15/2 with Ladbrokes (5/1 on SkyBet).
Leo Dubois Tackles (Ladbrokes)
As eluded to above, the more likely scenario is that Leo Dubois will play RB in a 4-3-3 and therefore he will be the direct opponent of Chouiar, which is crucial as this is not a bet based on the tackling ability of Lyon's defenders but the attacking output of Chouiar.
Listed are his completed tackles per game in the league last season; 5/2/1/0/2/2/1/1/1/4/2/3/2/1/3. As you can see he completed four or more tackles twice, one was versus Dimitri Payet and the other against Neymar. He also completed two or more in 9/15 games he started.
Ladbrokes have him at 19/20 to complete two tackles and 3/1 to complete three, both of which appeal. Statistically, as of his stats from last season, he completed two or more tackles in 60% of his league starts. Odds of 19/20 imply the probability of him competing two tackles is just 51.3%. When you combine this with who he is up against, I think these prices represent value.