Lyon's Champions League hopes set to take yet another battering


Having made a profit on 12 of the last 15 matchdays French football expert James Eastham casts his eye over this weekend's fixtures...


Nancy v Troyes (19th v 20th) Sat, 19:00 GMT


The stats overwhelmingly point towards both sides scoring in this game.

Both teams have scored in 17/30 Nancy games this season, including 15/20 since the start of November. The Lorraine-based outfit have scored in 10 of 15 home games (including all five against bottom-eight sides), conceding in 13 of those 15 home fixtures.


Both teams have scored in 21/30 Troyes games, including nine of their last 11 stretching back to the start of the year and 12 out of 14 away fixtures. Bottom of the table, Troyes are trying to score their way out of trouble - they have the division's second-worst defence but 11th-best attack.


Throw in the fact the first meeting between the sides was a 3-3 draw last November and everything suggests plenty of chances will be created and goals will be scored.


Both teams to Score at 1.87 is my pick. Over 2.5 Goals at 2.16 is also worth considering.



Sochaux v Ajaccio (17th v 14th) Sat, 19:00 GMT


Giovanni Sio is turning out to be a smart signing for Sochaux.


The former France youth international moved from Augsburg to France on loan in the January window and has scored three goals in six games for Sochaux (a goal every 171 minutes). They've been crucial goals, too - after netting in the 3-2 win over PSG and 2-2 draw at Rennes he was on the mark in Sochaux's 2-1 win at Lyon last weekend.


With Sio in the side Sochaux's scoring rate has improved but defensively they remain vulnerable, especially at home. They have conceded in 14 of 15 matches at Stade Bonal, with their only clean sheet coming against Reims, a side with the joint-worst scoring record on the road.


That poor defensive record makes Both teams to Score the smart pick, especially as Ajaccio's defensive record away from home is unimpressive: they have conceded in 13 of 14 games since the opening day of the season.



Reims v Lyon (16th v 3rd) Sun, 16:00 GMT


It is difficult to make a strong case for Lyon for several reasons.


Firstly, there's their current form: they unimpressively lost 1-2 at home to Sochaux last weekend, a fortnight after crashing to a 4-1 defeat at Bastia (who, like Sochaux, are in the bottom-half). Having played some wonderful football from August to December Remi Garde's side look as though they may be running out of energy before the tape.


Lyon's W6-D5-L4 away record is good but by no means guarantees a win on Sunday afternoon. That 4-1 defeat at Bastia was not the first time they have dropped points at bottom-half sides this season: they drew 1-1 draws at Evian, Sochaux and Brest and lost 3-1 at Ajaccio.


Reims are battling relegation but have a solid W6-D6-L3 record at home. They actually do better against top-half than bottom-half sides: their record is W4-D3-L1 against top-10 opponents, including a 1-0 win over PSG last month.


All of which makes Lyon's 2.05 price to win perplexing. Reims at 4.1, the Draw at 3.5 or a lay of Lyon are the smartest options.



Recommended Bets

Best Bet: Nancy v Troyes Both teams to Score @ 1.87

Sochaux v Ajaccio Both teams to Score @ 1.92

Lay Lyon at Reims @ 2.1


(Source: Betfair)




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