Soccer France Ligue 1 - 11 March 2023
Lille vs Lyon - Match Preview
A 1-1 draw at Lens last weekend may have halted Lille’s rise up the Ligue 1 table, but a return to the European stage is still on the cards, illustrated by a one-point deficit from the top-five ahead of this round. Coach Paulo Fonseca expressed his frustration at being held in that draw, stating “the goalkeeper is the man of the match” after his team managed six shots on target, contributing to a total of 148 this season in Ligue 1 – the third-highest total across Europe’s top five leagues, behind PSG and Bayern Munich!
LOSC will fancy their chances of getting back on track at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium where they haven't been beaten since August (W9, D3). The arrival of a Lyon side that has won only once at this stadium from 15 attempts (D7, L7), while failing to score (own goals excluded) in the previous three, should give Fonseca and his team belief they can climb into the top-five with a win here, until Saturday evening at least.
With a seven-point gap to the top-five at the end of the last round, visitors Lyon look set for a second consecutive season without competing on the European stage - their longest such run since 1995/96! Lyon’s 2.29 expected goals against 0.94 during their goalless draw against Lorient at the weekend helps explain why coach Laurent Blanc said his team "deserved to win", in a game where the absence of their top scorer Alexandre Lacazette was felt.
It’s unlikely to be an easy trip for Les Gones, with Lyon winless in six away league games against current top-half teams (D1, L5). Although Blanc will be helped here by the return of Lacazette, their indifferent form this season and record at this stadium means completing a hat-trick of wins this season against Lille - following success in the reverse H2H and a recent Coupe de France win on penalties - will be no easy task.
📋 Players to watch: Lille’s Jonathan David has scored before half-time in his seven goalscoring matches at home in 2022/23, while Lyon’s Lacazette has been more effective later in the game away from home in recent times, scoring the last match goal beyond the 65th minute in four of his previous five scoring road trips.
⚡ Hot stat: The average time (19’) of the opening goal in Lille’s home matches is the quickest in the position.
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