Friday, November 17, 2017

Prediction: Olympique Lyon vs AS Monaco

Verdict: Away win

Best Odds: 7/5

Bookmaker: bet365

AS Monaco remain alive on three different competitions down the stretch, but they are not going to prioritise one over another. Knowing they can take a big step towards winning the Ligue 1 title this Sunday, Les Monagasques will visit Olympique Lyon in an authentic clash of Ligue 1 titans.

Olympique Lyon

Lyon are coming off an impressive qualification to the UEFA Europa League semifinals after defeating Besiktas via penalties on Thursday. And it is obvious that Lyon will focus almost entirely on the European stage, because they do not have chances to move past their current fourth place in the standings.

Despite their position in the standings, Lyon are not going to give up easily. They are a tough team to beat, especially at home where they have won seven of their last 10 matches. But there are a few things to consider ahead of this match, because Lyon are likely to rotate the side a bit in an effort to keep players fresh. The regular starters are coming off a 120-minute performance on Turkey, so we could see a few changes especially in midfield. And their motivation could be something to consider as well. Even though winning against Monaco would be quite a confidence boost for the final weeks of the season, how motivated they will be considering their focus is on another competition? That is something worth considering.

Team News

Emanuel Mammana is doubtful, and will require a late-fitness test to determine his availability. Nicolas N’Koulou could take his place at centre back as he did against Bastia.

No other players have been ruled out, so all things considering Lyon will have a strong team for this contest.

AS Monaco

Just like their rivals, Monaco also clinched a berth in a European semi-final. They reached top-four status in the UEFA Champions League after defeating Borussia Dortmund, and now they will face Juventus on May to see if they can reach the UCL final for the first time in 13 years.

However, their main priority remains the Ligue 1 title race. Monaco sits at the top of the standings with 77 points, tied with PSG and four points clear over third-placed Nice. But Monaco’s biggest advantage is that they will play the final game of the weekend, so once the ball starts rolling they will know their opponents’ results. Leonardo Jardim’s men are riding a positive run of results, with five straight wins across all competitions and 14 straight undefeated matches at the league level. And to make things even better, they have one of the hottest strikers in Europe in Kylian Mbappe. The 18-year-old phenom has 12 goals and five assists in 23 Ligue 1 appearances.

Team News

Gabriel Boschilia will miss the remainder of the season with a knee ligament injury. Pierre-Daniel Nguinda has been ruled out as well.

Meanwhile, Guido Carrillo (groin) and Djibril Sidibe (illness) are doubtful, but both are unlikely to feature.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Lyon have not lost in their last five games against Monaco (3W 2D)
  • Monaco have not lost in their last 14 Ligue 1 matches (12W 2D)
  • Monaco have scored 90 goals in the Ligue 1 this season (2.81 goals per game)
  • Kylian Mbappe has scored nine goals over the last nine matches across all competitions.
  • Alexandre Lacazette ranks second in scoring with 24 goals in Ligue 1 play.
  • Lyon have seven wins over their last 10 Ligue 1 home matches (7W 3D)

Conclusion

Monaco have been red-hot of late. And even though Lyon have been a strong team at home, Monaco’s firepower will be too much to handle for a Lyon side that is likely to miss an important defender such as Mammana. The game will be close, but Monaco’s recent form should be enough to give them the three points.

Verdict: Away win

Best Odds: 7/5

Bookmaker: bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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