Marseille vs. Lyon: Olympique Derby Could Be Wide Open
While Paris Saint-Germain has strolled to the title this season in Ligue 1, Monaco’s win on Friday has put pressure on the two sides below them to ensure that there is still a race for second spot in France.
Sunday’s 4 p.m. ET kickoff sees third host fourth in the French league, and it’s the latest installment of the Olympique Derby between Marseille (-107) and Lyon (+318). While a draw (+257) won’t really suit either side in their respective bids to bridge the gap to the side directly above them, a win either way could have real ramifications on the home stretch this season.
It’s Rudi Garcia’s Marseille that holds the home advantage and, at present, a five-point lead over their visitors this weekend. A victory this time out would not only ensure that they aren’t cut adrift of reigning champions Monaco — moving back to within four points — but also all but cement them in that crucial third place, which earns a spot in the Champions League qualification rounds.
Lyon, then, must avoid defeat if they want to be in the fight for that spot, though a win for the away side would all but guarantee that the two bitter rivals will fight for third and end their rival’s hopes of an automatic route into Europe’s elite club competition.
It’s high stakes at the Stade Velodrome, then, with more than just bragging rights to play for in this long-standing crunch match.
There are also plenty of other factors to consider when making your bets on Sunday, not least being the fact that the home side had a trip to Bilbao to contend with on Thursday night. It certainly helps that it was a successful one, however, booking their place in the last eight of the Europa League.
Lyon was also in action in the same competition but were playing at home, which makes their exit at the hands of CSKA Moscow — having managed a narrow victory in the first leg in Russia — all the more damaging to morale. Bruno Genesio’s charges have been on a poor run of late in general, too, crashing out of the Coupe de France earlier this month and losing ground in the league after a six-game winless streak, which came to an end last week with a 1-0 win over Caen.
Marseille will be in high spirits by comparison, and are rightly favorites to get a positive result once again against a Lyon side that has struggled in the absence of star man Nabil Fekir (pictured above). The France international has been a real star in Ligue 1 this season and leads the way for Les Gones in both goals (16) and assists (six) thus far, but will be out once again this weekend due to injury.
The hosts, on the other hand, should be at full strength and remain a decent price to claim all three points. Their record at the Stade Velodrome this season has been excellent after all, losing just once in 14 matches and not since September.
In the 17 games that have passed at home since in all competitions, Marseille has won 13 and drawn four despite hosting the likes of PSG and Monaco in that time. Lyon, meanwhile, has picked up just two points from their last four away games and have beaten only two of the current top 10 on the road thus far.
It’s the visitors’ defensive resolve that has crumbled in their travels of late, with just one clean sheet in their last eight away games in Ligue 1. They have, however, scored in every one of said outings, and have found the net in their last 11 away matches in France’s top flight.
It’s little surprise that the odds are low on both teams to score, with Sporting Bet offering the best price on the market (1.65/-154). That’s reasonable value nonetheless given the attacking talent that will be on display, but if it’s a longer price you are after, then multiple bookmakers are offering 3.60 (+260) on a home win with both teams to score.
There hasn’t been an away win when these two sides have met at either venue in their last 10 encounters, so Lyon certainly has an uphill task. There should be plenty of entertainment, though, with the Olympique Derby a fitting way to bring this weekend’s European action to a close.
All odds current as of Saturday morning.