After missing on the top three and a Champions League spot last term, Lyon kick off their Ligue 1 campaign on Saturday when they host Brest. Both teams changed coaches, as Les Gones replaced Rudi Garcia with Petr Bosz, while the Pirates appointed Michel Der Zakarian after barely avoiding the drop last term.
Where and when: Groupama Stadium – 7 August, kick-off 16:00
Where you can see Lyon vs. Brest: BT Sport
Last time: The last game between those teams was back in February and saw Lyon almost throw away a three-goal lead with the game ending 3-2 in their favour.
Lyon v Brest Predictions and Preview
It’s been a summer of transition at Lyon. Rudi Garcia was replaced by Petr Bosz on Les Gones’ bench after finishing fourth and missing on a Champions League spot last term.
The departures of Memphis Depay and Joachim Andersen also weaken the side significantly, while Mattia De Sciglio also returned to Juventus after his loan expired.
When it comes to new signings, it’s safe to say that Lyon haven’t found proper replacements yet. It’s hard to see how the arrivals of Vasco Da Gama’s left-back Henrique and 33-year-old centre-back Damien Da Silva will improve the defence compared to last season, while Depay’s 20 goals will be missed heavily.
Moussa Dembele will be expected to step into the Dutchman’s shoes after returning from his loan at Atletico Madrid. However, the Frenchman had a nightmare of a season managing only seven appearances for the Spanish side.
Lyon played six friendlies during their pre-season, winning three, drawing one and losing their last two outings 3-2 to Sporting Lisbon and 5-3 against Porto.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
Lyon to win and BTTS
Over 3.5 goals
Paqueta to score first
Brest, meanwhile, finished 17th last term, just one point above the relegation zone. The Pirates only won one of their last 10 Ligue 1 games, with manager Olivier Dall’Oglio replaced by Michel Der Zakarian, who joined from Montpellier.
Brest boasted the best attack in the second half of the table last season with 50 goals. However, they had the third-worst defensive record in the league after conceding 66 times, so Der Zakarian’s main goal would be to improve the defence.
Brest have managed two draws in their last four games against Lyon, as the Pirates have scored at least once in five consecutive games against Les Gones. However, the visitors have struggled to adapt to Der Zakarian’s ways and have won just one of the six friendly games they played – a 4-2 victory against Stade Plabennecois, who play in France’s fourth tier.
Considering all of the above, it’s no surprise that Lyon are heavy favourites at 7/20 to take three points at home against Brest. The draw is priced at 9/2, while an unlikely victory for the visitors can be backed at 7/1.
One to watch for Lyon: Lucas Paqueta had a fantastic season last term, as the ex-Milan midfielder contributed nine goals and five assists in 30 Ligue 1 appearances. The Brazilian broke the deadlock the last time those two teams met, so he might be worth a shot to do the same in the first scorer market.
One to watch for Brest: Steve Mounie’s nine goals were arguably the main reason Brest avoided the drop, as the Pirates lost only two out of the seven game in which he had scored. If an upset is to be on the cards against Lyon, Brest would need the Benin international to be at his absolute best.
Long shot: Lyon have scored three goals in two of their last three games against Brest. The other result was a 2-2 draw at home, but Rudi Garcia’s men should have enough in the tank to overcome Brest at the start of the season. If you are looking for big odds placing a bet on a 3-1 victory for Lyon at 17/2 might be a good option.