Lyon – Lille – Saturday 16:00
It was the worst international break ever for Lyon. They lost Nabil Fekir for six months after he injured his knee with France in Portugal. It is terrible news for Lyon and French football as a whole. Fekir had started the season so well with a hat trick in his last game before the international break. Now, he will only come back in March. It is a massive blow for the team and the club, who have decided not to get a replacement, as they are permitted to do. Fekir will have surgery next week and will cheer on his team-mates from home on Saturday against Lille.
L’OL (fifth in the table before Week 5) bounced back in style two weeks ago with a 4-0 win at Caen, thanks to Fekir and a very poor defensive display from their hosts. This will be a tougher test for them, probably their first interesting test of the season. They have been struggling at home so far, with a draw against Lorient and a defeat against Rennes. They have not been able to create enough offensively and have been really poor at the back - especially their new signing Mapou Yanga Mbiwa.
As a team, Lyon need to do better and individually some players need to up their game as well. Mathieu Valbuena needs to bring more to the team. Alexandre Lacazette is back in the squad after a back injury and a bad start of season (0 goal so far) and he needs to deliver. He scored 27 Ligue 1 goals last season in 33 games and almost led the team to the title. He needs to open his goalscoring account this weekend. He will have Claudio Beauvue as a partner up front. The new signing has been in good form. He scored a superb goal against Caen, his second in four league matches. The manager Hubert Fournier should start Sergi Darder, the Spain U21 international midfielder, who signed from Malaga - a lot is expected of him and it will be interesting to see how he does.
Lille have made the most of a tough start this season. They lost to PSG on the opening day but have kept three clean sheets in a row, registering two draws and a win. They are 12th in the table before this weekend and will look to be very solid again on Saturday at Lyon. They will rely on Sofiane Boufal up front to make the difference and he scored a lovely goal against Ajaccio in the last game. I think Lille will frustrate Lyon and get a point out of the game.
The odds are massively in favour of Lyon with a home win at 1.78. A draw is at 3.40 and a Lille away win is at 5.10.
Alexandre Lacazette is favourite to score first at 4.60. My best tip is both teams to score in the second half at 4.50.
Score prediction: Lyon 1 Lille 1 at 8.00