Julien Laurens' Ligue 1 Betting: Lyon And Lacazette To Shackle High-flying Nice

Nice – Lyon Friday 19:30 GMT

On the back of their superb 3-0 win against arch rivals St Etienne before the international break, Lyon are travelling to Nice on Friday evening. Les Gones are now second in the table, ten points behind PSG, and even if they are still not in the form that saw them almost win the league last season, they have some momentum on their side. They have only lost twice in their last 15 Ligue 1 matches and the victory against St Etienne was their best performance of the season.

This is another tricky game though. Lyon will rely on Alexandre Lacazette, their best player, who is finally finding his form at a crucial time this season. He netted a wonderful hat trick against St Etienne and scored more goals in that match (three) than over the rest of the season (two).

Lyon also have a crucial Champions League game to play next week against Gent and Hubert Fournier might think about rotating his squad on Friday. Samuel Umtiti is a doubt already and could be rested, along with others. Let’s hope for Lyon that it will not disturb the team’s defence. They have kept nine clean sheets already this season, the highest in the five big leagues.

Nice are very much looking forward to hosting Lyon on Friday. It will be a special game for the manager Claude Puel, who spent four years at Lyon and for Hatem Ben Arfa, who played for Lyon. They are both at Nice now and are enjoying a great start of the season.

Nice are sixth in the table, only three points behind the Champions League places. After their struggles last season, it is a superb turnaround. The team plays offensive football and scores lots of goals – they have the second best attack in the league, just behind PSG. They do struggle at home though, with only three wins in their last 13 home league games. They also have a bad record at home against Lyon: three defeats and two draws in their last five visits. And I think Nice will lose again to Lyon on Friday.

The odds are in favour of Lyon with an away win at 2.25. A draw is at 3.25 and a Nice home win is at 3.35.

Alexandre Lacazette is favourite to score first at 5.40. My best tip is Lyon to win and both teams to score at 4.30.

Score prediction: Nice 1 Lyon 2 at 10.00