Sunday, 11 December 2016

Ligue 1, La Liga - Sunday

Because many of you are asking about todays analysis & predictions, I decided to publish short previews about the matches, which were on my list in front of this weekend but I decided not to publish them after analysing it:

Lyon - Rennes

Right after PSG - Nice, second most interesting match of Ligue 1 in this round. Lyon morale could be low, because of Wednesday's match where they failed to beat Sevilla and qualify to 1/16 of Champions league, but they played really good, they were better than Sevilla, and in my opinion they deserved to win, but that's football. Sevilla luckily succeeded with defending and Lyon is in Europa league now. With one match less, they are 2 points behind 4th placed Rennes, but problem is the gap between 3rd and 4th place, which is 8 points right now. Lyon is playing really good, creating many chances, holding possession, playing many short passes. They are good over wings, good throw the midfield, capable to play quick counter attacks, and also with many individuals who can decide the game by themselves - Lacazette, Fekir, Valbuena, Tolisso, but they're problem is conversion ratio. As you can see, Rennes is one of my favourite teams this season, as I was analysing they're matches pretty often. They're game style is pretty interesting. Not playing with too much of possession (avg. 52,8%), well organised team and most dangerous over left flank, where is in my opinion they're best player and one of the best players of the league - N'tep. Another star is Gourcuff, and it's a good question where would Yoann play if his career wouldn't be affected with so many injuries, but he is here now, playing for the team who's coach is his father and looks that both of them feels good in home region of Bretagne. Other key players are Sio and Grosicki, often used as joker from the bench, while key role of midfield is in Andre's hands. p.s. They will be better when also Said will be back after injury. Bet on my list was over 2,5 goals, but odds are simply too low, and there is no value. Specially cause both teams have problem with converting chances to goals. In my opinion, we'll see Lyon winning here as well, but as odds are to low for over, odds are too low also for straight win of home team, so I am skipping this match. Lyon is used to play in 4-3-3 this season, but they will start in 4-4-1-1 formation, probably also because they know that letting Rafael alone with N'tep isn't a good idea.

OL (en 4-4-1-1) : Lopes – Rafael, Yanga-Mbiwa, Diakhaby, Morel – Gonalons (c), Tolisso, Ghezzal, Valbuena – Fekir – Lacazette
Bench: Gorgelin, Nkoulou, Rybus, Tousart, Ferri, Darder, Cornet

Stade Rennais (en 4-4-1-1) : Costil – Danzé (c), Gagnon, Bensebaini, Baal – Fernandes, André, Hunou, Ntep – Gourcuff, Sio
Bench: Nardi, Zeffane, Mexer, Janvier, Grosicki, Saïd, Habibou

PSG - Nice

Derby of the round. Monaco already did what they needed to do, and they are on 1st place of Ligue 1 now. Can Nice surprise PSG and return on 1st spot? Why not. My bet on the list was Nice AH +1,5 and odds are still pretty fine. I need to say that I like those odds, I really do, but I have some strange feelings after analysis. Mentality will be really really important factor in this match, and there is very few players in Nice, who are used to play big matches. Even if they had good results, they are allowing opponents to create 2-3 good chances per game which could be too much today, specially if Cavani will have a good day. There is no doubt, that quality is on side of PSG. It's a good question also on which side is bigger pressure - if it is on PSG, who didn't show what is expected from them yet, or it's on Nice who needs to prove that they are capable of fighting with the best teams in the league. What bothers me the most is Aurier. As I am many times saying that Nice has advantage on they're right sight where full back Pereira is playing incredibly good, coming to final third of pitch almost as winger. Today that won't be possible, because in this case Lucas will have too much of space, besides here is also Kurzawa who is coming in final third from second plan. On the other hand, left flank of Nice is not that active, which means that Aurier, in my opinion one of the best full backs in the league, will have possibility to be active and higher on the pitch. It's true that Belhanda is written as left winger of Nice, but I expect him little bit more in the midfield today, as Nice's midfielders will need help, because they will try to fight for possession, but I think that PSG's midfield is simply better. Balotelli is back at Nice, which means that they have they're factor X back, but they lost Eysseric for 6 weeks. Favre said that they are coming to Paris to play, so we can expect good, open match from both sides. I expect PSG being in control - but everything can change if PSG will be in lead, and decide to let the ball to opponent and wait for counters. As mentioned, even if I think that Nice can cause big problems to PSG, I am somehow afraid of what is that PSG team capable of, and even if PSG is not in the best shape, there is too many unanswered questions for me and I decided to skip the match.

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