Lille and FC Porto were pitted against each other for the first time in this stage of the competition and while Lille looks for a group stage place for the sixth time, Porto have not been here since 2001. Despite Lille being in rather poor form in Ligue 1 and scoring just 4 goals in 4 matches, the odds for either team to win are more or less equal.
Lille is not doing good either in the statistics department, as out of six matches against Portuguese teams they only managed to win one and lose three, as opposed to Porto against French teams. The visitors have played more than 20 times against French teams and won 12 times; managing to lose only six matches. Against Porto speaks the fact that they also didn’t manage to win any match on a European stage since the win against Austria Wien in 2013.
Porto is just starting their Champions League adventure, while Lille had to eliminate Grasshoper after 3-1 on aggregate, thus booking a meeting with Porto. Despite being on the 7th place after two Ligue 1 rounds, Lille managed to beat Caen with a wonder goal from their latest transfer Divock Origi. Both teams are strong in the defense, but lack speed on counter-attacks, hence why it would be easy to predict not so many goals.
Girard has no injury concerns, while Lopetegui has to depend on whether Alex Sandro will pass the fitness level, and Quintero is under doubt so he might see himself start on the bench. 888sport gives Lille 2.65 odds for an outright win, Porto 2.70 and a draw between the two sides at 3.10. Under 1.5 goals is at 2.70 and an even number of goals at 1.94. We are going to bet 6 units on both teams to score at 2.04 with the same bookie.
LOSC Lille: Team’s Formation
FC Porto: Team’s Formation
End prediction for the match:
Both teams to score
Arsenal have always qualified for the Champions League groups since Arsene Wenger is their coach and look forward to their match against Besiktas as means to increase their self-confidence after a rather shaky win in their opening Premier League clash. Arsene Wenger stated that his World Cup champions will not start in this match, as well as the fact that Gibbs will also miss because of an injury he picked up in the aforementioned match.
Besiktas will lean towards Demba Ba’s knowledge of Arsenal’s style of play, as the former Chelsea striker might turn out to be the most uncomfortable player for the Gunners. Bilic will hope Kerim Frei, one of Besikats’ heroes against Feyenoord will also work around to prevent Arsenal from scoring away goals that will facilitate their eventual group qualification. The home side didn’t start in the Turkish League, but to Arsenal’s advantage, managed to lose a friendly match against Wigan Athletic.
Last year, in this exact stage of the competition, Arsenal eliminated another team from Turkey, Fenerbahce, and look forward to repeat the same result, because as stated by Wenger “We are desperate to go through, no matter what it costs.” He is still unsure whether Koscielny will be able to play, but in case of extreme emergency Wenger is ready to play Mertesacker.
Regardless of the fact that Besiktas intend to exploit Arsenal’s weaknesses and their plan to only rely on Ramsey to score, the Gunners are still the overall favorites to win outright at 1.65 with Unibet. Besiktas to win is at 5.20 and a draw at the end of regular time is at 3.60. Arsenal to lead at half time 2.23, Besiktas at 4.90 and both teams to score is at 1.78. An interesting betting market is Giroud to hit the crossbar, but without it being a goal at 7.00 and we are going to bet 7 units on the second half with over 1.5 goals at 2.00 with Unibet.
Besiktas: Team’s Formation
Arsenal: Team’s Formation
End prediction for the match:
Second half over 1.5 goals
We lost the bet placed with William Hill on AS Monaco to win both halves against Lorient, as not only did they lose the first half, but also managed to concede a goal in the last three minutes of the regular time. Lorient opened the score within the first 10 minutes of the match when Aboubakar transformed a penalty given for a hard foul inside the Monaco box. The striker then proceeded to convert the penalty by sending the ball into the left corner and putting his team ahead.
Lecomte had one of his great days where he managed to save all Monaco’s attempts to level up the score, but the hosts managed to spot a weakness of their opponents on the left flank, which is where they have directed all their shots. In the second half, Monaco thought they could make the difference by introducing Falcao, linked heavily with a move to Real Madrid. It was him to equalize on the 78th minute after converting another penalty.
Before that, Monaco played with 10 men as Carvalho was sent off in the 67th minute after receiving a second yellow card. It was the title hopes that might have made Monaco look all over the place on the field, relying only on Berbatov and Falcao to deliver, thus completely forgetting that they also need a competitive defensive line to make it in Ligue 1.
Lorient won the match on the 87th minute when Lavigne beat Subasic on a neatly created counter-attack. Monaco underperformed in this transfer window, but their coach is confident in his team: “Our project is to build a team that plays with a high defensive line,” Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim said. “We still hope to sign a defender. This team is not used to playing with a high defensive line.”
Result: -7 units, bet lost
AS Monaco’s great last Ligue 1 season was mainly due to Falcao being in great form and leading the team to the second place on the table and earning an automatic Champions League qualification. William Hill points out that Monaco is the overall favorite, but this time around they would have to adjust to selling out their most prolific assists-maker James Rodriguez to Real Madrid and most likely losing out Falcao to the same team.
Lorient managed to finish somewhere in the middle of the Ligue 1 table thus avoiding any relegation worries, mainly due to their goalscorer Aboubakar, who finished second on the goalscorer list for last season. On the bright side of things, Lorient will not be able to count on their newest signing for this match as Jordan Ayew is serving a suspension. AS Monaco will also have to work around Borja Lopez’ knee ligament injury, as well as Raggi’s suspension, but in their favor stands the fact that last season they only managed to lose once at home.
AS Monaco’s latest result is a 1-0 win over Arsenal in the Emirates Cup, which puts Falcao in prime position to score more than two goals, at 3.75 with William Hill. Over 3.5 goals is at 3.25, a goal in the first five minutes is priced up at 8.00, and both teams to score is at 2.20. We are going to bet 7 units on Monaco winning both halves at 2,87, but you could also place a bet on AS Monaco to win to nil at 2.05 with William Hill.
AS Monaco: Team’s Formation
Lorient: Team’s Formation
End prediction for the match:
AS Monaco winning both halves