Champions League Group H: Inconsistent Lyon and Valencia value to draw
Lyon and Valencia face one another for the first time in 15 years in Champions League Group H, and both are looking to make big waves in Europe’s elite club competition. As neither side can seem to string a run of favourable results together, Coral’s awesome 11/5 price on a draw appeals.
Visiting Los Che have three wins, plus as many draws and defeats from nine outings in all competitions so far, while the Kids’ record in as many competitive matches this term reads 3-4-2.
Home advantage is only enough to make Lyon the narrowest of favourites at 13/8, with Valencia priced close behind for three points at 17/10, but neither in the outright match betting is attractive with so little consistency shown by these sides.
Support striker Nabil Fekir is a real miss for the hosting Kids, with a serious knee injury putting him out alongside fellow long-term absentees Gueida Fofana and Clement Grenier.
Punters may thus think – with Lyon’s spine clearly weakened – that Bats boss Nuno Espirito Santo should be savvy enough to exploit this. The home team show no reticence to blood their academy products, however.
Supplemented by canny summer signings Claudio Beauvue in attack, diminutive creative midfielder Mathieu Valbuena and former Manchester United and Brazil right back Rafael among others, there are eight fit club graduates in the first-team squad at the Stade de Gerland. That number is even higher when considering Under-21 players too.
Alexadre Lacazette is Lyon’s prized asset with a prolific campaign last season seeing him break the 30-goal barrier across all competitions. This explains why he is a short anytime chance at evens, but well worth a shout to score first at 4/1.
Acquired attacking partner Beauvue, meanwhile, has developed a habit of netting last since joining from Guingamp after doing so on three occasions already this term, so is a 6/1 shot to do so again.
Valencia share the Kids’ philosophy of promoting young talent nowadays, with that strategy swiftly implemented once billionaire Asian investor Peter Lim had control at the Mestalla.
With just one win in four coming into this Champions League clash, albeit last time out in La Liga against Granada, they have scored just a sole goal since previously seen in Europe when Los Che bravely fought back from 2-0 against Zenit St Petersburg only to concede again and lose 3-2.
Nuno is chopping and changing his selections, clearly yet to find his best XI, but Bats striking prodigy Paco Alcacer cannot be left out of an elite game like this again. His half-time introduction during the Zenit game gave the Russians something else to think about up front.
Paco is becoming an increasingly talismanic figure in like fashion to many Valencia predecessors in the number nine shirt, and a maiden Champions League goal on a potential full debut in the competition is 6/4 to occur anytime.
Another Spanish starlet, Santi Mina, meanwhile, showed bags of potential at Celta Vigo, and is even better in the same market at 9/4.
Coral’s top tip: Back a 1-1 draw between Lyon and Valencia at 5/1.