LIGUE 1 · Sun (8/22) @ 3:00 pm ET
|Stade Geoffroy Guichard, Saint-Étienne, AL|
We goofed. Recently, we vastly underestimated how French keeper Mike Maignan leaving for AC Milan would affect defending Ligue 1-champion Lille. Apologies.
Lille is a train wreck. Among its flat-back-four defense and new Brazilian keeper Leonardo César Jardim, only left back Sven Botman is worthy of wearing a top-flight kit.
New Lille manager Jocelyn Gourvennec is fortunate that Botman is exceptional. Gourvennec, however, had better just be renting in the Stade Pierre Mauroy neighborhood.
- Lille +130 at Saint-Étienne +230, Total 2½, Saturday, 3 pm ET
- Action: 2½ Over +110
That porous Lille defense has allowed 11 shots on target in its first two matches, and Jardim has allowed seven of them into the back of the net.
|William Hill Sportsbook||Moneyline||Total Goals||Goal Line|
|Lille||+130||Over 2½ +110||-½ +115|
|Saint-Étienne||+230||Under 2½ -140||+½ -145|
In all of Europe, the worst defense belongs to Bundesliga minnow Greuther Fürth and keeper Sascha Burchert; in its first top-flight match, Fürth allowed 15 shots on goal, and five found the net.
Lille and Jardim belong in that chatter, however, and that’s why we believe Saint-Étienne might clear this Over all by itself in its Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
Lille’s allowance of 3.5 goals per 90 minutes is the worst in France, and only seven sides are worse in the Big Five—although Serie A in Italy begins this weekend.
A May 2018 Replay?
There has been an average of three goals tallied in two Saint-Étienne matches. Tunisian danger man Wahbi Khazri has scored twice, and Gabonese attacking midfielder Denis Bouanga has put one on the board for Les Verts (the Green).
For Lille, French striker Jonathan Ikone has scored a goal and Turkish striker Burak Yilmaz, fourth overall in Ligue 1 last season with a goals-plus-assists 90-minute average of 0.92, always is a threat.
Inside Geoffroy last season, Khazri (on a penalty kick) and Ikone both scored. We expect this one to mirror the May 2018 match at Geoffroy in which Saint-Étienne thrashed Lille, 5-nil.