MEXICAN LIGA MX · Sun (8/8) @ 5:00 am ET
|Stade Saint Symphorien, France, AL|
In its second-to-last match of 2020-21, Lille drew, 0-0, with Saint-Étienne on May 16. Lille’s first Ligue 1 championship in 10 seasons looked precarious, as it had only a one-point edge over powerful Paris Saint-Germain.
And PSG had an easy finale against Brest.
Burak Yilmaz, however, listened to no negativity. “You will see,” Lille’s Turkish striker told reporters after that scoreless battle. “We will be champions.”
He then poked in a first-half added-time penalty kick for a 2-0 advantage at Angers on May 23, and the home side produced just one late goal. Lille, with 83 points, had its crown. PSG finished with 82 points.
The 2021-22 Ligue 1 campaign begins this weekend, and the defending champions’ game at Metz stands out as a superb opportunity.
Sports Betting Odds: Lille -135 vs. Metz +475, Total 2½, Sunday, 5 am ET
Action: Lille -135
This is a different Lille side than the one that had such a glorious ’20-21 campaign, as coach Christophe Galtier moved on to Nice and keeper Mike Maignin went to AC Milan.
|DraftKings Sportsbook||Moneyline||Total Goals||Goal Line|
|Lillie||-135||Over 2½ -160||-1½ +195|
|Metz||+475||Under 2½ +125||+1½ -360|
New boss Jocelyn Gourvennec is making the calls, and 26-year-old Brazilian stopper Leonado César Jardim patrols the woodwork.
Lille supporters might have been nervous. However, in Tel Aviv on Aug. 1, in the Trophée des Champions, Lille zapped PSG, 1-0. The usual suspects weren’t in the PSG lineup.
Still, a clean sheet for Jardim in his first match wearing the Lille kit was huge for him and the team’s fans. Plus, it was the first time Lille lifted that hardware.
The 26-year-old Portuguese midfielder Xeka (whose real name is Miguel Ângelo de Silva Rocha) scored the lone goal of that match, and every other important part of the Lille machinery returns this season.
That includes Canadian striker Jonathan David, Dutch defender Sven Botman, French midfielder Jonathan Bamba, Portuguese defender and team captain José Fonte, French midfielder Benjamin André and Yilmaz, also widely known as Kral (King, in Turkish).
This series has been a nightmare for Metz, which is playing its third consecutive Ligue 1 season but has spent half of the past dozen seasons in Ligue 2.
First, Lille has dropped only two of the past 22 meetings, in all competitions. And in the past three, Lille has recorded clean sheets. Also, in the past seven at Metz, Lille has tallied at least two goals in each match.
As if all of that weren’t enough, Lille has won 12 of the past 13 away games. Les Dogues (The Mastiffs) are very comfortable being uncomfortable.
It would be challenging to unearth a more-lopsided series. (Although we have found a few nuggets—keep reading this space.) We are fortunate that this is such a friendly price, at only -135.