Olympique Lyonnais

V

Parc Olympique Lyonnais

15/02/2018 | 8:05 pm

Villarreal CF

V

Parc Olympique Lyonnais

15/02/2018 | 8:05 pm

In a sentence: Lyon host Villarreal in the Europa League, as fourth in Ligue 1 faces fifth in La Liga on Thursday night.

Last time: These two sides have never faced each other before in Europe, but Villarreal were beaten twice by French opposition in last season’s Champions League in the shape of Monaco.

This time: Both clubs are doing well in their respective domestic leagues, and their meeting could be one of the ties of the round.

You might remember: Two former Manchester United players are set to play for Lyon, with Rafael da Silva and Memphis Depay both key figures for the French club.

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Team News

Betting Tips & Predictions

Lyon will also host the 2018 Europa League final and hope to be playing in it, not just watching

Both sides have impressed this season, but their respective recent form has been poor as they prepare to face each other on Thursday night. Lyon have lost their last three league games, including a 3-2 defeat to 10-man Monaco, while Villarreal have lost their last two in Spain. Both teams look to be on track to finish in the European qualification spots at the end of the season, but both are also dark horses to win this competition in 2018.

Lyon have the clear edge of home advantage and a win for Genesio’s side is priced at 17/20, although Villarreal have proved very effective on the road this season, and they are unbeaten on the road in Europe in 2017-18 – and an away victory is priced at 10/3.

The most likely outcome in this one is probably a draw, priced at 12/5, with neither side in great form, and Villarreal happy to wait for their chance in the second leg.

The key for both sides appears to be in their strike forces, with Nabil Fekir and Diaz striking up a great partnership that has produced 33 goals in all competitions this season. However in Bacca, Villarreal have a striker that has scored a winning goal in a Europa League final, back in 2015 for Sevilla.

Match Summary

1

Look out for:

With the likes of Depay, Fekir, Diaz, Bacca and Fornals all on display a game with goals looks very likely on Thursday night. An over 2.5 goals bet is priced at 4/5, and it represents less risk than a result prediction or correct score bet in this one.

2

We fancy:

A score draw would favour Villarreal, given home advantage and away goals for the return leg, and they do look to have an edge in terms of experience of this competition.

A 2-2 draw may sound a little out there at 12/1, but between them they have scored 12 goals in their last four games, and they is little attention paid to defence paid by either manager at the moment.

3

It’s a long shot, but:

Lyon striker Bertrand Traore had an excellent start to the season, and scored four goals in the Europe League group stages. However his form has dipped since then, scoring just once in 2018, despite still being a regular starter for the French club.

He is 11/5 to score anytime against Villarreal and potentially get back amongst the goals for the rest of the season.

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Written by Feargal Brennan

Feargal Brennan is a long-suffering Everton fan who turned to European football for respite from the Toffees’ struggles. A frequent radio contributor, Feargal writes on football and betting and is an expert in how to cope when you support a forever frustrating football team.