Last round away at Toulouse (0-0 draw) it was clearly visible Lyon still have an objective (4th place in Ligue1) and aren’t willing to risk it by adopting an ultra offensive strategy.
It was a dull game that lacked serious scoring opportunities, a game played mostly in midfield, a game in which neither side was willing to take any risks.
Not only last round, but in general Lyon are very solid in the defensive department and it takes huge efforts in opening them up (PSG are living proof of that).
But things are at the opposite end when it comes to the attacking phase. Lyon lack creativity nowadays with both Grenier and Gourcuff out injured.
Striker Gomis is out-of-form, midfielder Malbranque is no play-maker, Briand has alternating performances and so the entire burden of the attacking phase is on the shoulders of Lacazette. He is a talented player but all this responsibility can be a bit overwhelming sometimes.
Even if Bastia conceded only once last round (won 2-1 over Ajaccio) they gave away huge spaces in defense.
Last week it was the first time coach Hantz used defensive midfielder Romaric as a fullback. His performance on the flank was poor and he was often outplayed by opponents.
Upfront Bastia haven’t created that many chances and most of their actions implied wingers running down the flanks and delivering long balls inside the penalty box. In these conditions defending against Bastia is no rocket science.
For many rounds already they seemed very detached and unconcerned about their performances. Now after they succeeded in defeating regional rivals Ajaccio and caused their relegation, Bastia will be even softer and discontented.
No matter Lyon’s lack of inventivity Bastia don’t have enough willpower to stand in the way. Lyon -1.25 at 1.98
UPDATE: Striker Cisse was late for training and Bastia’s decided to left him outside the squad.
Lyon: A.Lopes, Vercoutre – Bedimo, Bisevac, M.Dabo, B.Koné, Umtiti – Tolisso, Mvuemba, Malbranque, Gonalons, Ferri, Fekir, Danic, Ghezzal – B.Gomis, Lacazette, Briand
Bastia: Landreau, J-L.Leca – Harek, Achilli, Modesto, D.Diakité – Ab.Keita, Romaric, Sablé, Cahuzac, S.Yatabaré, Boudebouz, Khazri – Barbato, Ilan, A.Ba, Raspentino, Bruno