Going into Sunday night's televised showdown, everything is stacked in favour of Rudi Garcia's players, writes James Eastham...
"With eight wins and two draws from 10 outings before last weekend's 1-0 home defeat to Metz, Rudi Garcia’s players will be keen to show that the unexpected setback was a blip."
Attacking duo set to star again
Dijon vs Strasbourg (19th vs 13th)
Sun, 14:00 GMT
Live on Betfair Live Video
Strasbourg are one of Ligue 1's most improved sides and will be confident of collecting all three points from their trip to Dijon this weekend.
Since the turn of the year Strasbourg have taken a maximum nine points from three matches, keeping three clean sheets in the process.
Five wins in their last seven outings against sides below the top four is a further sign of their progress.
The contributions of strikers Ludovic Ajorque (pictured below) and Habib Diallo have been crucial. The former has nine goals this season, the latter seven.
Strasbourg are one of the few sides at any level in Ligue 1 with two strikers capable of scoring 15 goals each this season. The duo's presence gives Strasbourg the potential to be flat-track bullies against weaker sides such as Dijon.
The hosts are six places and nine points below Strasbourg in the standings. Unbeaten in three matches since the turn of the year, their defending has improved, with clean sheets against Marseille (0-0) and Reims (0-0) in their last two outings.
They've yet to face strikers of the calibre of Ajorque and Diallo in 2021, however, and this could prove their undoing. Strasbourg are the pick at an odds-against price.
Visitors ready to bounce back
St Etienne vs Lyon (16th vs 3rd)
Sun, 20:00 GMT
Live on BT Sport 2 and Betfair Live Video
A heavily-weakened St Etienne are facing one of their most difficult derbies in years against local rivals Lyon on Sunday night.
A covid outbreak in the St Etienne camp means that for the second week running the hosts are likely to field a scratch side.
No fewer than 10 players and several members of the St Etienne coaching staff were forced to miss the club's 1-0 defeat at Strasbourg last weekend.
In the circumstances les Verts put up a spirited display - and might even had led 1-0 only for Ryad Boudebouz to miss from the penalty spot in the first-half - but only profligate Strasbourg finishing prevented a heavier defeat.
While four of the players that sat out last weekend's match may be eligible for this weekend's fixture, they will have been allowed to return to training only the day before the game. At the time of writing, a starting line-up containing several fringe members of the squad appears likely.
With manager Claude Puel and several key members of the coaching team also forced to stay away from the training ground, preparations for this game have been dismal. St Etienne asked for the game to be called off, yet at the time of writing to no avail.
Lyon are still smarting from their shock 1-0 home defeat to Metz last weekend. Rudi Garcia's hosts dominated for long spells yet their finishing let them down.
That sole loss shouldn't cloud the strides Lyon have made this season, however: with eight wins and two draws from their previous 10 outings Garcia's players will be keen to show that last weekend was a blip.
The covid outbreak in the St Etienne camp means that Lyon are 1.4640/85 to win. These are shorter odds than you would normally find on Lyon for a trip to Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
Yet the visitors are still worth backing. The likes of Memphis Depay, Tino Kadewere and Karl Toko Ekambi will relish the opportunity to face weakened hosts.
Lyon-Lyon on the Half Time/Full Time market and Lyon -1.0&-1.5 Asian Handicap are worth considering at 2.35/4 and 2.111/10 respectively. For a full guide to Asian Handicap betting, click here.
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James’ 2020-21 P/L