Paris Saint Germain players celebrate after PSG’s Kylian Mbappe scored his side’s fifth goal during the Champions League group H soccer match between Paris Saint Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
- PSG entertains Lyon on Sunday (3:00 pm ET) in a clash of Ligue 1’s first- versus third-place teams
- While Thomas Tuchel’s Parisiens hold a two-point lead over Lille and Lyon, the door is certainly open for a non-PSG winner — which has only happened once in the past 10 years of France’s top division
- Get a breakdown of both clubs, Sunday’s odds and a few value picks below
While it is early days yet in the 2020-21 season, there is hope in French soccer that this year’s Ligue 1 title race may be a genuine multi-horse race and PSG vs Lyon is a crucial top of the table clash.
Sunday’s clash between PSG (9-1-3) and Lyon (7-5-1) could go a long way towards dictating whether this early-season glimmer of hope grows into a legitimate title threat from one of Lille, Lyon or Marseille —all within four points.
After initial struggles out of the gate, PSG has turned it on in a big way of late with wins in four of its last five across all competitions; Lyon has benefited from a Europe-less schedule and been able to pound out four wins on the trot in league play, allowing just two goals in that span.
All indicators point to an entertaining match at the Parc Des Princes, with PSG understandably being tipped by sportsbooks.
PSG vs Lyon Odds
|Paris Saint-Germain vs Lyon||PSG -1 (-106) | LYO +1 (-118)||PSG -167 | LYO +375 | DRAW +350||Ov 3.5 (+108) | Un 3.5 (-134)|
Odds taken Dec 10 at DraftKings
The revival of Neymar has been key for PSG in recent weeks, with the Brazilian superstar finding the mark five times in two Champions League matches over the past week — including a hat trick in Wednesday’s 5-1 win over Istanbul Basaksehir.
Lyon boasts a balanced attack spearheaded by Karl Toko Ekambi and former Manchester United man Memphis Depay, and cruised to a 3-1 win over bottom-half outfit Metz last weekend.
PSG: Finding its Feet
The media was ablaze at the beginning of the season with proclamations that PSG’s grip on first — one rarely relinquished over the past decade, except for the minuscule window in which Monaco competed — was in jeopardy.
COVID absences, some tweaks to the squad and general underperforming could spell the end of the Tuchel era of dominance, they said.
PSG vs Lyon Stats
|9-1-3 (2.15 pts/game)||2020-21 Ligue 1 Record||7-5-1 (2.00 pts/game)|
|33 (2.54/game)||Goals scored||24 (1.85/game)|
|9 (0.69/game)||Goals conceded||11 (0.85/game)|
|Kylian Mbappe (10)||Leading Scorer||Karl Toko Ekambi (7)|
|W – W – W – D – W||Overall Form||W – W – W – W – D|
|21-12-7||H2H Record Since 2007 (W-L-T)||12-21-7|
With 11 goals, three wins and first place in its Champions League group secured in the past week, those whispers have been largely silenced of late.
What’s more is the opportunity PSG is riding this 4-1-0 streak into: With Lyon (H) looming and Lille (A) on the schedule closer to Christmas, the three-time defending champions have an opportunity — especially with second-and third-last Lorient and Strasbourg on the horizon, too — to loosen the pressure on first place.
Lyon: Return to Europe Required
Last season’s seventh-place finish was an aberration for Lyon, which had made the knockout round of a European competition in each of the last four seasons and most notably made a run to the Champions League quarterfinals last season.
Rudi Garcia’s squad is solid if unspectacular, and a 2-2-0 record against top-half teams since the beginning of October hints at an ability to hang with its contemporaries.
Barring a collapse in the second half of the season, Les Gones should be in the mix for a return to Europe in 2021-22 — though the likes of Monaco, Montpellier and Marseille will all challenge for the precious third-place spot, which brings a Champions League play-off place and a guarantee of at least Europa League entry.
PSG vs Lyon Best Bets
PSG have owned this matchup in league play at the Parc Des Princes, with wins in five straight dating back to 2015 and four or more goals in three of those contests.
With Neymar fresh off a hat trick against Istanbul midweek, it’s worth exploring the other options in PSG’s attack: Moise Kean (+128) has scored five times in seven appearances since joining from Everton, while Kylian Mbappe is minus-money (-125) — unsurprising given his 10 goals in nine appearances.
Lyon has given up four goals over three games against Top-5 opposition this season; the likes of Marseille (1-1) and Montpellier (1-2) don’t boast anywhere near PSG’s offensive firepower.
The Parisiens‘ ultra-deep roster has also shown an ability to handle a congested European schedule: PSG has outscored opponents 15-3 in going 4-1-0 off the back of Champions League games this season.
Picks: Over 3.5 (+108), PSG Over 2.5 (+143), Kean to Score (+128),
Carlos Verde is a sports media professional, with writing featured in a number of outlets, including the Epoch Times, Ottawa Life Magazine and Where is Football. He also served as a broadcast commentator for the United Soccer League’s Ottawa Fury FC.