Lyon best option to fill final Ligue 1 top-three spot

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It would take the most divisive of punters to back against either PSG or Monaco finishing in the top three of Ligue 1 this season, but identifying the final club to occupy one of these spots is not so straight forward.

Marseille are considered the most likely at 13/8 and got off to a decent start in this quest with an opening-day away win in the French top-flight at promoted outfit Guingamp.

The summer capture of Dimitri Payet is especially significant as the one area where Marseille struggled last season was scoring goals. They finished second to PSG despite a meagre tally of 42 goals.

Payet now joins Mathieu Valbuena in the Marseille ranks and this pair racked up 12 assists each last season, more than any other player in Ligue 1.

This must improve creativity, but they face stiff competition for a top-three berth from Lyon, who follow them in the betting at 15/8.

Although not too much should be read into one gameweek of results, Lyon did look particularly impressive in their 4-0 home demolition of Nice.

This result has sent them immediately top of the division and was achieved without captain Maxime Gonalons, who was suspended, alongside fellow French internationals Bafetimbi Gomis and Jimmy Briand.

Particularly eye-catching was the midfield relationship enjoyed by goalscoring duo Clement Grenier and Yoann Gourcuff and keeping this pair in tandem could prove the key ingredient to how Lyon fair this season.

Much will hinge on whether Gourcuff remains at the club after the summer transfer window as he is among Lyon’s highest earners and has already been linked with Arsenal and Lorient, where he would team up with his father Christian.

Grenier’s future is much safer after he signed a three-year contract extension earlier this summer.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.