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After Matchday 2, Ligue 1’s Lyon Now Favored to Win UCL Group G

Memphis Depay celbrates his goal for Lyon against Red Bull Leipzig
Memphis Depay scored the oening goal for Lyon in their victory in Germany against Red Bull Leipzig and now hopes to fire them all the way to a first-placed finish in the UCL's Group G standings. Photo from @Lyon Official(Twitter).
  • Zenit St.Petersburg are atop the standings
  • French side scored vital win away at Red Bull Leipzig
  • Table-toppers now have two straight ties against pointless Benfica

Lyon have become favorites to win the Champions League’s Group G even though Zenit St. Petersburg are top of the table after two fixtures.

After a shift in the odds following matchday two, Lyon are priced by Bovada at +140 to take top spot. Leipzig are narrowly behind at +150. Zenit are at +300 with bottom-placed Benfica at +2500.

Lyon were held to 1-1 draw by Zenit in the opening round of fixtures, but their impressive 2-0 win on matchday two at Leipzig lifted them to be the favorites in the group.

UEFA Champions League Group G Odds

Team Odds to Advance Odds not to Advance Odds to Win at Bovada
Lyon -275 +220 +140
Red Bull Leipzig -227 +175 +150
Zenit St. Petersburg -125 EVEN +300
Benfica +700 -1667 +2500

*Odds taken at 10/04/19

Germans Shift Out

Leipzig had been -150 favorites after their opening round 2-1 win at Benfica. They shifted out thanks to their defeat by Lyon. It is Zenit who sits ahead of the rest with four points and four goals scored – the most among the four rivals – following their 3-1 win at  home against Benfica in the second game.

The books have identified correctly that the impetus lies with the French side, who also have four points.

Their next two fixtures at the critical stage of the tournament are away and at home against Benfica, who have lost both matches so far.

It could place Lyon in prime position for the final matchup later in the winter.

Zenit have to travel to Red Bull for the next round which could hand the advantage to the Germans before the return date in Russia.

Although Lyon have never progressed beyond the last four, this is their 16th entry into the Champions League group stage, and their fourth in five seasons.

Last season, they reached the round of 16 where they were eliminated by Barcelona.

Wide Outsiders to Win Trophy

Despite the defeat of Red Bull, Zenit is not being considered a threat to win in the Champions League odds their odds fell from +8,000 to +8,700.

But their wealth of experience will be vital in the group, in particular because second favorites Red Bull are in the competition for only the second time.

 

However, if domestic form is any guide to what will happen next in Group G, Lyon may have concerns.

They sat in 11th place in France’s Ligue 1 after eight matches with only two wins, three draws and three defeats.

The home defeat by Lyon appears not to have shaken the belief in Red Bull too emphatically.

 

This analysis may have been influenced by their domestic form, which is impressive. But it is a slightly surprising call that a side with such little European experience is rated so closely behind Lyon.

It makes Zenit a value play as they were seventh in the Russian Premier League after 11 matches – with seven wins, two draws and two defeats.

Experienced Russians

Russian champions Zenit also have a lot more experience in the competition than Red Bull. This is their seventh entry into the group stage, but their first since 2015-16.

Including Europa League participation, they are in their 12th successive European campaign.

They reached the Champions League’s round of 16 for the third time three years ago.

They were also winners of the Europa League in 2008.

But heading to Leipzig later this month, they will be on a run of 10 European away ties without a victory.

Benfica were second in their domestic table  after seven games – with six wins and one defeat. But despite their illustrious history, the iconic Portuguese club  so far look out of their depth in this group.

Pick: Lyon to win +140

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