Lille appear to have their work cut out to hold on to their Ligue 1 crown if bwin’s title betting market is anything to go by.
Les Dogues won Le Championnat by eight points from Marseilles last year but are only fourth-favourites to finish first this time around.
Lille’s odds of 9/2 put them behind Lyon (21/10), Marseilles (11/5) and even Paris Saint-Germain (15/4), suggesting manager Rudi Garcia faces an uphill battle to mastermind further success.
Unfortunately for Lille, two of their star players have been heavily linked with moves away from the club.
Gervinho has apparently been on the brink of a move to Arsenal in a deal worth around £10 million for over a week.
Meanwhile, attacking midfielder Eden Hazard is being tracked by some of the biggest teams in Europe.
While Lille remain reluctant sellers, the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal are unlikely to give up their pursuit of the player without a fight.
Failure to hold on to their leading lights would undoubtedly deal a hefty blow to Lille’s title chances, which is perhaps why they are only fourth-favourites.
However, Lille general manager Frederic Paquet is confident of keeping hold of Hazard at the very least.
“Five of the ten greatest clubs in Europe are following him, calling and calling again,” he told L’Equipe earlier this month.
“As any player would in such a situation, he is asking himself some questions.
“There are offers you cannot refuse, but something unreal would be needed. It is senseless to give a number.
“I rate it at 99.99 per cent that he will not leave. We want to keep him.”
With the deals yet to go through and Lille apparently digging their heels in, now could be the time to take advantage of odds of 9/2 and place a Lille title bet.
A successful £25 free bet on Lille to finish first, available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account, would return £137.50.
New customers can register here to claim a £25 free bet.