Last year’s disappointing third-placed finish has done nothing to dampen expectations of success for Olympique Lyonnaise in bwin’s title odds market.
After winning the Le Championnat for seven straight years from 2002, Lyon have now gone three seasons without landing the title.
Nevertheless, they enter the 2011-12 season as bwin’s 21/10 favourites for the Ligue 1 crown, putting them ahead of Marseille (11/5), Paris Saint-Germain (15/4) and defending champions Lille (9/2).
A successful £25 free bet on Lyon to finish first, available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account, would return £77.50.
Lyon’s chances of success will largely depend on former Arsenal midfielder Remi Garde, who has just been appointed the new coach of Les Gones.
Garde replaces Claude Puel, who failed to win a trophy in his three-year spell despite inheriting a side from Alain Perrin which had just won the league and French Cup double.
However, the fact that OL reached the semi-finals of the Champions League last season suggests Garde has a good base from which to build.
Indeed, the 45-year-old, who was acting as head of the club’s youth academy before his new appointment, believes Lyon’s recent lack of success could be rooted in psychology rather than being due to insufficient skill levels.
“I know it won’t be easy, but I have every confidence in my staff and the players. I’ve been a part of the OL family for a long time now. It’s time to start work,” Garde commented.
“We are here to win titles. I’m in a big club and our goal is to find again the values and the state of mind that maybe slipped away from us.”
New customers can register here to claim a £25 free bet.