Olympique Lyonnais - Paris Saint-Germain: Hosts need win over Ligue 1 leaders to keep Champions League hopes alive
Remi Garde’s men have lost back-to-back league matches, and a third successive defeat would seriously damage their hopes of playing amongst Europe’s elite next term
By Robin Bairner
Reveillere, Cris, Kone, Cissokho
Briand, Kallstrom, Gonalons, Bastos
Ceara, Alex, Sakho, Maxwell
Motta, Sissoko, Matuidi
Lyon go into this match without the injured duo of Yoann Gourcuff and Dejan Lovren, but both are expected to feature in the squad again soon. Additionally, young creative midfielder Jeremy Clement will watch on from the stands because of suspension.
Garde still has plenty of options and could play a variety of formations, ranging from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1 to 4-4-2. With Kim Kallstrom’s future still somewhat uncertain – he is attracting interest from Rubin Kazan and could even leave before this fixture – Gueida Fofana should be ready to take the Swede’s place in the heart of the midfield, while Ederson will be primed for a more offensive role should he receive the call.
PSG’s headaches come at right-back, where Christophe Jallet and Milan Bisevac are both struggling with injuries. Ceara has had a viral infection, and if he is not fit by Saturday evening, a significant rethink will be needed by Carlo Ancelotti. There is also some doubt over Mathieu Bodmer.
After Javier Pastore only managed a few minutes in the dramatic 2-2 draw against Montpellier last weekend, the Argentine should not be considered an automatic choice from the outset, but it is Kevin Gameiro’s place that is under threat. Guillaume Hoarau could also be given the nod, having scored the vital leveller last weekend.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Lyon sit sixth in Ligue 1 presently, boasting 39 points from their fixtures to date.
- OL average more than two goals scored per game at home, registering 23 in their 11 matches in the Rhone Valley this season, with Bafetimbi Gomis their top scorer with five strikes.
- Les Gones have not lost a match after 90 minutes at home against PSG since April 2005, when they went down 1-0.
- PSG top Le Championnat, having picked up 51 points to date, but had they not scored the equaliser late on against Montpellier last weekend, they would be second behind la Paillade.
- Away from home, Ancelotti’s side have the tightest defensive record in the league, conceding only nine times in 11 games.
- Three sides have seen a greater percentage of possession than les Parisiens this season: Lille (58 per cent), Olympique de Marseille (55%) and Lorient (54%).
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Top 3 Predictions
Olympique Lyonnais 1-2 Paris Saint-Germain
- 16.55 %
Olympique Lyonnais 0-2 Paris Saint-Germain
- 12.41 %
Olympique Lyonnais 2-1 Paris Saint-Germain
- 12.41 %
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Dec 1, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 4 - Olympique Lyonnais 0|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||May 12, 2013||Olympique Lyonnais 0 - Paris Saint-Germain 1|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Dec 16, 2012||Paris Saint-Germain 1 - Olympique Lyonnais 0|
|France - Coupe de France (FRAC)||Mar 21, 2012||Paris Saint-Germain 1 - Olympique Lyonnais 3|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Feb 25, 2012||Olympique Lyonnais 4 - Paris Saint-Germain 4|
|Dec 8, 2013||SC Bastia 1 - Olympique Lyonnais 3||FRA1|
|Dec 5, 2013||Olympique Lyonnais 1 - Toulouse FC 1||FRA1|
|Dec 1, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 4 - Olympique Lyonnais 0||FRA1|
|Nov 28, 2013||Olympique Lyonnais 1 - Betis 0||EL|
|Nov 23, 2013||Olympique Lyonnais 1 - Valenciennes FC 1||FRA1|
|9||Michel Fernandes Bastos||Midfielder|
|-||Mohamed Lamine Sissoko||Midfielder|
|Michel Fernandes Bastos|
The role that Michel Bastos is to play in this match will be crucial. Down his left side, PSG have been significantly weakened by injury and illness, and if the Brazilian can get regularly on the ball, he can make crucial headway. However, the former Lille man hasn’t found his best form in recent weeks, and unless he does so on Saturday night, OL will struggle to find the victory.
Jeremy Menez was summed up perfectly by last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Montpellier. Frustrating for nearly the duration of the 90 minutes, he conjured up a moment of brilliance in the box to set up Hoarau to draw the sides level just when it seemed that PSG were about to be knocked off top spot. Ancelotti will be looking for this kind of decisive contribution from the former Roma man on a more regular basis.
Lyon are really struggling offensively at the moment, with several of their star players failing to find their top level, and if they fail to do so again at the weekend, a defeat looks likely. PSG haven’t been especially coherent in recent times, but they’re a smart enough unit to overcome the Lyon side, who are liable to leave gaps for them to counterattack into.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed