Lyon-PSG Preview: Stuttering Parisiens target return to form at rivals
After last week's failure versus Valenciennes, and the furore that followed, the Ligue 1 leaders will be hoping to get back on track against Remi Garde's men
By Mohammed Ali
Rachid Ghezzal is suspended, with Bafetimbi Gomis set to return to the starting line-up, most likely deposing Jimmy Briand on the right-wing, with Yoann Gourcuff also in line for a start after impressing in a free role lately. No.1 goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre is out for six months following a ligament injury, meaning young Anthony Lopes will make only his fourth Ligue 1 start against the league leaders.
Paris Saint-Germain will be without captain Thiago Silva following the club's 1-1 draw with Valenciennes while Salvatore Sirigu and Marco Verratti remain out following dismissals in the prior clash with Evian.
PSG will win the Ligue 1 title if they win at Stade Gerland, though will also be crowned champions if Olympique de Marseille fail to beat Toulouse on Saturday at Stade Velodrome (kick-off at 17:00CET).
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Olympique Lyonnais sit in third place - the final Champions League qualification spot - ahead of Saint-Etienne, Nice and Lille.
- Remi Garde's side have won just one of their last nine games against Paris Saint-Germain.
- Lyon have been awarded the third most penalties (10) in the top five European leagues this season. Only Juventus and Chelsea (11) have more.
- PSG sit top of Ligue 1 as of Saturday morning, seven points ahead of second-placed Olympique de Marseille with nine left to play for.
- Carlo Ancelotti's side have scored in each of their last eight league games.
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic (pictured, right) has failed to score in two consecutive Ligue 1 games for the first time this season.
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Top 3 Predictions
Olympique Lyonnais 1-2 Paris Saint-Germain
- 15.38 %
Olympique Lyonnais 0-2 Paris Saint-Germain
- 10.89 %
Olympique Lyonnais 2-1 Paris Saint-Germain
- 10.33 %
|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|
|Mar 9, 2014||Bordeaux 1 - Olympique Lyonnais 2||FRA1|
|Mar 2, 2014||Olympique Lyonnais 0 - Montpellier HSC 0||FRA1|
|Feb 27, 2014||Olympique Lyonnais 1 - FK Chornomorets Odessa 0||EL|
|Feb 23, 2014||LOSC Lille Métropole 0 - Olympique Lyonnais 0||FRA1|
|Feb 20, 2014||FK Chornomorets Odessa 0 - Olympique Lyonnais 0||EL|
|Mar 8, 2014||SC Bastia 0 - Paris Saint-Germain 3||FRA1|
|Mar 2, 2014||Paris Saint-Germain 2 - Olympique de Marseille 0||FRA1|
|Feb 23, 2014||Toulouse FC 2 - Paris Saint-Germain 4||FRA1|
|Feb 18, 2014||Bayer 04 Leverkusen 0 - Paris Saint-Germain 4||UCL|
|Feb 14, 2014||Paris Saint-Germain 3 - Valenciennes FC 0||FRA1|
|23||Gregory van der Wiel||Defender|
The young Lyonnais goalkeeper has been thrown in at the deep end following the serious injury sustained to Remy Vercoutre a few weeks ago. With only three Ligue 1 appearances to his name, and Lyon needing results to claim a return to the riches of the Champions League, Lopes - who started the season behind France No.1 Hugo Lloris and veteran Vercoutre, now has to ensure a string of solid performances to ensure OL's passage into Europe. Has looked decent thus far, but can he hold his own against PSG's world-class talent?
The Sweden international looked distinctly lethargic in last week's clash against Valenciennes, and the fact of the matter is, PSG cannot afford to have their top scorer off form at this stage of the season. Against Evian and Valenciennes - the 31-year-old hasn't appeared on the top of his game, with Ancelotti, Nasser al-Khelaifi and the Parisien faithful hoping the former Milan star can grab the goals which seal a first Ligue 1 title since 1994 - and another success in another country in the Swede's glittering career.
A difficult match in prospect for the champions elect at Stade Gerland. Lyon themselves have something to play for as the Champions League race hots up, and Remi Garde's men seem to have turned a corner lately form-wise. Carlo Ancelotti's side appear that little bit nervous amidst a tense environment - something which could cost them again this weekend.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed