Lyon - Tottenham Preview: Spurs aim to preserve first-leg lead at Stade de Gerland
Two Gareth Bale free kicks at White Hart Lane handed Andre Villas-Boas' side a slim advantage, but Les Gones have a valuable away goal courtesy of Samuel Umtiti's wonder strike
By Ewan Roberts
Reveillere, Bisevac, Lovren, Umtiti
Lacazette, Grenier, Lopez
Walker, Gallas, Caulker, Naughton
Lennon, Dempsey, Bale
Lyon manager Remi Garde has no fresh injury concerns ahead of Les Gones’ second-leg clash with Tottenham, though Yoann Gourcuff (hamstring) remains sidelined.
Steed Malbranque was not in the squad for Lyon's 4-0 win over Bordeaux on Sunday, while his replacement, Clement Grenier, grabbed two goals and an assist which could see him start against Spurs.
Tottenham are without their top scorer in the Europa League Jermain Defoe (ankle), while Younes Kaboul (knee) is still several weeks away from returning to first-team duty.
With Tom Huddlestone (knee) a doubt for the match and Brazilian enforcer Sandro (also knee) out for the remainder of the season, Scott Parker and Mousa Dembele are likely to continue in midfield.
Andre Villas-Boas may rotate his squad with one eye on Monday night's Premier League clash with West Ham, so Steven Caulker and Kyle Naughton could slot back into the defence.
Spurs' Portuguese boss has opted to rotate his goalkeepers in Europe, which means Brad Friedel is likely to start and thus deny ex-Lyon shot-stopper Hugo Lloris a reunion with his former club.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Lyon have beaten Tottenham at home before, securing a 1-0 win over Bill Nicholson's Spurs in the 1967-68 European Cup Winners' Cup first leg – a replica of that scoreline on Thursday would send the French side through.
- That 1-0 win over Tottenham was Les Gones' last home win over an English side, over 46 years ago. It is also their only home win over English teams, having drawn five and lost one of the other six encounters.
- Lyon have won their last four European home games, recording victories in all three of their Europa League group games at the Stade de Gerland this year and beating APOEL in the last 16 of last season's Champions League.
- Les Gones have averaged more shots at home in the Europa League, 20.3 per game, than any other side, with 39.3 per cent of those on target. By comparison, Spurs have averaged just 3.3 shots on target per Europa League away match.
- The French club are managed by Remi Garde, who spent three years at Tottenham's fierce rivals Arsenal between 1996 and 1999 (and signed for the club on the same day as Patrick Vieira).
- Tottenham are unbeaten in Europe this year after seven matches, recording four wins and three draws. The White Hart Lane outfit have progressed to the next round in 46 of the 49 occasions where they have taken a first-leg lead in European competition.
- Gareth Bale's two free kicks at the end of either half handed Spurs victory over Lyon in the first leg; he is 7/1 to score two or more goals in the second leg with Coral.
- The 23-year-old became the first Tottenham player since Robbie Keane to score an injury time winning goal in Europe, with the Irishman having struck in the 91st minute in a 3-2 win over Braga in March 2007.
- Emmanuel Adebayor (pictured) spent seven years in France with Metz and Monaco. In his six games against Lyon, including the match at White Hart Lane, he has failed to record a single goal or assist. The only team he has faced more times than Lyon without scoring against is Sunderland (eight without a goal).
- Spurs are unbeaten in their last four Europa League away matches, though they have not won away since beating Shamrock Rovers 4-0 in December 2011. Of the side that claimed victory over the Dubliners, only Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Harry Kane and Jake Livermore are still at the club and fit to play against Lyon.
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Top 3 Predictions
Olympique Lyonnais 1-2 Tottenham
- 19.68 %
Olympique Lyonnais 1-1 Tottenham
- 12.88 %
Olympique Lyonnais 2-1 Tottenham
- 8.63 %
|UEFA Europa League (EL)||Feb 21, 2013||Olympique Lyonnais 1 - Tottenham 1|
|UEFA Europa League (EL)||Feb 14, 2013||Tottenham 2 - Olympique Lyonnais 1|
|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|
The powerful French forward received little supply at White Hart Lane, though worked incredibly hard up front, harassing Tottenham's centre-backs, and was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty after Jan Vertonghen scythed him down inside the box. Only Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored more goals than the Lyon frontman in Ligue 1 this year, while no player has averaged more shots on goal (5.5 per game) in the Europa League than Gomis, with the majority coming at home.
Who else? The Wales international has been utterly unplayable since the turn of the year, and no other player has scored for Tottenham in their last four games, with Bale hitting the back of the net six times. Two of those goals came in the first leg against Lyon, and the French club will need to remain wary of the 23-year-old's deadly set-pieces. In open play, Bale wasn't at his most dangerous at White Hart Lane, but nine of his 13 league goals have come away from home this year.
Neither keeper was worked especially hard at White Hart Lane, but Lyon, fresh from striking four times against Bordeaux, are more attack-minded at home, while Tottenham have counter-attacked to good effect on their travels this year. Les Gones will have to work hard to penetrate Spurs' increasingly solid defensive shape, and risk being stung on the break if they over-commit. As ever, how Lyon deal with Gareth Bale could decide the match.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed