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Ligue 1

  • February 6, 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • Stade de Gerland, Lyon
  • Referee: S. Lannoy
  • • Attendance: 35909
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Ligue 1 Preview: Olympique Lyonnais – Girondins De Bordeaux

Ligue 1 Preview: Olympique Lyonnais – Girondins De Bordeaux

After defeat against Valenciennes last weekend, les Gones need maximum points when they host les Girondins...

Stopped In Their Tracks

Time is running out for Olympique Lyonnais to mount a serious challenge for the Ligue 1 crown. After defeat in Valenciennes last weekend, les Gones are now a distant seven points from leaders Lille, who are picking up their pace, if anything. Claude Puel continues to fight for the first silverware of his reign at the Stade Gerland, but defeat on Sunday could end any real hopes of the manager picking it up this season.

Lyon were disappointing at the Stade Nungesser last Saturday. Puel’s men made a bright enough start to the match, but Valenciennes rebuffed their approaches and ultimately pulled through thanks to a couple of goals soon after the restart. Though Michel Bastos reduced the arrears to 2-1, OL couldn’t beat in-form goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau a second time.

“This has stopped us in our tracks in the championship,” Puel explained, Ligue 1’s official website stated. “We were up against a very good Valenciennes side and we had trouble getting going, which allowed them to grow in confidence. My team reacted well to going 2-0 down. We started to play as a team. In the last 15 minutes we gave it absolutely everything and it could have worked. I think we deserved to equalise.”

A lacklustre start to the campaign has given the Rhone giants no room to manoeuvre, and though they looked back to their best in a 3-0 league success over Lorient in January, a Coupe de France loss to Nice, as well as last weekend’s reverse, shows that they still have much work to do.

The Best Is Yet To Come

Bordeaux have long since given up their hopes of picking up the Ligue 1 title. Jean Tigana has admitted that the challenge taking over at the Stade Chaban-Delmas is a greater one than he previously believes, though his side remain on the fringes of the European battle, stationed eighth in the standings, only four points behind Lyon.

Already the former Monaco and Besiktas boss has tendered his resignation twice, but on each occasion he was rebuffed by the Bordeaux board, clearly aware that they will struggle to attract another such name with such a pedigree to the ailing club.

Victory over Nice last weekend at home could act as a spur, though. Bordeaux were excellent against les Aiglons, finally looking a well balanced unit and winning through thanks to goals from Ludovic Sane and Anthony Modeste.

“That was the first time this season that we’ve played two equally good halves of football,” the coach said, according to the LFP’s official website. “We played with style and strong organisation tonight; there was a bit of everything. I’m very satisfied.

“I loved the way my side played collectively tonight, with movement and cover. We needed this reaction for the players to regain confidence. It was a good match but I know we can do even better.”

Suddenly there is an air of confidence around Bordeaux again, and having supplemented their attack with the signing of Brazilian international Andre on loan from Dynamo Kiev, there is even room for some tentative optimism on Sunday.


TEAM NEWS

Lyon

Dejan Lovren returns from a ban for OL, but by the same token Ederson remains absent. It’s expected to be March before the Brazilian returns to the first team picture.

Bordeaux

Only Carlos Henrique is ruled out for les Girondins, though it’s unlikely that Marc Planus will be involved in the first team panel as he continues his recovery from injury.

Players to watch

L. López

Position: Defender

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Yoann Gourcuff has had another difficult week. After cutting a ghostly figure in Lyon’s loss in Valenciennes last weekend, he received great criticism from the French media. Now he has to face his former employers, who are still angry with the manner in which he left them this summer. The playmaker would regain a great deal of confidence if he was to produce a positive showing.

C. Diabaté

Position: Attacker

Games: 14

  • 8
  • 1
  • 1
Fernando’s presence in the centre of the field was one of the great pluses in Bordeaux’s much-improved performance against Nice last weekend. The Brazilian was dogged in the tackle but crucially used the ball intelligently, allowing him to act effectively both on the defensive front and in a more attacking manner. Having been used as a centre-back for much of this season, he’s been unable to express himself fully.

Editor's Prediction

Both of these sides have been erratic this season, so it’s a tough match to call. At home, Lyon have to be favourites, especially as they will be aware that a defeat could spell the end of their title hopes. Just as Bordeaux won 2-0 against OL earlier this season, les Gones will claim a similar scoreline on Sunday.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Olympique Lyonnais

Bordeaux

Wins
2
1
2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Olympique Lyonnais LYO
Olympique Lyonnais Olympique Lyonnais
Draw
FC Girondins de Bordeaux BOR
FC Girondins de Bordeaux Bordeaux
79%

Top 3 Predictions

Olympique Lyonnais LYO
2 - 0
FC Girondins de Bordeaux BOR
Olympique Lyonnais LYO
2 - 1
FC Girondins de Bordeaux BOR
Olympique Lyonnais LYO
1 - 0
FC Girondins de Bordeaux BOR

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