The French invade Germany: Hoffenheim vs. Lyon Preview

It’s been three weeks since Lyon’s last Champions League outing, where they had a rather bizarre closed door match against Shakhtar Donetsk. Since then, they’ve been embarrassingly beaten by PSG, had some time off for international week, and then returned for another blah performance against Nimes.

They’ve also been piling on the injuries. As soon as someone’s back on his feet, another one’s getting carried off the pitch. Genesio’s been forced to dip into the youth squad, which is hilarious considering that Lyon is fielding the 4th youngest squad in both the Champions League and Ligue 1.

Lyon’s current form is anyone’s guess. Hoffenheim won’t know what’s coming, but neither does anybody else.

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018
Rhein-Neckar-Arena
3 PM ET (21:00 CET)

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Weekly Update: L’infirmerie est Pleine!

It’s only October, but the hospital wing of Olympique Lyonnais is running out of beds. While injuries are bound to happen, having so many at once is a headache for any manager. Fortunately, it’s not red alert just yet, but Lyon’s medical staff will be extra vigilant because any additions to the below list will definitely push the men’s, women’s, and reserve teams towards a crisis.

Nabil Fekir: This is the big one. He sustained an ankle injury in the early minutes against PSG, and while he tried to play on, he went down a few minutes later and signaled for a substitution. As we all know, OL’s fortunes went kaput after that.

All things considered, the injury is relatively minor. He has been ruled out for a month and is expected to miss the games against  Nîmes, Angers, Bordeaux, as well as both games against Hoffenheim. This is a heavy blow, as we’ve seen the team struggles when he is not on the pitch.

Fekir picked up an ankle injury against PSG.

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Golden Women and Golden Boys: Lyon has them all

So far, 2018 has been a good year for Lyon players. OL Féminin has long been recognized as the preeminent force in women’s football while OL’s Academy is perpetually ranked as one of best in Europe. Lyon’s dominance in both sectors has been rewarded with a host of nominations, with the likes of Houssem Aouar, Ada Hegerberg, Amandine Henry, and Tanguy Ndombélé getting the attention they very much deserve.

France Football, the publication that gives out the Ballon d’Or, one of the most prestigious individual awards a footballer can win, is finally launching editions for women and youth. About time, too! See below for details.

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International break: no rest for the weary

It’s October, which means another international week. While the world is still in recovery from this summer’s World Cup, two major tournaments are on the horizon: the Women’s World Cup and UEFA’s U21 Championship. In addition, the newly created League of Nations (whatever that is) will be in full swing.

It’s pretty much the same cast of characters, with two major exceptions: Tanguy Ndombélé has made the jump from France’s U21s to the senior team. It’s well deserved, though Didier Deschamps made it clear that Ndombélé’s inclusion is the direct result of Corentin Tolisso’s injury. The other big news is Jason Denayer’s return to the Belgian NT after two years, which is welcome after his outstanding performances the past two months.

Keep your fingers crossed that both will remain fixtures for their national teams.

Boss.

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An empty stadium and empty pockets: Lyon vs. Shakhtar Preview

If someone scores a goal, and there is no one around to cheer, did it really happen?

This is the kind of existential question that will be answered tomorrow when Lyon welcome Shakhtar Donetsk for their first home Champions League game of the season…to be played in an empty stadium.

UEFA’s punishment is still standing, with Lyon being taken to task for the behavior of some of their fans. Read about the whole sorry mess here. Not only will no one be allowed inside, but the club will suffer a loss of €6m in ticketing and other matchday revenue. The squad has rarely played in empty stadiums and are prepared to soldier on, but both sides will struggle at the silence.


Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018
Parc OL, Lyon
3 PM EST (21:00 CET, 20:00 UST)

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Family Reunions: Lyon vs Nantes Preview

It’s been a tough few months for Les Canaris. The dreadful start to their season is shocking for a team who can usually be counted on for their reliable, midtable performances. Most of the news out of Brittany these days revolves on their manager, Miguel Cardoso, and Waldemar Kita, president of Nantes and one of Ligue 1’s most despised supervillains.

However, while they might be in 19th place, they’re only one point from 18th placed Monaco. Misery loves company, right? Especially when said company ended last season in second place and is a perennial Champions League participant.


Saturday, September 29th, 2018
Parc OL, Lyon
2 PM EST (20:00 CST, 19:00 UST)

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Battle of the Condiments: Dijon Mustard vs. Olympique Mayonnaise

It’s been a week of champagne and chocolate. Last Wednesday’s entirely unexpected win at Manchester City, coupled with this weekend’s win over Marseille, has revitalized a Lyon side that’s struggled with form since August.

Their unconvincing season start against Ligue 1 bottom feeders Nice, Caen, Reims, Strasbourg, and Amiens – taking 7 points out of 15 – convinced both fans and pundits alike that Lyon would be lucky even to qualify for next year’s Europa League. But as usual, Lyon proved once again that they play better against bigger opponents.

Which is TERRIBLE because their next opponent is Dijon, a team that plays the kind of football that Lyon just don’t know how to deal with. It’s not going to be easy going from champagne football to sandwich toppings, and if any team can mess it up, it’s Lyon.


Wednesday, Septermber 26th, 2018
Stade Gaston Gérard, Dijon
1 PM EST (19:00 CET, 18:00 UST)

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