Thierry’s coming to town: Lyon vs. Monaco Preview

I wish I could be excited about this match. Playing the 19th worst team in the league, one with a myriad of injury and morale problems…it’s a dream come true. An easy 3 points, right?

Wrong.

Lyon’s greatest skill is their ability to sympathy struggle. Teams in the worst form of their life arrive at Parc OL and then revive their flagging campaigns. Just ask Nice. Or Nantes. Or Rennes.

They should rebrand Groupama Stadium as Groupama Spa. The possibilities for EBITDA are endless.

Sunday, December 16th
Parc OL, Lyon
3 PM EST (21:00 CET)

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Sink or Swim: Shakhtar vs Lyon

As usual, Lyon likes to make life as difficult as possible. That means waiting until the last possible second in order to qualify for the next round of the Champions League.

“The last possible second” isn’t an exaggeration. Given the sheer amount of stoppage time goals conceded this season, we’re not going to know until the 90+5 minute if they’ve made it through.

The way Lyon fans have been tortured this season is probably a violation of the Geneva Convention.

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018
NSC Olimpiyskiy, Kiev
3 PM EST (21:00 CET)

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Derby du Rhône: Lyon vs. Saint-Étienne

Marseille and PSG can posture all they want, but we all know that the real derby in Ligue 1 is between Lyon and AS Saint-Étienne. A tradition that goes back decades, these two clubs have been fighting for regional pride and honor for almost 70 years.

The cities are only 50 kilometers apart, but the different cultures of the two cities ensures a fierce rivalry. Saint-Étienne is France’s most successful club, but they reigned in the ’60s and ’70s, whereas Lyon were nobodies in the football scene until the turn of the century. OL vs. ASSE has always been a battle of the haves and have-nots, and this Friday will be no different.

Friday, November 23rd, 2018
Parc OL, Lyon
9 PM EST (21:00 CET, 20:00 UST)

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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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