With just two weeks left of summer vacation, the club is finalizing their summer schedule. The month before the start of the season will be especially crucial because there’s a new manager to break in. Sylvinho, who’s never been the top manager at a club before, will have a lot to learn in a very short time.
It doesn’t help that Lyon’s first league game is against Monaco, who, despite their relegation-level performance this past season, remain a big danger.
France put an end to top-ranked USA’s 28-game unbeaten streak, Shanice van de Sanden racked up the air miles, and Jess Fishlock is a superhero. As the teams turn the corner for the final stretch before the World Cup kicks off, we’re catching up on all the international break action from the stars of OL Féminin.
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.
This is it. The last friendly of the season. Lyon’s next match after this is their season opener against Amiens. You don’t need me to tell you how important it is that Lyon win. Each point matters, so the team can’t afford to “take it slow.”
Chelsea is likely feeling the same, so consider this as an extra aggressive practice. Both teams will collect a good bit of money, and since neither will win the ICC trophy at this point, no one really cares anymore.
Tuesday, August 7th, 2018 Stamford Bridge, London 9:05 PM EST (21:05 CET, 20:05 UST)
With Lyon’s preseason halfway complete, the team will need to step up as they begin facing tougher opponents. Their performances so far against FC Sion (2-2 draw), Fulham (4-0 win), Huddersfield (4-1 loss), and Wolfsburg (2-1 win) have been unconvincing snooze fests. Their next three opponents are Benfica, Inter Milan, and Chelsea, whose teams will pose a considerable challenge even as friendlies.
The tournament they are participating is called the Internationals Champions Cup. By invite only, it’s basically a handpicked group of 18 clubs that the organizers feel can generate the most ticket sales (Lyon were included when Sevilla dropped out). Clubs can earn between €3m to €6m per game (loser vs winner). Each club plays three others, and in the event of a tie, it will go to penalties. At the end of the tournament, the club with the most points wins.
Even though these are friendlies, it’s provided some dramatic match ups so far. Barcelona gets to play Roma (awkward), Real Madrid will play Juventus (awkward), and Manchester United got trounced by Liverpool.
Wednesday, August 1st Estadio Algarve, Algarve 4:05 PM EST (22:05 CET, 21:05 UST)
I don’t even know why I bothered to watch this game when the players themselves can’t be bothered to play. They basically showed up an hour before the match and then had a casual game of kick about. At least that’s what it felt like to everyone except maybe Bruno Genesio, who seems to think that barely scraping by relegation-level teams is an ok result.
My 10 year old cousin has a more aggressive coach than Lyon does at the moment. Maybe Aulas should start looking for his next manager in the Washington DC youth league.