Lyon currently sits third in Ligue 1, just one point ahead of Saint-Étienne. That point could be the bare minimum to stay ahead of the local rivals as Lyon is behind in goal difference. The culprit: Lyon has the tenth-worst defense in Ligue 1. Paradoxically, Anthony Lopes is nominated to win the UNFP Best Goalkeeper award, and he would be a deserving winner.
Tomorrow, Lyon will face their most challenging enemy to date: Stade de Reims.
Reims set the tone for the year when, in the second game of this season, they imposed Lyon’s first defeat. It was a rather prophetic moment that heralded two things – Lyon’s inability to chain matches, as well as their propensity to drop points against smaller clubs.
Friday, January 11th, 2019 Parc OL, Lyon 2:45 PM EST (20h45 CET)
To be fair, any of the teams Lyon could have drawn in the Round of 16 would be a difficult challenge, but I really didn’t want to see Eric Abidal’s face again. Now I’ll have to suffer through multiple pre-match interviews where he’ll talk down about his old Lyon days. Can’t wait.
It’s no secret. France is England’s favorite hunting ground. From Alexandre Lacazette to Rachid Ghezzal, many players have given in to the temptation and crossed the English Channel. It’s just so easy – you can wrap Clinton Njie in a ribbon and call him the new Samuel Eto’o, and they just snap him up.
But this time, Manchester City do not come hunting for players. The Citizens are coming for all three points.
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.
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.