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)
After last Saturday’s Coupe de France clash against amateur 5th division side Bourges Foot, where Lyon struggled for a hard fought victory (no, seriously), Bruno Genesio and his merry men are setting their sights on that other French Cup.
Since winning the league is out of the question, and progressing in the Champions League is just as unlikely, Genesio is determined to win one of the cups. While the Coupe de France is more prestigious, he’ll take anything he can get, even if it’s the slightly more lame Coupe de la Ligue.
The reason Lyon are so desperate? The club hasn’t won any hardware since 2012.
Oh wait, they did win the Eusebio Cup. My bad.
Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 Parc OL, Lyon 21:00 CET (3 PM EST)
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.
The infatigable Memphis Depay had run France ragged for ninety minutes. The Dutch were comfortable in the lead, and comfortable on the ball. Memphis took it a tad too literally; with a hint of arrogance, he brought the ball to a standstill and stood on it. A few seconds later, the Netherlands won a penalty and Memphis converted with a cheeky panenka.
Nobody complained. The numbers had won him impunity.
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.
The battle of the Olympics has more narratives than you can poke a stick at, and it’s transforming itself into a derby and one of the fiercest in France! Coming away from a comfortable 2-1 win against English Premier League Champions and the apparent favourites to win the Champions League, Manchester City, Olympique Lyonnais are full of confidence heading into this must win tie. The form coming into this match for both teams has drastically switched from a week ago, with OM losing at home 2-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt, despite their positive results in Ligue 1.
Just a week ago, after another lacklustre performance in Ligue, President Aulas was scoffing at the idea of OL turning their season around against Man City and OM in the one week. However, since that glorious Wednesday night for OL at the Etihad Stadium which left all the English pundits in chaos control, trying to save their reputations while wiping the egg off their face, things couldn’t be more positive for OL. The form graph/chart/diagram/whatever you want to call it, couldn’t have swung more in OL’s favour.