With just one game to go afterwards before the Winter break, OL and OM go into a match that will see one of them keep or take first place in the League...A huge game...plenty of duels in view...all we can wish for is that OL get back to winning ways...
This summit match in the League is between two sides who will no longer be following the same European road at the start of 2009. OL stay with the elite; OM will be in the less attractive UEFA Cup. A summit match full of duels. The top defence against the top attack ; the top side at home (ratio of points per match) are up against the top side on the road. Lloris/Mandanda, Benzema/Ben Arfa, Cris/Hilton… are just some of the indirect duels. Or even the duel between the free-kick specialists, Juninho/Zenden… without forgetting that of the coaches, Gerets/Puel, who will have their influence on the game.
A duel of clubs, evidently. Between the dominating club and the one that dreams of becoming so. If OM are still just at the stage of dreams, they have on the other hand taken the measure of OL during their confrontations, 3 victories and a draw over the course of the last 4 matches! Niang will be out... which is a good thing for the partners of Juninho, the Senegalese international having wreaked havoc during the matches between the two clubs. Cheyrou will also be out. There is no need to go back over the injured Lyon players … Happily though, Juninho will be back after 3 matches out through suspension. The Brazilian is very important for OL’s well being.
All that is left for the Olympians from the banks of the Rhône is to do what is necessary to mark their territory. It would create quite a lot of disorder for themm if they did not come out of this game on top, even if the League won’t be « over » by any stretch of the imagination. This last game of the year at home needs to be synonymous with victory … something that hasn’t happened since the 2001-2002 season (6 draws and 1 defeat)!