first team / VAFC - OL D -1

An, essential, return to the ordinary...

Published on the 28 January 2011 à 19:01 by R.B

After the elimination from the Coupe de France, synonymous with disappointment and a brutal stop, OL get back on the campaign trail in the league, knowing what they have to do in order to retain their ambitions…

The national cups out of the way; the appointments against Real Madrid in late February and mid March, the league will occupy the Olympian spirit for the next 3 weeks. And there can be no question of only keeping half a mind on the league matches! The dreams of the title for the 2010-2011 season pass mainly through this long journey of 38 matches, the Champions League is the icing on a potential cake. Lyon are going to have to "spin it" in a different way to that of Sunday night in Nice… if they want to extend their unbeaten run (13 games overall) ... to win.

We have to stay in contact, even scrounge points in order to be present at the final sprint…

In the North, Cris and his teammates will be up against a strong side in a poor situation deprived of some important players (Cohade, Mater ...). "This is the turning point of the season ...." Comments (L’Equipe of January 28th) of the Valenciennes president are clear regarding the forthcoming matches of his club. "We must be at 200% ... we must have more desire ..." Those of the defender Schmitz (official website) are just as important. This team are only one point ahead of the relegation zone. They cannot waste time in getting to safety. They will be counting, notably, on their striker Pujol, 7 goals scored from 19 shots on target. We also know about the qualities of Danic (6 goals), Penneteau, Bisevac ...

Penneteau's teammates must not dawdle, but Lloris and his partners cannot afford to drop points on the road to a possible title. There is no need to look again at the 4 point gap between them and the leaders Lille, on the presence at the top of the table of Rennes, Paris or an OM side who are just behind. There is no need to recall that OL will soon visit Lille ... This championship is far from having delivered its final verdict, but watch out for points lost on the road. "We must stay in contact, even scrounge points to be present at the final sprint ...." This has been the credo of Claude Puel for several weeks.

At Valenciennes, apart from Lovren, suspended, and Ederson in recovery, the Lyon coach will really be spoilt for choice concerning his starting lineup. But, will he change the team which started in Nice beyond replacing Lovren with Diakhaté? It is not so clear with one game per week and need to clear, a sort of chance to make up for the individual and collective shortcomings of the past weekend.

This journey to the Stade Nungesser is certainly not the most fun of the season but, like every other match, there are three points at stake. It would be just as well to have them in the pocket before watching what the other contenders do in this Week 21...

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