first team / Caen - OL D-1

Failure in Normandy is out of the question!

Published on the 07 December 2007 à 16:53 by R.B

OL is off to Normandy before their Champions League showdown with Glasgow. With a 5-point lead over Nancy, OL is well positioned in the league. In practising against the promoted Caennais, who have hit form, the Olympiens will have the perfect preparation for their trip to Scotland…

The Stade Malherbe have been in full swing of late, with 4 consecutive home wins. Franck Dumas has pretty much stuck with the same line-up but has however changed his formation. 4-4-2 has replaced 4-3-3 and room to move for the opposition has dried up as a result. For OL’s visit in the Coupe de la Ligue at the end of October, this style of play had already been put into place, with several youngsters replacing some more-experienced regular starters. Planté, Deroin, Gouffran, Proment and Nivet will be looking to show that they shouldn’t have been overlooked by their manager. Planté will remember beating OL in the league in 2004-05 just before the Olympiens took on Werder Bremen in the last 16 of the Champions League!

Will Alain Perrin rotate the squad this weekend ahead of the Champions League tie in Glasgow midweek? The question was asked after the big win over Strasbourg and the commanding position t put OL in an the top of the table: 5 points ahead of nearest rival Nancy.

Perrin partly responded to the question in his press conference. Not having his full squad available, he saw his options as limited, but the smart money says he will be making a few changes to the line-up that stated against the Alsaciens. “Some players have played a lot lately. I also want to have a look at some others. Places against Glasgow are still up for grabs…” The message is clear. Baros could start, for example… and so could Belhadj and Keita.

There is no question of taking the Normans lightly. It’s not OL’s style and moreover it would be unfortunate to put in a bad performance just before the delicate trip to Scotland. Alain Perrin? “I’m looking for us to concede the bare minimum of scoring chances. Caen really moved us around in the Coupe de la Ligue, so we’ll have to be on our toes…”

Juninho and Benzema, should they play, will be looking to keep scoring. Govou has been in divine form lately, as proven by his performances in matches and training. Keita could well score his 2nd OL goal and Rémy Vercoutre, in excellent form over the past few matches, will be looking to prove that he can hold down the job in OL’s goal in the long-term, while also getting primed for the clash at Ibrox. So failure in Normandy is out of the question... =9/
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