first team / OL - SCB

Keep the tally ticking over

Published on the 27 April 2014 à 15:00 by R.B

After the point picked up against Toulouse in midweek, OL need to get back to winning ways against a Sporting Bastia side assured of their Ligue 1 future and who can even finish in the top half of the table...

  Does OL have any choice? No, not if they want to maintain control of their own destiny. They are two points behind ASSE and two points ahead of OM. They know that OM drew with Nantes. They will know Les Verts' result in Annecy against ETG. Week 35 will be an important one for OL who can put three more points between themselves and Les Phocéens, and perhaps close in on Les Verts. They need the points for this sprint finish, especially against Marseille…

This visitors on Sunday are already assured of their Ligue 1 survival. But they can still hope for a top ten finish, for the first time since 2000-01 when they finished eighth. The 17th-best defence in Ligue 1 has only picked up nine points on the road this season (1 win and 6 draws), and makes the SCB the 18th-best away side in the land. Not great. They will be without the services of former OL defender 'Toto' Squillaci, the Corsican club return with Djibril Cissé up front. They also boast the talents of Boudebouz, Khazri, Romaric… that's a fair bit of skill...

Sporting are playing pressure-free. That's not the case for OL who are fighting for that European berth. 4th or 5th is not the same thing, but the important thing is to qualify for a club that has been shining in Europe for so long...

For their 58th official match of the season, Rémi Garde will not be welcoming any players back from injury, although Rémy Vercoutre returns from suspension. So he is once again without Gourcuff, Miguel Lopes, Grenier and Fofana but still has a few options. He has been dealing with these problems for a while now. After their final midweek match of the season last Wednesday, OL can now concentrate on just one match a week until the end of the season. While they may have some weary legs, Maxime Gonalons and Co. will once again be all heart.

OL won't let their loyal fans down with the finish line in sight. They have already worked so hard. They have sacrificed and suffered so much to not hang on now. A ticket to Europe next season comes via a win over Bastia this weekend...


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