first team / OL - Toulouse

Make it a clean sweep at Gerland

Published on the 26 September 2009 à 09:00 by TS

One week after the draw brought back from the Parc des Princes (1-1), OL are up against Toulouse at Gerland. The chance for Claude Puel's men to grind out a fourth victory of the season at home, in as many matches and to remain unbeaten in the Ligue 1...


After Valenciennes, Nancy and Lorient, it is the turn of Toulouse to visit Gerland this week-end. A Toulouse side whose record on the road has not been great since the start of the season: two draws and a defeat. But, since the international break, OL have been less convincing as well, in their games against Lorient (1-0), Fiorentina (1-0) or Paris Saint Germain (1-1), where Sidney Govou and his team-mates almost conceded their first defeat of the season. Will the visit of Toulouse allow OL to refind the level of play they had shown during the month of August? One thing is for sure: there can be no question of wasting chnaces at home, especially as Bordeaux have continued their run of invincibility since the start of the season.

With the desire of putting on a more seductive performance than the one shown at the Parc des Princes, Olympique Lyonnais will need to find more serenity and realism in order to avoid putting too much energy into the game which comes just three days before the voyage to Hungary. The only dark cloud on the horizon: Claude Puel will have to compose a forward line deprived of the talents of Michel Bastos, with a knee problem, and Lisandro Lopez, still suffering with his groin muscles. Absences which are detrimental to the side, as the two summer recruits have scored nine of OL’s twenty goals so far this season. With the knowledge that Cleber Anderson and Jean-Alain Boumsong are also still unavailable, the qualities of the bench will be important against a side which thrives on physical battles.

Toulouse, and the team-mates of Pierre-André Gignac, have already dropped points along the way. After a terrible start to the season and with five points after five matches, Toulouse are now on a great dynamic. Better than that, the two consecutive victories obtained away to Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League (2-3) and Le Mans (2-0) have put a smile back on the face of a group which has been hanicapped by ther injury to their captain Mauro Cetto, a stalwart of the defensive system put in place by Alain Casanova. A defence which will has been decimated before the match at Gerland, the Toulouse coach will have to do without the services of Ebondo (ankle), Fofana (fatigue) and M’Bengue (hamstring). But, OL will have to be wary of Pierre-André Gignac who has only been able to score once this season. They should watch out that the top goalscorer of last season (24 buts) does not wake up…

Even if the TFC have not won at Gerland since the 1965/1966 season - an eternity -, the Toulouse players will be trying their best in theis match between « European » clubs. As far as OL are concerned, they must win. First of all, to follow the rhythm set by their direct opponents Bordeaux and Marseille. Secondly, to remain unbeaten and to make it a clean sweep at home, four wins in four matches, something very important in view of the struggle for the title …
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