The long-awaited moment has arrived. In their packed-out stadium, OL are set to play for a berth in the round-of-16 in the prestigious Champions League. They're up against Sevilla, who are also competing for qualification to the next phase.
'A final against Sevilla, I know we can do it'
Jean-Michel Aulas and his men have the 'final' they so hoped for. As the OL president predicted after the pleasing draw earned in Turin, Lyon, aided by Juventus's victory in Andalusia, have been able to turn around a situation that seemed rather dire after back-to-back losses against Sevilla and Juventus. They won 1-0 in Zagreb to ensure a place in the Europa League - at least - but they also got back on course for second place in the group and have thus kept their qualification hopes alive right to the end of this stage.
To make the round of 16
After the huge effort to come back from the brink, Maxime Gonalons and his teammates are sure to give their all to avoid squandering this opportunity and to write a new chapter in the club's history. To pull it off, the equation tonight at Parc OL is simple: a loss, a draw or a victory by one goal will see OL eliminated from the Champions League and sent to the Europa League. A win by at least two goals will send them to the round of 16 in the most prestigious European competition, a feat that Lyon haven't managed since the 2011-12 season, when they bagged a resounding 7-1 victory away to Dinamo Zagreb.
Tune into The Extra: A final against Sevila on OLTV ONLINE and take a look back at OL's Champions League campaign leading up to OL - FC Sevilla
Getting over the trip to Metz...
To get back to a Parc OL with a big-event vibe will do them the world of good. Lyon have been busy this last week with a prolific trip to Nantes then a journey to Metz that turned out to be rather complicated both on and off the pitch. While Metz had the better of the encounter and opened the scoring, Anthony Lopes was targeted and seriously affected by the explosions of firecrackers. The match was suspended after a half-hour of play... It really wasn't the best way to prepare for an important game.
There's a lingering uncertainty to say the least. The trip to Lorraine has left its mark and even with his own assurances of fitness, the Lyon keeper is not a certain starter for this match. The decision will be made at the last moment. As for the rest, Bruno Genesio's squad is almost fully available. Mammana and Gaspar haven't been included in the squad and Jallet is still short of full fitness.
Sevilla: an old hand at European showdowns
The Andalusian club is used to playing big deciders on the European stage. The three-time winners of the Europa League have a wealth of experience gained in the course of their long adventures across Europe. As well as this recent history, FC Sevilla can also count on a well-honed team that is very attack-minded with Nasri, Vitolo, Nzonzi, Ben Yedder... but that also goes in hard for the ball. It's a squad that caused plenty of worry for Lyon after the return to the dressing rooms and a first half dominated by the aforementioned players. Vasquez, suspended, Trémoulinas and Carriço, injured, will miss the call-up while coach Sampaoli, also suspended, will have to watch from the stands of a Parc OL ablaze with excitement.