first team / OL - PSG D-2

Olympique Lyon on its guard

Published on the 08 December 2006 à 18:04 by BV

This Sunday night, against Paris Saint-Germain, OL won’t be playing it by ear. Just before the halfway point of the season, OL is preparing to welcome the Parisians for the third time in just over 4 months.

« We’ve played some tight games… (laughs) More than tight, maybe » reflects Florent Malouda. Even though he didn’t play in the first two games, the man from Guyana remembers watching « two games in which they were well organised. There wasn’t much between the teams at all». Sébastien Squillaci played 210 minutes. He says he « played two tough matches. We could see that despite their league standing, they are a great team. In terms of the individual quality of their players, they are below where they should be. Every club goes through tough times on the pitch. As a player, I know they can rebound very quickly ». « A victory here would be the best thing for them I hope that won’t be the case » says Malouda.

Despite PSG’s more than modest form in the league and UEFA Cup, OL is wary of the team that has been one of its toughest rivals during its five years as champions of France. « They are a great team, and these last few times, they have played with a very attacking formation » adds Juninho before indicating the biggest danger to the OL defence. « Up front they still have Pauleta, who is capable of scoring at any moment ».
Stuck in 14th spot in the league table, the Parisians are undefeated away from home since October 1, proving they have a harder time at the Parc des Princes than away from it. « They are capable of winning on any ground » says « Toto » while hoping that this will not happen at Gerland.
In an atmosphere intensified by the death of a PSG fan and the cancellation of the last game at the Parc des Princes between PSG and Toulouse, the OL players have to find a way to confront the game in the best possible conditions. « The context changes nothing. We don’t take any notice of what goes on off the pitch » affirms Flo Malouda. « As players, we take the field without worrying about the rest ». An opinion shared by Sébastien Squillaci. « There was an incident, and we were all shocked, but it’s not up to us to find an answer. What matters to us takes place on the pitch ».

With victory firmly in their sights, OL are barely worried about the narrow nature of their recent victories. Juninho is resolutely confident. « At the moment, we often win 1-0 but I don’t see that as a problem. It’s still 3 points. If we win 1-0 until the end of my career, I will be happy. The important thing in winning championships is consistency ». Calm but on guard, OL remain focused on their ascent to the summit.
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