first team / Lens - OL

Remain unbeaten

Published on the 02 October 2009 à 19:00 by TS

One week after having won the fourth of four matches at Gerland, OL make the trip north, tonight, to face RC Lens. The chance for Claude Puel's men to remain unbeaten in the Ligue 1, which would allow them to head into the international break in a calm frame of mind.

After Le Mans, Auxerre and Paris, Olympique Lyonnais head north this evening to face RC Lens at Félix Bollaert. An RC Lens whose record since the start of the season is more than respectable: one victory and two draws (Auxerre, Rennes & Lille). But, despite this encouraging start – 2 victories in the first 3 matches -, president Gervais Martel’s men ahve not won in the L1 since Week 3 and their trip to Grenoble at the end of August (1-2). The only bright spot: their qualification at the expense of Montpellier in the last 32 of the Coupe de la Ligue (3-4) gave Jean-Guy Wallemme’s side a little confidence.

On a good run in the Ligue 1 and Champions League (11 matches without defeat since the start of the season), OL have proven to be less convincing in their play since the international break, as against Lorient (1-0), Fiorentina (1-0), Paris Saint Germain (1-1) or even Toulouse last week (2-1), where Claude Puel’s men were in great difficulty during the first half, before making the difference in the second.

Against Lens, Claude Puel will, once again, ahve to deal with a number of injuries. If the forward line has been decimated with the withdrawals of Lisandro (groin) and Delgado (groin), the defence is also affected, as Bodmer (suspended), Cleber (shoulder) and Boumsong (groin) will all be out for the game at Félix-Bollaert. If we add the absence of Jean II Makoun, in Camerroon for his father’s funeral, Claude Puel will not have too mmany choices to make when picking his side. The only piece of good news: Michel Bastos, injured in the Champions League match against Fiorentina, makes his return to the OL squad.

As for Lens, things don’t look great either. After a difficult start to the season, as shown by thrashing at the hands of Le Mans last week (0-3), Lens are having trouble after making their way back to the Ligue 1. A task which becomes even more difficult against Lyon, especially as Jean Guy Wallemme’s players will need the points tonight at Bollaert, with a Dantesque month of October on the horizon (home games against Lyon and Toulouse, and trips away to Monaco and Paris). With a « sacred union » having been declared in Lens, the team from the north will not be going down against Lyon, unbeaten in the L1, without a fight. OL will have to be wary and have one single ambition, remaining unbeaten for a 12th time this season.
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