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first team / Pre-season friendly

The final dress rehearsal

Published on the 03 August 2012 à 19:30 by RB

OL plays Porto on Saturday in their final pre-season warm-up match before taking on the Stade Rennais in their Ligue 1 opener...

After Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad, the Impact Montreal and the defending Ligue 1 champions MHSC, Porto are the final side to take on OL in the pre-season, while acknowledging that the match against MHSC was anything but a friendly and saw Olympique Lyonnais win the Trophée des Champions on penalties for a real boost ahead of the start of the season...

These four pre-season matches have shown all the qualities and the weaknesses of Rémi Garde's side. They have shown they can make the difference at any moment, fight tooth and nail and stick together when they're up against it... the form of some and the absence of others had been a handicap in the play and OL has shown a propensity to let the opposition off the hook. But the team has also been conceding goals (6 in 4 matches), and the defence has looked fragile... This is all part of a pre-season...

Despite the incertitude that accompanies the mercato, the squad has been working hard and well and it now coming off the back of three matches without defeat, but without really having won one either (3 draws but two wins on penalties). The squad is without the services of Lovren, Lisandro and Bastos for the Porto match.

"This will be a final dress rehearsal..." Rémi Garde is clear: the OL coach wants to use this match against a European giant to put together the team that will take on Rennes on the opening day of the championship in a week's time. Is there still some doubt as to the participation of Lisandro and Lovren in Week 1 of Ligue 1? Not really...  But we will still be looking for clues in the starting line-up at the Estadio Dragao. Will Réveillère start at right-back ahead of Dabo? Will the central defensive pairing of Bakari Koné and Cris continue? Will Fofana partner captain Gonalons in the middle of the park? And up front? In the absence of Lisandro, the three attacking roles appear to be decided, despite the excellent form of Benzia and Pied. And don't forget the presence of Steed Malbranque at training...

The team will be looking to fine-tune certain aspects of its game against FC Porto and give us a few more certitudes ahead of the start of the season. We all remember that towards the end of July last year, in Geneva, OL defeated Porto 2-1... But a lot has changed since then...

 

CLAIREFONTAINE, partenaire officiel de l’Académie OL.