first team / OM - OL D-1

The Lyon squad for Marseille

Published on the 21 October 2006 à 17:30 by R.B

Gérard Houllier has named an 18-man squad for the trip to Marseille. Tiago is out with a bout of gastroenteritis... but Caçapa is back...

The Squad:
Vercoutre, Hartock – Réveillère, Clerc, Cris, Cacapa, Squillaci, Abidal, Juninho, Diarra, Toulalan, Källström, Govou, Fred, Wiltord, Benzema, Carew, Malouda.

Gérard, a word on the ambience surrounding this match?
We’re blocking it out and preparing our match. The tenser a match appears the more you have to concentrate on the play. The more adversity there is, the more maturity and solidarity you have to show, right across the board. Is it a bigger game than the derby? Certainly, as far as OM are concerned. As for me, I always tell my players not to waste energy on things they cannot influence. On the other hand, we can control our reactions. This game plays with your head and your nerves. So you have to master your thoughts. We’ve already played in this sort of match. And by the way, I didn’t like the headline in France Football: “A Lyon to kill”. That’s not sport. We’re not hunting and this type of statement never wins football matches.

How could the game go?
We’ll see. We will be very, very strong. The first 15 minutes? The game won’t be won in 15 minutes. And we know the match could be decided on the smallest detail. We have prepared for 90 minutes as usual, whether it’s Real Madrid or Troyes, we always show the same professionalism.

What is really at stake for OL?
This is a dress rehearsal for what could happen in Europe in February or March next year. This OM – OL is a Champions League match. So of course we want to win, do better than last season. Are OM stronger this year? Yes, and I’ve already said it. There’s a type of continuity within the two clubs. It was very intelligent, for example, that Marseille kept hold of Albert Emon. The club didn’t waste any time with him. To come back to your question about what’s at stake, my priority is to reach the goals we have set ourselves this season. Then come the records, like winning an eighth successive league match. Obviously, for competitors, you mustn’t ever lose sight of the goal. This type of match is fantastic.

Ribéry?
I think he’ll play like he did in last season’s Coupe de France clash. Like OM, he caused us problems. There was also Niang... OM deserved to qualify that day, even if we were very average.
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