first team / OL - Valenciennes D -1

The marathon continues....

Published on the 28 November 2008 à 18:07 by R.B

There is no time to celebrate the qualification in the Champions League...OL are back in action in the L1 against Valenciennes, a team in the relegation zone...OL will be without Juninho and Benzema...

12th match in 6 weeks for the French Champions … without forgetting that some players have had international duty as well! OL rack up the matches with no time to rest, from Paris to Tuscany; from Italy to the Stade de Gerland. On Saturday they will be up against Valenciennes who are in need of points to get out of the relegation zone. The two sides do not have the same preoccupations.

If Valenciennes want « get out of their downward spiral », Lyon are having to deal with an ever growing injury list. Réveillère injured his knee against Paris. Benzema needs some attention to his thigh. Faure, has also taken a knock to the knee … And that is without mentioning Bodmer, Clerc and Pjanic, all of whom are still in the treatment room … or the slight knocks of Gassama and Toulalan, while Delgado and Fabio Santos are only just getting back to fitness. And, of course, there is the absence of Juninho to contend with, the midfielder having picked up a two match ban for his sending off against Paris. It’s an awful lot to deal with

Happily enough OL have a big squad. They can also use the satisfaction of their recent qualification, for the 6th time in a row, for the last 16 of the Champions League. This will surely give them the mental strength to get over the evident physical fatigue. « We mustn’t spoil our week on Saturday … On top of that our last result in the League was a defeat … If we have to dig deep to win, then we will … ». The wise Jean-Alain Boumsong has spoken. No matter what happens on Saturday, OL will still be leaders but it would be just as well to avoid Rennes, Nice or Marseille closing the ground on them!

Life without « Juni » and Benzema, OL haven’t had to deal with it over the last few months. Their absences will, however, offer some playing time to other players. Fred and Piquionne up front; Källström, Fabio Santos, Ederson in the midfield.

Valenciennes must think that the « French ogre » is quite as frightening as all that. « There are about twenty crazy guys here that think that we can bring something back from this game … ». These are the thoughts of the defender David Ducourtioux (official club site). You cannot blame the former Sedan defender, in football anything is possible. Valenciennes may have been inspired by the performance of Metz in the Coupe de la Ligue. Penneteau and his team-mates have nothing to lose, so they may as well try everything. «Valenciennes haven’t been thrashed this season … » underlined Claude Puel during the press conference on Thursday. OL must be wary. In a marathon, there is often the famous barrier that you have to break through before finishing. Valenciennes resemble this barrier. Afterwards OL will « only » have four games left in the three weeks before the winter break. 4 matches after 12 in 6 weeks…
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