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The race for Europe

Published on the 22 April 2014 à 20:07 by R.B

Against Toulouse, OL begin the final sprint finish of the Ligue 1 season... The match could be a turning point in the race for Europe...

After the trip to the Stade de France and the bitter defeat to PSG in the final of the Coupe de la Ligue, OL have to bounce back in the championship. It's the chance to put the final behind them, but also get the jump on both OM and ASSE who were held to draws last weekend. They team can close in on Les Verts and put three more points between themselves and OM. That's plenty to play for with just five matches left and it starts at the Stadium against Toulouse this Wednesday. But the TFC can still finish as high as 7th, their best finish since coming home fourth in 2008-09.

The TFC have lacked consistency this season. After sitting in the relegation zone for the first five games, they have yo-yoed between the top and bottom half of the table. While their attack has impressed, their defence has been a problem (14th). The TFC have been good on the road - 6th best in L1 - and disappointing at home - 18th best (4 wins, 7 draws and 5 losses)! The TFC can count on some quality players such as Ben Yedder, Aurier, Braithwaite, Chantôme… And have a recent tradition of causing Olympique Lyonnais a few problems…

OL need to put that final loss behind them. Apart from Jordan Ferri, who comes back from suspension, no-one else is expected back, and Bedimo is suffering with a sore ankle. In recent weeks, OL have shown their ability to bounce back and also record some excellent results away from home: 16 points from a possible 21 away from home in the second half of the season and undefeated since Rennes. They are undefeated in their last five matches away from home (4 wins and 1 draw… and 3 wins in a row)! OL have made up for the points they've dropped at home.

For this final midweek match of the season, Rémi Garde should bring back Ferri in midfield. He still has 'a few options' to rotate certain positions and look to overcome a recent trend of three consecutive defeats in their last three trips to the Stadium. The last time OL picked up a point away to TFC? On February 7 2010 and a dour scoreless draw...

Picking up maximum points is the only objective in the hunt to qualify for European football. Olympique Lyonnais have the quality and the character to get the result they need... despite still missing so many players through injury...


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