first team / Toulouse - OL

Turn it around in Toulouse

Published on the 22 April 2016 à 19:00 by SC

Lyon travel to Toulouse, a traditionally unhappy hunting ground, on Saturday. Knocked off second place last weekend, Lyon can't afford to slip up against a Toulouse side who have been battling valiantly to break out of the drop zone. A potential trap for OL…

Will the date of 5 November, 2005 be in the minds of the OL players as they take the field at the Stadium? Perhaps… but it has been over a decade since OL won away to Toulouse, who have been far from formidable and whose stadium has been far from a fortress… in general. However, the Stadium has reserved special treatment for OL, who have lost six times and failed to score eight times in their last nine trips to the southwest…

But now OL really have no choice other than to buck the trend on this unhappy hunting ground if they are to regain second place after losing it with the draw versus Nice last week. While many are already thinking about the crunch Week 37 league clash with main rival Monaco, OL mustn't neglect their three other remaining matches, from which results are a must - a trip to Reims, a clash with Gazélec and this weekend in Toulouse.

The side from the Haute-Garonne region, mired in the lower reaches of the table, had at one point almost lost hope of saving their place among France's elite. But the arrival of new coach Pascal Dupraz at the beginning of March has revived spirits, results and hopes in the southwest. The TFC have since lost just once in their last six matches and now 17th-placed Reims - and safety - are now within reach. Can they make up the three-point gap before the end of the season? It's not impossible for a TFC side who can count on striker Braithwaite, creators Regattin and Trejo, but above all Ben Yedder, who has hit red-hot form with 11 goals in 2016.

They have players in form, but so do OL. With exception of Kalulu and Malbranque, who have been out for some time, there will be only one real absence - that of Maxwel Cornet, suspended after his red card against Nice and likely to be replaced by Valbuena. Bruno Genesio has some choices to make… Bedimo or Morel? Jallet or Rafael ? Tolisso or Ferri ? Of course it is always better to have all your weapons available as the season draws to a close with the European places still in play. And OL's road to second place starts in the inhospitable city of Toulouse…

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