OL have the chance to put a little distance between themselves and OM… Marseille can overtake their opponents of the day… A combat between Olympians in view of future ambition…
Nothing will be won or lost after 90 minutes at the Stade Vélodrome, but, there are good points available to take between these two title contenders as much as marking the collective psyche. Let us imagine that Lyon win, they would certainly strike a blow while continuing their unbeaten run with the assurance of staying in contact, or even better, with the leaders and putting 5 points between themselves and the reigning French champions. Let us imagine that OM are victorious, it would allow the club to stop its series of three games without success and precede OL in the table by one point.
With one match to go before the end of the first round of games, this classic between the two teams, who have been on the podium together since 2006-2007 cannot be ignored. Two teams who have been handicapped by many absences in the defensive sector. This could play a role in the outcome. Diawara, Mbia, Cisse, Azpilicueta, Hilton are absent for OM, who will see the debut of the former Rennes player Fanni and who hope to count on the presence of Brandao, who picked up sore ankle against Auxerre. In the Lyon ranks, Ederson, Toulalan, Cris are all out. Gourcuff, Grenier and Delgado are on their way back from injury and Diakhaté spent much of the week undergoing treatment without forgetting the little knocks to Réveillère and Pjanic. Quite a selection!
Apart from the absent and uncertainties, this big match promises on a collective and individual level. There will be duels, like the long distance one between Mandanda and Lloris, the goaltending captains. There will be encounters between Argentineans. Will Lisandro dance the tango against Heinze? Will Lucho live up to his reputation as a commander in the midfield? What to say about Gignac who is still waiting to score his first goal at home or Rémy who has already scored twice against his former club with Nice? There will still be the importance of the bench with the former Monaco managers Didier Deschamps and Claude Puel in charge of manoeuvres. Hey by the way, what choice will the Lyon manager make for his starting line-up in midfield? Makoun and Källström seem instant choices at the moment. For the rest, anything is possible. But if Gonalons has top play in central defence alongside Lovren, that makes one less possibility.
Let’s wait for the last minute to know exactly the strength on show. This puts a little bit of mystery into this classic of the championship which has, over the last few seasons, been played at the summit of the L1. Let us hope, quite simply, that OL manage the good deal of the day.