After hammering FC Nantes in midweek (0-6), OL will look to keep it rolling as they play their second away game of the week in Ligue 1's Week 16.
Surfing the wave after Nantes
Last Wednesday at the Stade de la Beaujoire, OL thrilled their supporters as never before this season: an away victory, an attacking spectacle and some dazzling skill, not to mention three additional points in the climb back to the top of Ligue 1.
Seeing the smiles and the satisfied expressions in the away dressing room, this big historic win has reassured Genesio's squad and clearly demonstrated all the potential of this team, who are preparing for some big showdowns. So to keep the soufflé from collapsing again and to stay on an even keel, OL must take a similar approach this Saturday in Metz, their second consecutive away trip in the league.
Who will play against Metz?
Before flying off to Nantes, Bruno Genesio talked to the press about his plans to draw from his experience so that he doesn't wear his players out in this crowded fixture period. That is to say that on this visit to the Stade Saint-Symphorien, he could make some changes to his starting lineup. In defence, Jérémy Morel, Nicolas Nkoulou or Jordy Gaspar could inject some freshness after having been rested against Nantes. In the midfield, Jordan Ferri or even Lucas Tousart and Clément Grenier could take up the baton to give Max Gonalons and Corentin Tolisso a rest. Finally, in attack, Nabil Fekir and Maxwell Cornet (who is playing against his old club) are raring to go. They are two possible alternatives who could step into give club top scorer Alex Lacazette a break.
Confidence-building before Seville
It's clear that another away victory would boost the confidence of the players before they face their final fixture in Champions League Group H, against FC Sevilla next Wednesday evening at the Parc OL. OL are clearly on a good run of form: five wins in seven matches - even the home loss against PSG (1-2) showed the capacity of this group to rise to the occasion. This Saturday, FC Sevilla will defend third place in La Liga (on points, they're level with FC Barcelona in second place) in an away trip to the home of wooden spooners Granada FC.
FC Metz are struggling
With their 12-placed ranking (five wins, three draws and two losses) FC Metz are currently doing the best among L1's promoted sides, but Les Grenats have recently faced some serious difficulties. The heavy 4-0 defeat against Nantes on Wednesday demonstrated the costly shortcomings of the team managed by Philippe Hinschberger. Like Nantes, Metz are well aware of their problems at home and sit in second-last place in the league, with a return of two wins at the start of the season against Lille (3-2) and Angers (2-0), two draws and, most pertinently, three losses. Bordeaux (3-0), Monaco (7-0) and, most recently, OGC Nice (4-2) have shown great attacking skills in Metz... OL would do well to emulate those performances.
Points up for grabs
It's obvious that Lyon have no time to lose. Eleven points behind OGC Nice, OL must win close to maximum points if they hope to be at a respectable distance from the top three. In the last round, OL took advantage of the huge win in Nantes to come back to within eight points of AS Monaco (third), who were held in check at Dijon (1-1). In this sixteenth round, those teams at the top will not necessarily have easy games: PSG will play Montpellier (Saturday at 17:00); Monaco will play host to Bastia (Saturday at 20:00); while OGC Nice will welcome Toulouse in the last match (Sunday at 20:45).