After the back to back Champions League games with Real Madrid and ahead of the international break, OL travel to Sochaux looking to end a long run of losses away from home...
It's already a long time ago! The last time OL recorded an away win was against Dijon, 2-1, back on 10 September. Since then, Caen, Paris and Lille were all synonymous with defeat. The seven time French champions must start to compliment an excellent home record, 16 points from 18 possible, by bringing back some positive results away from the Stade Gerland. So far, Cris and Co. have taken just 7 points from 6 games!
Les Lyonnais can always look to recent history to reassure them ahead of Sunday's game. In the last eight seasons, Lyon has recorded eight wins at the Stade Bonal, and often, winning in style!
Obviously Sochaux won't just lie down and hand OL victory on Sunday. But Sochaux have not lived up to expectations so far this season with early eliminations in both the Europa League and the Coupe de la Ligue. Less convincing has been the 24 goals they've conceded and the 'sagas' involving Anin and Maïga. Sochaux appears a long way from last season's excellent form, despite the presence of the excellent Richert, Boudebouz, Martin, Corchia, Perquis… While their situation in Ligue 1 is not yet critical, they don't have a whole lot of room to move.
OL put in a vastly improved performance in the second game against Real Madrid, while still being given another footballing lesson. Ahead of the decisive matches against Ajax and Dinamo Zagreb; ahead of the international break, there's still one more match to win, despite the fatigue and the still numerous absentees.
Dabo, suspended, and Lovren, who injured his knee on Wednesday, are added to an already lengthy list of unavailable players, which already includes the likes of Lisandro, Bastos, Grenier, Pied… Fortunately, Cissokho looks likely to reclaim the left-back position. For the rest, coach Rémi Garde will only have two or three choices to make when composing his starting XI.
OL will, once again, be counting on its team spirit and solidarity... the talent of Hugo Lloris, Jimmy Briand's excellent form, Alex Lacazette's promise, Cris' experience… which will see the side quit the Stade Bonal with a big smile for a job well done...