The task promises to be difficult.
Last Sunday, at the final whistle, Olympique Lyonnais was exulting.
The Rhone club had just revived for the race for the Champions League after overthrowing AS Monaco outnumbered (2-3).
A short-lived joy.
As soon as the match was over, incidents broke out between players of the two teams.
Finally, Willem Geubbels and Pietro Pellegri on the Monaco side as well as Marcelo and Mattia De Sciglio on the Lyon side were expelled by the referee of the meeting Clément Turpin.
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Monaco-Lyon: the sanctions after the general fight spare the Lyonnais
The disciplinary committee delivered its verdict on Wednesday. The players of the club of the Rock received respectively three and two matches of suspension while the elements of the OL get away with a penalty of one match. A justified difference in treatment for Rudi Garcia, for whom the Lyonnais players were not "involved" in acts of violence, but strongly criticized by Oleg Petrov, the vice-president of AS Monaco, who sees "l 'injustice". The Lyon coach will therefore have to do without his two experienced defenders. Not to mention the absence of Maxence Caqueret, excluded last Sunday after receiving two yellow cards, and Memphis Depay, suspended due to too many warnings in the last ten meetings. In short,the French technician must compose his team without two of his best defenders, one of his two best midfielders and without his best attacking player.
A decimated workforce especially in defense
And that's not all. Other Rhone players are uncertain for Saturday afternoon. “We won't have too much of tomorrow's session to know if Islam (Slimani), Djamel (Benlamri), Melvin (Bard) and Denayer can be in the group or not. We do not know anything. They resumed, everyone trained apart, ”confided Rudi Garcia at a press conference on Thursday. Or, three other additional defenders possibly unavailable. He also joked about his many potential absences and the possibility of seeing many young players in the group: "I have provided bottles for the sidelines, no problem," he said for to joke. The main problem lies in the defensive sector. In midfield, Maxence Caqueret can be replaced by Houssem Aouar or Bruno Guimaraes,two good players with different profiles, who alternate the good and the less good this season, nevertheless able to raise their level of play. In front, there are also solutions to compensate for the loss of Memphis Depay. Rayan Cherki, savior of OL against Monaco, is a beautiful one.
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Ligue 1: Fight for the title, race for Europe and maintenance, a breathtaking end of the season
Behind, however, if all the players are unable to set foot on the lawn of Groupama Stadium, the coach of Olympique Lyonnais will have to tinker. Faced with the Merlus, he does not rule out starting again on a three-way defense. But with who ? Among those who have had a lot of playing time in the central pivot, only Sinaly Diomandé (20) is sure to be present. Rudi Garcia hopes at least to be able to count on the return of Djamel Benlamri or Jason Denayer, who came out on injury against Monaco. Otherwise, he could consider bringing down a midfielder, in this case Thiago Mendes: “If we look at the players in the workforce who are not defenders by profession, one of the first who comes to mind to help out, it's Thiago Mendes. Even if he has never played in this position, he has the characteristics to do so,he explained to reporters. He is an intelligent player, he has a good technical quality, of recovery. He's athletic, he has a good head game. I hope not to be forced to play him there and that we will recover other defenders. "
OL do not have the right to make mistakes
In any case, Rudi Garcia will have to find effective solutions. Because Olympique Lyonnais has no room for error. To find the biggest European scene, the Rhone side, fourth in the standings, must win their last three matches, starting with the one against FCL, while hoping for a misstep from AS Monaco in this final sprint. The way does not matter, what matters for Lyon is to win the three points. This is essentially what the Gones coach said: “We will put the best possible team. No matter who we play with, I could put the staff, we will be motivated. We changed the dynamic in Monaco, we absolutely want to win this match and be third on Saturday at 7 p.m. We play a very dangerous Lorient team. It won't be easy, but through the door or the window,we want to take the three points, ”he said on Thursday. Before adding: “The place of Olympique Lyonnais is in the Champions League. Because it's the competition he deserves and I think we deserve to grab the Champions League this season. The other three deserve it too. It's up to us to deserve it stronger than the others over the last three matches. ”
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The ambition is clear but winning against Lorient will probably not be easy. Les Merlus (17th) are fighting for their maintenance and their system of play with five defenders poses problems for many teams. And then, they have in their ranks a player in form and one of the revelations of the season: Terem Moffi, already author of 14 league goals this season. The match is important for both teams. Failure could have serious consequences for their future. So (almost) anything goes. At the end of the match against AS Monaco, Jean-Michel Aulas was very critical of the arbitration decisions. "We have no luck with arbitration," he said at the microphone of Canal +. A way to put pressure on the referee during the last days? Perhaps.Loïc Féry wanted to take the lead. "To those who say that Jean Michel Aulas would put a lot of pressure on the referees before the Lyon-Lorient match, I answer to have confidence in an impartial refereeing in Ligue 1. The future will tell us if I was right to do so. believe, ”the Breton president posted on his social networks. Mikaël Lesage, appointed for the match, will be closely scrutinized this Saturday.
To those who say that @JM_Aulas would put a lot of pressure on the referees before the match @ FCLorient @ OL, I answer to have confidence in an impartial #arbitration in @ Ligue1UberEats
The future will tell us if I was right to believe it @ LFPfr @ FFFhttps: //t.co/6CwKFKOxap
- Loic FERY (@LoicFery) May 6, 2021
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