The awakening of the Mastiffs is expected. Last of Group G of the Champions League after a draw and a poorly paid defeat against Wolfsburg and Salzburg, Losc receives Sevilla FC with the firm intention of launching its European campaign this Wednesday (9 p.m.). Faced with the scarecrow in delicacy of the hen (2nd after two draws), the Northerners will also be keen to resume their march forward interview before the international break. Because in Clermont on Saturday (1-0), the Mastiffs, orphans of their pack leader Burak Yilmaz, already had no fangs. "
We were waiting for a cup match and we were not able to attend a match like that
", complained Jocelyn Gourvennec after a "
defeat that was not planned
The original idea was to continue the momentum of the end of September, punctuated by a convincing success against Olympique de Marseille (2-0).
But the Losc, already intermittent in Salzburg during the second day of C1 (2-1), this time was completely absent from the debates against the promoted Auvergne, who nevertheless remained two months without winning.
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The essential Yilmaz and David are back
After this disappointment, President Oliver Létang had a tough tooth and was less laconic than his coach at the microphone of
In terms of content, we have hit rock bottom. We were very bad, there is nothing more to say. This shows that in top-level sport, when you cannot show certain individual and collective values, you cannot claim anything.
President of the club since the end of 2020, the former boss of Stade Rennais expects an immediate reaction from his troops.
You have to bounce back very quickly,
” Létang urged before the match against “
the best of the group
With this in mind, Lille will be able to count on the return of Burak Yilmaz, suspended in Clermont.
Losc's sole scorer in this meager continental campaign (a free kick in Salzburg), the Turk remains at the height of his 36 years, the main offensive attraction of the French champion.
He will be the main key to the physical and tactical challenge offered by the Andalusian defense, composed in particular of the French international Jules Koundé and the former Nantes player Diego Carlos.
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At his side,
("King") Burak should count on his favorite partner Jonathan David, who played 20 minutes in Auvergne, unsuccessfully precipitating his late return to selection.
The Canadian, who took on a new dimension at the Luchon estate, remained on a streak of five goals in three Ligue 1 matches, contrasting with his mixed record on the European scene.
A record that would nevertheless have taken on a whole new level if his goal had not been refused against Wolfsburg on the first day (0-0).
Starved record in the Champions League
In the immutable 4-4-2 northerner, this duo eclipses another.
The one made up of the twirling Jonathan Ikoné and Jonathan Bamba, both seven matches on the counter in C1, for a small goal for the first.
Statistics starved and symptomatic of the offensive difficulties of the Mastiffs in the most prestigious of club competitions.
A detrimental lack of bite and resulted in a fourth and last place in the group in its last three participations (2019, 2012, 2011).
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To avoid another setback, obviously unworthy of a reigning French champion, even if the status of domestic champion is rarely a guarantee of success in continental games, Losc will have to win to stay alive. “We
will have to succeed in packing this one, being conquerors but also intelligent, not opening the game in the face of skilled players. We will have to make a full match
, ”summarizes Gourvennec on the eve of the meeting. The coach, who discovers the competition, invites his players to reproduce the performance of Marseille (2-0).
The opposite, to which Losc too often is forced in the middle of the week, would seriously complicate the task of a team which only left the group stage of C1 once, in 2007. Also, a new match without success would summon the painful memory of the 2019-2020 campaign, when the band at Christophe Galtier had scored only a small point in six matches.
But the weight of history is not only against the northern team, since it won during its only two receptions for the Andalusians, in the UEFA Cup (2004 and 2006).
There are also grounds for hope.