Broken down in the league, OL move to the Red Star lawn in the Coupe de France this Thursday (7 p.m.). With a double objective for the usual second knives: to stop a negative spiral and to shake up the hierarchy.
What if the OL season took a decisive turn on Thursday? A few months back, Lyon was autumn champion and an eighth-finals of the Coupe de France against the Red Star, sixth in the National, would have looked like a simple formality. But in addition to the eternal “Magic of the Cup”, OL will also and above all have to be wary of themselves this Thursday (7 p.m.).
“The mind is not good since last week and the match against Lens,” agreed Rudi Garcia at a press conference on the eve of the match. A finding that is reflected in the facts, while the Rhone have only taken two points out of nine in three matches. And the Parisian demonstration at Groupama Stadium before the break (2-4) seems to have left its mark. Since then, OL have slipped from the podium, and title dreams have shifted towards a much more realistic goal: a place on the podium, in order to aspire to regain the Champions League in September. “Everything is still possible, insists Garcia. We are in both competitions. You have to put the necessary ingredients. I expect action from my players. ”
A Cherki and Cornet to play?
It remains to be seen which former Roma coach will line up. In recent weeks, his starting eleven left little room for speculation. Especially on the front of the attack, where Tino Kadewere and Karl Toko-Ekambi are regularly returned to the side of captain Memphis Depay. Formerly thunderous, the trio “KTM” has no more gasoline in the engine. Including the two wingers, who in turn missed two big chances in Lens on Saturday (1-1). One thing is certain, the Zimbabwean (10 goals in L1) will be absent at the Bauer Stadium, as announced by his coach. A boon for Rayan Cherki? The Lyon nugget, who has still not found the net in the league, scored in the first two Cup matches, including a double against Sochaux (L2) in early March (5-2).
“I will line up the eleven best players that I will have tomorrow,” assures the technician from Lyon, who knows the importance of this match, which will also be played on synthetic ground. In addition to Kadewere, he also deplores the absences of Léo Dubois, injured in Lens, of Islam Slimani, suspended and of Houssem Aouar, insufficiently recovered from his muscle injury. Thus, the opportunity is good for the usual “hairdressers” to stand out, in order to try to shake up a well-established hierarchy. If no revolution is to be expected, especially in defense, a few cards could be redistributed in the middle (Maxence Caqueret and Bruno Guimaraes could start). In front, Maxwel Cornet could regain his training position, while he was interesting at the forefront against PSG (a goal and an assist in 30 min) and in each Cup match, where he scored a goal while being tenured on the left wing.
Julian Pollersbeck in goal
“You have to find efficiency in front of goal,” Garcia wishes. We must stop burning the opposing goalkeepers. ” At the other end of the field, in the Rhone cages, Julian Pollersbeck will play his second match with OL, after the round of 16 against Sochaux. And the German has clearly defined the balance of power: “For our opponents, it will be the match of the year. Everyone can win in the Cup. ” He will be the first bulwark of an OL who will ensure to continue his adventure in the Cup in order to avoid a crisis on the dawn of a final sprint where he could lose everything.