The risk is real. Only 7th in Ligue 1 when the championship was stopped, the ambitious OL might not be European next season. An earthquake for a club accustomed to the European Cup since… 1996. It has two chances left: winning the Champions League (Lyon is playing its round of 16 return to Turin against Juventus on August 7) or winning the Coupe de la League, Friday night against PSG.
The second option seems the least insurmountable. So, Lyon did everything to arrive in great shape for July 31. OL resumed very early, on June 8, two weeks before PSG. The team led by Rudi Garcia has increased the number of sessions and friendly matches, it has also recovered two long-injured executives, Memphis Depay and Jeff Reine-Adélaïde. It comes forward on Friday, against PSG, with solid ambitions. “We are convinced that we can do it. Obviously, it’s PSG, we know their value, says a player. But we all saw their match against Saint-Etienne (1-0), Sainté managed to exist, to create situations for himself, it gives ideas. “
Big defensive gaps
Internally, at OL, many are convinced that if there is a good time to take on PSG, it is now. At the time of the “recovery”, where Paris is not yet 100%. But are the Lyonnais 100%? Not yet. Do the Rhone residents have any certainties? Not really. Those of having talent, yes. But also big gaps, especially defensively. Friendly matches again showed an AC team capable of very good streaks. Like much worse. A la Lyonnaise …
During the preparation Rudi Garcia worked a lot around a 3-5-2, which he will probably also use on Friday. A system used against Juventus in the spring (OL success 1-0). On reading the preparation matches, an eleven emerges for the next two crucial meetings, for the Gones, against PSG and Juventus. With Thiago Mendes in place of Lucas Tousart (who left this summer) as sentry in the midfield, alongside the very technical Houssem Aouar and Bruno Guimarães. Memphis will find a starting position in attack, alongside Moussa Dembélé. On paper, it’s less flashy than Paris, obviously. But it’s not bad. Lyon have proven, in recent years, that they know more about a match than bother PSG. Friday again?
Lyon’s probable line-up against PSG :
Tatarusanu – Marcelo, Denayer, Marçal – Dubois, Guimarães, Thiago Mendes, Aouar, Cornet – Memphis, Dembélé.