Masculins / Reims - OL

To get back on track

Published on 02 October 2015 at 8:09 PM
Beaten by Bordeaux and Valencia CF, OL must bounce back ahead of the international break, against one of the early season surprise packages in Stade de Reims - undefeated in their last five matches.


Against Bordeaux, OL was found lacking across the board; the desire, the application, the concentration... The side was punished in the first half for its defensive lapses and then, in the second, it failed to breakdown a hard-working, if uninspired Bordeaux outfit. It was a different story against Valencia CF, where the result didn't really reflect Lyon's desire and the chances they had to score... But, again, a lapse in concentration proved fatal...

This Saturday, with the visit Stade de Reims, OL play the final match in a marathon of matches - a marathon that has left its mark (Yanga-Mbiwa, Rafael, Bedimo, Darder all injured). For the moment, the record sits in the balance. There has been a win and a draw in the Champions League, two draws, a loss and a win in Ligue 1. On the domestic front, a win over Reims will give a positive edge to the results over the past month. It will be a lot easier to pass the international break with 15 points from nine matches... with the prospect of better days to come as the injured players return...

While OL must recover from the physical efforts and the emotional drain of the midweek loss to Valencia CF, Stade de Reims have enjoyed a full week to prepare for the match on the back of five matches without defeat and already 15 points in Ligue 1. While they haven't necessarily been a revelation of the season, but the side from Champagne has certainly been a pleasant surprise. The side has built on those that were there last season (Devaux, Signorino, Mandi, De Preville, Weber, Oniangue…), and those that have joined over the summer (Bulot, Traoré, Siebatcheu, Kankanva (suspended on Saturday) as well as the youth academy graduate Kyei… And Olivier Guégan has also confirmed his place at the head of the side after replacing Jean-Luc Vasseur last April 2015, to save the club's place in the elite. Reims will again have nothing to lose at the Stade de Gerland. However he will be without the services of captain Mandi (knee).

The first minutes of the game following a European match can always be tough. OL coach Hubert Fournier is also without a host of players, but he will probably limit the number of changes he needs to make. Will Claudio Beauvue start? Ghezzal?

OL need the three points to avoid asking questions, to avoid a negative spiral... Alex Lacazette also needs a big performance and a goal. He needs to put this start to the season behind him and recapture last season's form. A win on Sunday won't cure all ills, but it will certainly offer some welcome relief, and give the OL side the boost to attack the upcoming challenges...

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