OL-Angers: Operation redemption!
"Redemption." "Revenge." "Renewal"... many terms were used to describe Lyon's intentions ahead of last week's game at Nantes, but in the end the word that best summed up the situation was "disappointment." A 2-1 defeat at the Stade de la Beaujoire sent OL to their third straight loss in all competitions, the second in a row in L1, and worsened a crisis that reached a boiling point with their elimination in the Coupe de France semifinal. But the worst was still yet to come, as Bruno Genesio announced he'd be stepping down at the end of the season. The coach, who only has six games left in his tenure, hopes this bombshell revelation gets his players back on track in the final run-in of the campaign.
Although team morale is far from good given all that's happened, it's imperative that Les Gones get their act together in the final stretch. Their poor results have greatly affected their place in the league standings, as the gap with second-place Lille has increased from four to eight points. But second place can no longer be the priority, at least for the time being. OL are currently at the mercy of two direct pursuers: fourth-place ASSE, who are only three points behind, and OM, who trail by just five points. Lyon, who will host Lille and visit Marseille in the last four match days, have seen their comfortable third-place advantage melt like snow in the spring.
Angers celebrated their 1000th game in the top flight by snatching a 1-0 win at last-place SM Caen last weekend. While just their first victory since mid-February, SCO are unbeaten in their last six games, which could mean trouble for a struggling Lyon side. The Stéphane Moulin-coached team will also visit Groupama Stadium with a massive weight off their shoulders after avoiding relegation in Normandy. OL, meanwhile, are all but obligated to win to keep their Champions League hopes intact.
WHO'S IN, WHO'S OUT
Only Fernando Marçal and Ferland Mendy are ruled out for Friday night. Lucas Tousart and Bertrand Traoré, who were doubts ahead of the match, have finally been confirmed. Meanwhile, Angers will be without top scorer Stéphane Bahoken while welcoming back Vincent Manceau and Wilfried Kanga.