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OL - Zenit: the chance to make a strong impression (18h55)

Published on 17 September 2019 at 6:30 AM
OL - Zenit : l'occasion de faire forte impression (18h55)
With Benfica, Leipzig and Zenit, OL inherited a rather evenly matched group. It is important to quickly collect points to take the lead in a group where everything seems possible. This opening match at home against the Russians is a great opportunity to show off the team's strength.

The context

This first group match is also the first match of Sylvinho as a manager in the Champions League. Winner of two editions (2006, 2009) with Barcelona when he was a player, the Brazilian knows what this competition requires and must breathe all his experience into a fairly young group. After a mixed debut in the league, the European Cup should allow OL to set the record straight and launch its season definitively. Their opponent, Zenit, started their championship very well after nine matchdays (6 wins, 2 draws, 1 defeat) and rank 2nd in the Russian Premier League, tied with Krasnodar, the leader.

The challenge

In a well-balanced group that should go until the last matchday, every point will be important. The four teams seem on the same level to start. After their most recent Champions League match in which Lyon endured a big defeat (5-1) against FC Barcelona, Jean-Michel Aulas' players must reassure themselves and establish themselves as leaders of group G. The summer investments have been made for these evenings and the side should do at least as well as last year.

 

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The opponent

OL are preparing to face an experienced club, one whose trophies include the 2008 UEFA Cup win against Glasgow Rangers, and the Super Cup against Manchester United the same year. This season, after three years in the Europa League (all of which ended in the knockout rounds), Zenit this year is back in the queen of European competitions. During its last participation in 2015-2016, the Russian club was in the same group as OL and shone (two victories, 3-1 and 0-2) before losing in the Round of 16 against Benfica, another part of this group. After nine matchdays of the Russian championship, Zénit is also well placed and will present itself at Groupama Stadium to take its chances. The Russians will be without Malcom, their new recruit from FC Barcelona, who has just been injured.



 

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