Sochaux vs Lyon : Still hungry?By: Megame | November 11th, 2012
After a convincing win against Atletic Bilbao, Lyon travel today to Sochaux, home of Les Lionceaux (the cubs). But how strong exactly is this Lyon team, who attracts more and more praise for its beau jeu ? Can it repeat such hart lifting performances consistently, week after week? Or will it fall prey to its old demons, become complacent, loose concentration and stumble on lesser teams… just like Sochaux?
There are reasons to hope that the team this year is more robust than that. Because both the mindset and the collective strength seem to have improved. And among all the good news ( Lacazette starting to score, Gourcuff playing well already, etc..) there’s one that seems even better: in the Gonalons-Malbranque-Gourcuff association we might have found a midfield potentially worthy of the legendary Thiago-Juninho-Diarra triangle that coincided with OL’s golden years. OK, they’ve only been playing about 50 minutes so far, split in two games; but their technical relationship, their vision of the play looks like the promise of future successes.
Also, the never say die attitude of Captain Licha is now beautifully echoed by Steed Malbranque’s fighting spirit, which helps take the whole team forward without giving up in the difficult situations, such as those created by our lousy defensive displays early on in the games; or the competition between our backs for the one who’ll collect the most red cards.
There’s another problem that has been affecting us almost since the beginning of the season: the injuries, particularly long and targetting our major players (Lovren, Gourcuff, Bastos, Grenier)…. And even if Gourcuff and Lovren are now fully fit to play, the list got longer this week: victim of a thigh strain and already absent against Bilbao in the Europa League on Thursday, Jimmy Briand missed the trip to Sochaux, like Bastos (back pain), Grenier (thigh) Fabian Monzon (coach’s choice) and Dejan Lovren, suspended. So Rémi Garde took the following with him: Vercoutre, Lopes – Réveillère, Dabo, Umtiti, Bisevac, B.Koné – Fofana, Gonalons, Mvuemba, Grenier, Malbranque, Gourcuff, Ghezzal – Benzia, Lacazette, Lisandro, Gomis, Novillo.
Briand’s absence mean’s Lisandro, preserved last thursday in Bilbao, is likely to start; and Lovren’s suspension means Bakary Koné is likely to be handed a starting spot. But the opposition tonight being what it is – ie not that scary- Garde will likely rest some players like Gomis.
On the Sochaux side, a -tiny- wind of hope starts to be felt. Winning his last game against Evian took the club out of the red zone, and that was also his second home game won … But sitting 17th in the league with 10 points, 3 wins, 1 draw and 7 defeats, 11 goals scored and 18 conceded is unlikely to trigger any sort of overconfidence, all the more than Sochaux’s home record against Lyon is particularly poor: 8 losses vs 2 wins in the last 10 games in Stade Bonal. So unless Lyon screws up this should be 3 more points to pocket.
Lyon:Vercoutre – Réveillère, Bisevac, Umtiti, Dabo – Fofana, Gonalons, Malbranque, Lacazette, Ghezzal – Lisandro
Sochaux: Pouplin – Corchia, Kanté, Poujol, Roussillon – Nogueira, Roudet, Traoré, Boudebouz – Camara, Privat