One of France’s most successful clubs, Olympique Lyon find themselves in the bottom half of the table with their goals drying up post the departure of Memphis Depay. While there is plenty lacking in the side across different positions, Peter Bosz is actively looking to find a solution to it as they don’t intend on losing European football for next season.
They finished 2021 on a peculiar note, having registered four draws in a row, three of which came in the league. They’re currently seven points behind for a Europa League spot, and 11 behind the Champions League qualification slot, making it nearly impossible for the team to dream of the elite, but Europa is definitely not far away.
Lyon’s last 5 home games
|Lens||2-1||Ligue 1||October 30|
|Sparta Prague||3-0||Europa League||November 4|
|Reims||1-2||Ligue 1||December 1|
|Rangers||1-1||Europa League||December 9|
|Metz||1-1||Ligue 1||December 22|
They face the potential French champions Paris Saint-Germain, who had to receive some not so comforting news lately with a lot of players being asked to isolate themselves. Adding to it is their recent form, having drawn three of their last four games. There is some urgency that needs to be shown by the players to promise good returns to the fans before Champions League clashes kick-off.
There is growing desperation among fans to see Mauricio Pochettino’s men bag the league title without much fuss, and concentrate on winning their first European crown. In the reverse fixture between the sides, the hosts depended on Mauro Icardi’s last-gasp winner to gain all three points and wouldn’t want to leave it so late this time.
Lyon will be struggling to keep their attack intact with Karl Toko Ekombi, Tino Kadewere and Islam Slimani ruled out to feature in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Jason Denayer continues to nurse his injury alongside Sinaly Diomande. The Parisians will be without Achraf Hakimi, Idrissa Gueye and Abdou Diallo as they honour their national commitments.
The incredible Marco Veratti is a bridge between the defence-to-offence transition, and has put in some incredible performances this year.
He has missed seven games due to injury this campaign, but if he is in the middle, he will control the tempo of the game with his passing range and ability to win the ball back. The Italian averages 116 touches per game with a passing accuracy well over 90, which speaks volumes of his impact on a game.
Although it is nearly confirmed that Kylian Mbappe won’t be staying in France next season, he is not letting any of the outside talks dampen his playing form.
He netted nine goals in the league alongside eight assists, taking his overall tally in the season to 18 goals and 12 assists just midway through the season. He is undoubtedly one of the best footballers on the planet, and he could provide some massive troubles to the Lyon defenders.
With some names missing out for this fixture, Mauro Icardi could get a rare start alongside Mbappe and Messi in this game. He scored four goals this season before being in the centre of a peculiar controversy with his wife that saw him miss a few game weeks.
However, his 93rd-minute winner helped the club gain a win in the reverse fixture, and not many would bet against him to score.
A footballer perpetually linked with a move away from Lyon, Moussa Dembele hasn’t featured in a lot of games this season but made an impact whenever he was there.
He got four goals to his credit in the league, alongside another one he got in the Coupe de France. Lyon will bank on him to get their goal in this fixture.
Houssen Aouar is a creative heart of this French unit and despite not being at his best this season, he is still one of their main chance creators. The 23-year-old can be a major threat moving the ball forward, and it would come as no surprise if he adds to the tally of three goals and two assists in the league and scored six times across all competitions.
A lot has changed since these two sides played out that thrilling encounter at the Parc de Princes. There isn’t much to suggest a positive result for the hosts, with PSG intensifying their work in these months whilst Lyon fell apart further.
Mbappe and Messi are just getting a hang of each other, and that combination could just be one of the deadliest European football witnesses in a long time. The prediction is for PSG to win this fixture 2-0.