I am under very severe time constraints today and will unfortunately have no time to write a preview. Sorry fellas.
However, here a few articles to read and a podcast to listen to if you want to get you news fill before the game:
- Coaches speak and a few stats : Stakes high for Gerland showdown .
- Anthony Réveillère : we can’t afford to have any regrets .
- Marouane Chamakh, not too happy to be playing Lyon.
- Some trivia .
- Set Piece Analysts’ very thorough preview of the game …
- A history of failure , that needs to be proved wrong this season.
- Finally, a detailed preview on the Offside Lyon blog.
My two cents, before I get back to work: this is a VERY exciting day for French soccer. It is the first time that French clubs meet on the big European scene – Marseille and Monaco had already faced off in the ex-UEFA Cup in the late 90′s. Both teams have made it pretty clear that the fact that they are playing for a spot in the semis is all they need to forget about Ligue 1 for a 180 minutes, and that it is pretty easy set aside the petty rivalries.
The game already started last week with all the hubbub about Bordeaux having Lyon’s L1 game pushed to Saturday so both clubs would have the same recovery/preparation time before today. Jean-Michel Aulas and Claude Puel were pretty ticked off about this, and this gives Lyon a little extra motivation. Both coaches have said in various interviews that the other club is the favorite of this confrontation, Lyon because of their experience on the European scene, Bordeaux because of their obvious better run of form in the previous 2 seasons. Putting pressure of the other team is easy, and this shows that this game is pretty much a 51/49 affair. I don’t want to determine who the 51% goes to, I’ll leave it up to you readers.
Finally, I can’t stress enough how this game will shine a positive light on French soccer in general. I think that if you read this site regularly, you’ll have a tendency to agree with me when I say that our national soccer is underrated and overlooked. Bordeaux and Lyon will be able to prove that it is a mistake to judge Ligue 1 this way. Even if I’m sure a majority of people will be watching Man U – Bayern, I hope the clash of the two most bourgeois provincial cities will get some press and attract some viewers. I’ve read somewhere that there are no German, Italian or English journalists accredited for tonight’s match…
Enjoy tonight’s match and I’ll have a review up tomorrow. Who are you rooting for?
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