Well, another day in the Champions League and another French team will take on an Italian side. This time, these are two teams that know each other, as Fiorentina and Lyon played in last year’s group stage. In their meetings, Lyon was the more impressive of the two teams, taking a 2-1 win in Italy and coming back from a 2-0 deficit in Lyon to draw the game 2-2.
But this is a different year, and Lyon is a different team. With the addition of Lisandro Lopez, Bafétimbi Gomis and Michel Bastos, OL has built a team that is, quite possibly, stronger than last year’s team, which made it to the knock-out stage, only to be defeated by eventual champions Barcelona. Fiorentina coach Cesare Prandelli understands this as well. “Lyon are a very strong team, well-organised and blessed with quality individuals. I think Lyon as a team are better than last year. That’s why we’ll have to start the game with the right enthusiasm, courage and spirit. But we are here to have fun as well and show we can win’” said Prandelli.
Even with a stronger team, Lyon will have their work cut out for them. At home, OL have not had the best of luck against Serie A teams. The last four times a Serie A steam has visited Stade Gerland, Lyon failed to win. This will be a stat that, i’m sure, will be stuck in the minds of every Fiorentina player and staff member.
In addition to that, Lyon manager Claude Puel said that his team might have a more difficult time against Fiorentina because his team is different from last year, unlike Fiorentina, which remains relatively the same. “It’s a new season for us. We have made a number of changes to our squad while Fiorentina have kept practically the same team. They know each other really well, so it will be difficult for us. We have made a good start this season, but you have to wait before judging us, you need a full season before drawing conclusions,” said Puel.
Lyon has been quite impressive this season, scoring 18 goals in 7 game (both Ligue 1 and Champions League qualification), and yet to have concede a loss. Still, on the other hand, Fiorentina are just as impressive. Three games into the Serie A campaign, they have two wins and a draw, without a loss.
Lyon will be playing without some of their big names today. Ederson (ankle) and Jean-Alain Boumsong (questionable) will be out of today’s matchup. Lisandro Lopez, Ligue 1′s Player of the Month, is listed as questionable, due to a groin injury. At yesterday’s press conference, Puel said that Lisandro’s return will be a game-time decision. With four goals in UEFA competition for Lyon, Lisandro will be the key to a Lyon win. If he is not able to make it, watch for Michel Bastos to take his place as the team technical leader.
Lyon ran a 4-3-3 against Anderlecht, but if Lisandro doesn’t make it, this could possibly change. “Whatever the system, I focus on the players, the form of time, the opponent. Some players are more comfortable in a 4-3-3 system, others in another. The goal is to achieve good things’” said Puel.
Here are the twenty players that will make the trip to Fiorentina…Lloris, Vercoutre, Réveillère, Cris, Clerc, Bodmer, Cissokho, Seguin, Toulalan, Kallstrom, Pjanic, Makoun, Gonalons, Belfodil, Ederson Govou, Delgado Gomis, Bastos, Lisandro. By game time, we will see who suits up for OL.
Filed under: Olympique Lyonnais, UEFA Champions League | Tagged: Champions League, Fiorentina, Lisandro Lopez, Lyon | 3 Comments »