Lyon started this season with big ambitions but head into Sunday’s meeting with Paris Saint-Germain in danger of being cut off from the Ligue 1 leader already, with doubts about coach Peter Bosz and with a planned takeover of the club still to be completed.
French champion seven years running at the start of this century, Lyon has since been eclipsed as Ligue 1’s leading club by Qatar-owned PSG.
This year marks a decade since it last won a trophy, and it is not in Europe at all this season after coming eighth in the last campaign, its lowest finish in quarter of a century.
Despite that, Lyon kept faith in Dutch coach Bosz and there was plenty of optimism on the banks of the Rhone in the close season as they brought two local heroes, Alexandre Lacazette and Corentin Tolisso, back to the club.
Lyon – Lopes; Gusto, Lukeba, Mendes, Tagliafico; Caqueret, Tolisso, Lepenant; Toko-Ekambi, Tete, Lacazette
PSG – Donnarumma; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Ramos, Mendes; Soler, Ruiz, Verratti; Messi, Mbappe, Neymar
Both were sold in 2017, with Lacazette joining Arsenal and Tolisso moving to Bayern Munich, but they returned five years later as free agents and still at the peak of their careers.
Their arrivals mean OL retain a strong squad despite selling Brazil star Lucas Paqueta to West Ham United, and they started well enough, with four wins and a draw from their first five games.
Lacazette has four goals to his name already, but now back-to-back defeats have seen concerns about Bosz’s ability to get the best out of a talented squad resurface.
The defence is a particular source of concern, despite the presence of two highly-rated youngsters in right-back Malo Gusto and centre-half Castello Lukeba.
Lyon lost 3-1 at Lorient before a 2-1 defeat in Monaco last weekend, meaning they sit six points behind leaders PSG and Marseille before entertaining the Parisians this weekend, and Bosz is under pressure.
“He is aware of the situation, because we are not going to wait until February or March, but we believe in him and his staff,” Lyon’s sporting director Vincent Ponsot told Le Progres.
“We expect a reaction against Paris after the last two matches, but it wouldn’t be right to pass judgement after this game.”
Meanwhile, Lyon remain confident the sale of the club to American businessman John Textor will still go through as planned, sources told AFP on Thursday.
Sports daily L’Equipe this week reported that Textor, who owns Brazilian club Botafogo and has a stake in Crystal Palace, was still searching for financing to complete the deal.
Textor, who is set to attend the PSG match, has until the end of September to finalise the purchase of a controlling stake for an estimated amount of over 600 million euros ($600m).
100 – Neymar is in line to make his 100th Ligue 1 appearance with PSG, more than five years after arriving from Barcelona
16 – PSG is unbeaten in their last 16 Ligue 1 games. Only AC Milan (22) and Manchester City (18) are currently on longer unbeaten runs in Europe’s big five leagues
16 – Marseille has lost 16 of its last 17 Champions League games
Fixtures (times GMT)
Friday – Auxerre v Lorient (1900)
Saturday – Montpellier v Strasbourg (1500), Lille v Toulouse (1900)
Sunday – Reims v Monaco (1100), Brest v Ajaccio, Clermont v Troyes, Marseille v Rennes, Nice v Angers (all 1300), Nantes v Lens (1505), Lyon v Paris Saint-Germain (1845)
When to watch PSG vs Lyon on TV?
The La Liga fixture PSG vs Lyon will be live telecast on Sports18 and Sports18 HD in India.
Sports18 is available on Tata Play (Channel No. 488), Airtel Digital (Channel No. 293), JioTV+ (Channel No. 262 – SD, 261 – HD) and Sun Direct (Channel No. 505).
Where can I live stream PSG vs Lyon?
The La Liga fixture PSG vs Lyon will be live streamed on Voot and JioTV.