Lyon head to Guingamp with eyes on second place
Olympique Lyonnais take on EA Guingamp on Wednesday evening knowing that a win will take them second behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain, but without 13-goal striker Mariano Diaz, who has a hernia.
EA Gungamp - Olympique Lyonnais
LIVE scoring and statistics from 19:00 CET on Wednesday!
With Ligue 1 Conforama champions AS Monaco unable to break down the division's meanest defence on Saturday, drawing 0-0 at Montpellier Hérault, OL could have leapfrogged the principality side with victory over Angers SCO on Sunday afternoon.
But with 18-year-old Myziane Maolida struggling to impress in Mariano's stead, it fell to club captain Nabil Fekir to dig out a 1-1 draw for the seven-time French champions, after Karl Toko Ekambi had given the visitors a surprise lead.
Watch: Highlights of Lyon's 1-1 draw with Angers
"Disappointment is the overwhelming feeling," lamented Les Gones coach Bruno Génésio. "We had the chance to move into second outright. Unfortunately, we struggled to get a grip on the game against an organised opponent. We also conceded a goal from one of their rare chances. We did everything to get back on level terms and then win, but we weren't clinical enough."
With Bertrand Traoré a doubt due to knee trouble, Génésio is expected to give Maolida's former academy teammate Amine Gouiri the nod up front, with the nascent Houssem Aoaur likely to replace Memphis Depay on the left flank as OL seek to overhaul Monaco, who drew with OGC Nice on Tuesday, and Olympique de Marseille, who leapfrogged the pair with victory over RC Strasbourg Alsace in their Week 21 encounter.
Lyon have only lost twice all season, but they were lucky to hold on against Guingamp in the reverse fixture, with goals from Mariano and Fekir ultimately proving enough to secure a 2-1 win Week 5.
The Bretons, in seventh, are undefeated nine home matches, and bounce into this game at the Stade de Roudourou having beaten RC Strasbourg Alsace 2-0 away on Friday, with Yannis Salibur and Nicolas Benezet getting their goals.
Watch: Highlights of Guingamp's 2-0 win at Strasbourg!
'Mark our territory'
"I congratulate my players because it was a really great performance," said coach Antoine Kombouaré at his post-match press conference. "It's not easy to come and win here. We have good New Year's resolutions, and let's hope it continues. On Wednesday we have Lyon and we want to mark our territory."
First-choice right-back Jordan Ikoko is expected to return after missing the Strasbourg game following the birth of his child, but Abdoul Camara (torn ACL), Étienne Didot (match fitness) and Jonathan Martins-Pereira (calf) are among those missing for the hosts, who also saw Marcus Coco limp off on Friday.
Guingamp: Johnsson; Ikoko, Kerbrat, Sorbon, Tabanou; M. Diallo, Didot, Salibur, Benezet; Ngbakoto, Briand (cap).
Lyon: Lopes; Tete, Marcelo, Morel, F. Mendy; Fekir (cap), Tousart, Ndombele; Cornet, Gouiri, Depay.