Lyon ready for resurgent Bordeaux
Olympique Lyonnais travel to the Stade Chaban-Delmas on Sunday to take on a Girondins de Bordeaux side brimming with confidence after their 5-4 win at Lille last time out.
Olympique Lyonnais - Girondins de Bordeaux
In 2010 Lyon and Bordeaux were battling it out for a place in the semifinal of the UEFA Champions League. Two years on the stock of both sides has diminished slightly but there is still plenty at stake when they meet on Sunday evening for what will be the 100th encounter between the two sides in all competitions.
With two goals in the first leg of that quarterfinal, Lisandro was the chief destroyer of Bordeaux's continental aspirations and the Argentine will once again carry the main scoring threat as Lyon look to shrug off an indifferent run of form that has seen them win just one of their last four matches.
Bordeaux, conversely, are unbeaten in the league this year and come into the match on the back of a mesmerising 5-4 win over Lille in Week 23. Les Girondins will also be out for revenge after their elimination at the hands of Lyon from the Last 16 of the French Cup ten days ago, though defender Benoit Tremoulinas acknowledged that Lyon were good value for their 3-1 extra-time win.
"All in all they deserved the win," he said. "Even if Cris should have been sent off for a foul on Yoann Gouffran. At that stage it was 1-1 and who knows what would have happened."
Thanks to that win Lyon are still alive in all competitions. Remi Garde's side are in the final of the Coupe de la Ligue where they will play Olympique de Marseille in early April, they are also through to the last eight of the French Cup and are odds on to reach the same stage in the Champions League having beaten Apoel Nicosia 1-0 on Tuesday in the first leg of their last 16 encounter.
Meanwhile, Bordeaux have no such distractions. The 2008-09 champions have just the league to concentrate on and still have an outside chance of qualifying for Europe next season. Francis Gillot's troops are ninth on 33 points but there are only nine points between them and third placed Lille who, after their 1-0 win against Lorient on Saturday night, lead Lyon by three points.
Bordeaux have something of a selection headache. Defender Carlos Henrique is suspended after clashing with Saint Etienne's Florent Sinama-Pongolle following a turbulent French Cup last 32 encounter in December and has taken some time out in his native Brazil. This coincides with a return to form for the club's strikers so Gillot must decide whether he goes with five at the back with a lone forward or reverts to a more conventional 4-4-2 formation. If he goes with the one man up front he will need to choose between Jussie (who has scored each time he has started this season), Gouffran (who scored against Lille) or Cheick Diabate (who was outstanding for Mali at the Africa Cup of Nations and scored twice in the 2-0 third place playoff win over Ghana.)
While there is plenty for Gillot to mull over, his Lyon counterpart Garde is expected to stick with occasional France striker Bafetimbi Gomis (who scored twice against Bordeaux in the reverse fixture in September) alongside Lisandro as Les Gones look to win for the first time in Bordeaux since 2007 and bounce back from last weekend's meek defeat at the hands of Caen. Gomis though is under pressure from Alexandre Lacazette, the graduate from Lyon's academy scored the winner against Apoel on Tuesday and also netted in the Cup against Bordeaux win earlier in the month.
Bordeaux: Carrasso; Mariano, Sané, Planus, Ciani, Trémoulinas; Nguemo, Plasil; Obraniak, Gouffran (or Jussiê), Maurice-Belay
Lyon: Lloris; Réveillère, B.Koné, Cris, A. Cissokho; Gonalons, Källström; Gomis, Ederson, Bastos; Lisandro