Memphis Depay captained Olympique Lyonnais to victory over FC Metz last Saturday, scoring in the process, and looks set to continue in his role as Rudi Garcia plots Les Gones' path back up the table, with Toulouse FC up next.
Toulouse FC - Olympique Lyonnais
Lyon make the 260-mile journey south west to Toulouse this Saturday with significantly less distance between the two sides in the table - OL in 13th with 13 points, Le Téfécé four places but just a single point further back.
Both dug-outs at the Stadium de Toulouse will be filled by coaching teams who didn't start the season with their respective clubs; Garcia appointed as Syvinho's successor at Lyon on the same October day that Antoine Kombouaré inherited Alain Casanova's role at the south coast club.
Garcia's three games in charge have seen three different captains so far. Marcelo led the side out in their 0-0 draw with Dijon FCO two weeks ago; goalkeeper Anthony Lopes wore the armband in the following 2-1 loss to SL Benfica in the UEFA Champions League, and now Memphis is incumbent in the role.
Watch: Highlights of Lyon's 2-0 win over Metz
"This was a crucial victory and I liked my players' attitude," said Garcia after Memphis, as well as Moussa Dembélé, fired Lyon to a 2-0 win at the Groupama Stadium last time out. "They controlled the match. I'm satisfied. The team gelled well.
"Lopes kept a clean sheet and made some important saves. Our strikers scored. We had some fresh blood. Everyone played well. It's a message to the squad that I'm counting on them all."
History on their side
Lyon are favourites despite their proximity to Toulouse in the table. Les Gones have gone nine Ligue 1 Conforama meetings without defeat to Saturday's hosts, their last loss to them a 2-1 reverse back in August 2014, and Brazilian left-back Marçal, with a thigh complaint, is Garcia's only injury concern.
Toulouse seem to have turned a corner slightly quicker than Lyon, however. Whilst OL have won just one of their last three matches, Kombouaré's side have won two of theirs, with last Sunday's 3-2 loss at Stade Rennais FC sandwiched by a 2-1 win over high-flying LOSC and a victory over Chamois Niortais by the same scoreline in the Coupe de la Ligue last 32 on Wednesday.
Watch: A blemish on their recent record? Toulous edged 3-2 by Rennes...
'Good for our mentality'
"We got off to a very good start and we had a firm grip on the game, creating early chances," said Kombouaré in the bowels of the Stade René Gaillard. "I was angry when we conceded a penalty but we imposed our game and deserved the win. It was a hard-fought victory but it does us a lot of good in terms of our mentality."
The Toulouse coach doesn't enjoy the same luxury of choice as his opposite number, with Wesley Saïd (ankle ligaments) and Bafodé Diakité (thigh strain) leading a laundry list of injury absentees which now stretches eight players deep.
Toulouse: Reynet – Moreira, Amian, Isimat-Mirin, I.Sylla – Dossevi, Vainqueur, K.Koné, Gradel (cap.) – Sanogo, Koulouris
Lyon: A.Lopes – Tete, Andersen, Denayer (cap.), Y.Koné – Be.Traoré, Thiago Mendes, Tousart, Aouar – Mo.Dembélé, Depay