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OL on Nîmes recovery mission

Publish on 05/12/2019 at 12h00

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Struggling Olympique Lyonnais need to bounce back when they face 19th-placed Nîmes on Friday evening.

 Nîmes Olympique - Olympique Lyonnais 

Falling 1-0 to LOSC on Tuesday night after an insipid display has increased the pressure on the players and new boss Rudi Garcia, with OL having lost three of their last five games in all competitions. Entering Week 17, OL are a mere 10th in the table, albeit only four points off the podium.

Goalkeeper Anthony Lopes, a diehard OL fan before he became a player, commented: "I don’t like seeing my club in this situation, I like to see the club right up at the top. That’s not the case at the moment and it affects me. There are matches when we won’t play as well but as long as we win I don’t mind that. All that interests me is getting wins. We need to set things right as quickly as possible and win all our games through to the winter break. We owe it to ourselves to have a warrior’s mentality."

OL face Nîmes away before hosting RB Leipzig on Tuesday in a match that will determine whether the Ligue 1 Conforama club make it through to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League. Garcia saod: “If you get results then that gives you confidence. And that’s why we absolutely want to win at Nîmes. Mentally and physically, all of our energies are focused on Friday’s game and nothing else. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to beat Lille and that means we need to make up for that by collecting points away home. We must focus on Nîmes and only on this match.

"We need to be ready for the game against one of the lowest ranked clubs, who have just been on the receiving end of a big loss to Bordeaux. What we must do is be capable of respecting our opponents on the pitch, play to the best of our ability and win in Nîmes."

With full-backs Léo Dubois and Youssouf Koné injured and Fernando Marçal suspended, Garcia has named 19-year-old Melvin Bard in his matchday squad. Wide attacker Maxwel Cornet (calf) and back-up goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu are other absentees. Nîmes are lacking Sofiane Alakouch (knee) and Lucas Deaux (calf) but Lamine Fomba is back after missing the Bordeaux defeat with a knee issue.

Nîmes’ veteran coach Bernard Blaquart said: "Everyone is affected by the Bordeaux loss but we’re lucky to be back in action three days later and we’ll try to show a different side. We know we messed up against Bordeaux and everyone felt ashamed. Beyond the result, we’re looking to rediscover our virtues and values.

"We want to be united in adversity. I’m in a fragile position like any coach would be in this situation but I’m not asking the question of myself as to whether I should leave. As a coach, I’ve always finished the season I started."

Probable Teams:

Nîmes: Bernardoni; Paquiez, Briançon, Martinez, Miguel; Ferhat, Fomba, Valls, Philippoteaux; Ripart, Denkey

Lyon: Lopes; Tete, Andersen, Denayer, Rafael; Thiago Mendes, Caqueret; Traoré, Depay, Aouar; Dembélé