Hexagoal Ligue 1 Trophy

Youngsters to the fore for Lyon in Strasbourg

Publish on 28/11/2019 at 18:00


Olympique Lyonnais are without injured trio Memphis Depay, Houssem Aouar and Thiago Mendes for the trip to RC Strasbourg Alsace on Saturday.

RC Strasbourg Alsace - Olympique Lyonnais

Lyon make the 270-mile journey to Alsace without three of their star performers in Memphis, Aouar and Mendes. All three were absent for OL's 2-0 loss at Zenit Saint Petersburg on Wednesday, and the Strasbourg game will come around too soon for them.

Brazilian midfielder Mendes picked up a knock in training before the defeat in Russia while club captain Aouar has a pulled hamstring. The injury that most irked coach Rudi Garcia in recent weeks was Memphis's, though, with the coach taking issue with the Netherlands' use of the attacker in the recent international break.

'Lack of respect'

"What bothers me is that he got injured in a match that counted for nothing, against Estonia," Garcia said. "I think it's a lack of respect towards Olympique Lyonnais as an institution. We have nine matches in 24 days, but we're not able to use him and we don’t know when he'll be able to return."

Jeff Reine-Adélaïde shone playing in Memphis's preferred position on the left of a front three in last Saturday's 2-1 win against OGC Nice, opening the scoring before Moussa Dembélé added his league-leading 10th goal of the season from the penalty spot.

Neither could find a way through against Zenit, though. Lyon can still win through to the knock-out stages of this season's Champions League, and Garcia remains optimistic that he can also steer Les Gones back up the table from their current position of ninth.

Busy schedule

"It was important to win this game which was the first in a series of nine matches for us," he said of the Nice victory. "We've got a young team who need instructions, but the players are listening and I think we're progressing."

Strasbourg welcome OL to the Stade de la Meinau just one point and three places worse off than their visitors. Le Racing also boasted the biggest winning margin of last weekend's fixtures, beating Amiens SC 4-0 to secure their third win in four.

Garcia's opposite number Thierry Laurey is refusing to get carried away, though.

'Not Juve or Bayern'

"We played well but the main thing was that we were clinical," he said. "This result will have done everyone a lot of good. We were a bit worried because we hadn't scored a goal away from home since the season began.

"Little by little we are getting back a bit of freshness which we maybe didn't have two months ago. We have a lot of young players and we need to make sure we're always right behind them. They're good lads and they make for a good group of players, but we're Strasbourg, not Juventus or Bayern Munich. We need time for them to progress."

Strasbourg will be without a number of older heads, too. Ivorian international centre-back Lamine Koné and veteran midfielder Dimitri Liénard are two of the most prominent members of the squad to have been downed by a recent bout of flu, while Sanjin Prcic is still working his way back to full fitness.

Possible teams

Strasbourg: Sels; Simakan, Mitrovic, Djiku, Carole; Lala, Sissoko, Bellegarde; Thomasson; Mothiba, Ajorque

Lyon: Lopes; Dubois, Marcelo, Andersen, Koné; Denayer, Tousart; Cornet, Traoré, Reine-Adélaïde; Dembélé