New signing Bruno Guimaraes could make his Olympique Lyonnais debut at Metz on Friday evening.
OL are in need of a boost as they limber up for hosting Juventus next Wednesday in the first leg of the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League. Rudi Garcia's side have failed to win any of their last four Ligue 1 matches, claiming only two points in that run, to slump to 11th in the table, seven points back from third-placed Rennes with 13 games remaining.
Signed for just over 20 million euros from Paranaense at the end of January, Guimaraes is in line to play a key role between now and the end of the season. The midfielder is fresh from being voted player of the tournament as he helped Brazil qualify for the summer Olympics.
Garcia: "Soon you are going to see him used incessantly"
Of the 22-year-old defensive midfielder, Garcia said: "He was an unused substitute against Strabsourg. Soon you are going to see him used incessantly. He's very strong technically in the short game with one-touch play. We'll have to explain Ligue 1 and the team's play to him, notably from a defensive point of view. I've shown him with the use of video what I expect from a midfielder. It's important to have a real exchange and that he asks questions. Everything's going well for now and he's impatient to get going.
"He had to digest the time difference and the journey and he'll need to cope with the pace of the game which will be different to what he's used to. The supporters and coaching staff always have high expectations of new signings. It's always a special situation when it comes to the winter window. There's no universal truth when it comes to adaptation time. There's no reason why it won't go fast for him, especially with other Brazilians in the squad."
Léo Dubois could make his return following two-and-a-half months out with a knee injury, having come through 45 minutes for the reserves last weekend. Rafael is out with a muscular problem sustained early against Strasbourg.
Hognon rues Maïga suspension
Metz are without the suspended Farid Boulaya, Vincent Pajot and Habib Maïga, while Adama Traoré is injured. Metz, in contrast to OL, are on a decent run and have taken 13 points from their last eight Ligue 1 Conforama matches yet remain perilously placed, only two points and three positions above the bottom three.
Concerned coach Vincent Hognon said: "Maïga is a leader in terms of his commitment, determination and aggressive attitude. When he's not there you feel it at this level. We need to take into account those who aren't going to be there and make up for their absence, and bring other qualities to the table. We're going to miss Maïga a lot."
FC Metz: Oukidja; Centonze, Bronn, boye, Udol; Fofana, N’Doram, Angban; Niane, Diallo, Nguette
Olympique Lyonnais: Lopes; Tete, Marcelo, Denayer, Marçal; Guimaraes, Mendes, Aouar; Traoré, Dembélé, Cornet