Memphis Depay, Tino Kadewere, Lyon

Walking in Memphis' boots: Kadewere ready for Reims

Publish on 26/11/2020 at 00:13 - D. CROSSAN


Memphis Depay has Tino Kadewere hot on his heels in the goalscoring stakes as Olympique Lyonnais get set to welcome Stade de Reims to the Groupama Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Olympique Lyonnais - Stade Reims


- Kick-off at 12:00 GMT


Memphis has lead Lyon - both in attack and out as captain - with aplomb so far this season, contributing five goals and three assists in Ligue 1 Conforama as les Gones have pulled up to third in the table behind Paris Saint-Germain and LOSC.

Goal glut


It was Kadewere who proved the difference between Lyon and Angers SCO on Sunday, though, the Zimbabwean's second-half strike his fourth goal in five games, leaving him just one behind the Dutchman, and his side just two points away from Lille and four from PSG.


Rudi Garcia's side have not lost since their opening day 2-1 reverse at Montpellier Hérault SC, but they were made to work at the Stade Raymond Kopa last time out with the tide only really turning in their favour after coach Rudi Garcia had made five changes inside the final half hour.


Watch: Highlights of Lyon's 1-0 win over Angers



"Those who entered the fray were in the right frame of mind," said the coach in praise of Moussa Dembélé, Bruno Guimaraes, Mattia De Sciglio, Sinaly Diomandé and Jean Lucas. "They brought something to the team, and we were effective when it mattered. Anthony Lopes made some crucial saves despite taking a knock to his knee."


Despite Lopes's early collision with Romain Thomas, Lyon have a clean bill of health. De Sciglio could come in for his first league start since his summer arrival from Juventus after his impressive showing in place of Melvin Bard, but otherwise OL can be expected to stick to largely the same 4-3-3 that has seen them pick up 13 of the last 15 possible points.


Memphis and Dembélé have both been linked with moves away in recent weeks - most heavily with Barcelona in the former's case - making Kadewere's recent rise all the more welcome. Few have shone brighter domestically than visiting striker Boulaye Dia, though.

Dia delight


PSG and France star Kylian Mbappé is the only player to have scored more Ligue 1 Uber Eats goals in the current campaign, tallying nine to the Reims striker's eight. Dia's tally is all the more impressive considering his side begin the day in 17th, 14 places and 11 points worse off than their hosts.


The Senegalese endured a rare off day last Sunday, with Reims going down 1-0 at home to Nîmes Olympique for their first defeat in four league outings. Garcia's opposite number David Guion was understandably disappointed.


"We had a gameplan for Nîmes, my players weren't surprised," he explained. "It was a typical pattern of defence then attack but we struggled to find an opening. After we went behind my players were more aggressive and there was a miraculous save by the Nîmes goalkeeper. We need to get going much earlier in games, though."


Watch: Highlights of Reims' 1-0 loss to Nîmes



Rajkovic back?

Baptiste Reynet was the shot-stopper in question last weekend but there will be more focus on the goalkeeper question between Reims's posts this time out. Yehvann Diouf has deputised well in the absence of Predrag Rajkovic, but the Serbia number one is available once again after his return from international duty, which saw his nation thrash Russia 5-0.


Xavier Chavalerin (ankle), Anastasios Donis (thigh), Ghislain Konan (back) and Arber Zeneli (muscular) remain either injured or at least doubtful, so Guion's hand will be forced elsewhere as he looks to stretch his side's undefeated run against Lyon to five games.

Possible line-ups

Lopes; Dubois, Marcelo, Denayer, Cornet; Guimaraes, Thiago Mendes, Paqueta; Toko Ekambi, Kadewere, Depay

Rajkovic; Foket, Faes, Abdelhamid, Konan; Mbuku, Cassama, Munetsi, Cafaro; Dia, Touré