Lucas Paqueta, Lyon

Lucas Paqueta to lead to line for Lyon in Nice?

Publish on 21/10/2021 at 09:24


Memphis Depay has gone, Moussa Dembélé is injured, so in recent weeks Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paqueta has been up front for Olympique Lyonnais. Will that continue at OGC Nice on Sunday?

OGC Nice - Olympique Lyonnais


- kick-off: 12:00 GMT




Lyon travel to the Allianz Riviera with just goal-difference separating les Gones in sixth from their hosts in fourth. They trail in that particular column by nine goals, however, with Peter Bosz thus far struggling to replace the Memphis/Dembélé firepower.


Tino Kadewere and Islam Slimani have also been wrestling with injury in the current campaign, so it was 18-year-old midfielder Ryan Cherki who led the line against AS Monaco last Saturday - in a game which saw Karl Toko Ekambi and Jason Denayer get the goals in a 2-0 win.


Paqueta promise


Paqueta replaced Cherki on 66 minutes at the Groupama Stadium, and the Brazilian - who is on four goals and two assists in all competitions this season - could get the nod to start with Bosz as pleased with his general gameplay as his attacking output in recent weeks.


Watch: Highlights of Lyon's 2-0 win over Monaco

"I normally talk about the team and not individual players," explained the Dutch tactician. "But Lucas is a good player with great technique, and he also has something crucial: a winning mindset. His return has been really important for us.


"I'm also very happy that Tino got minutes against Monaco. He played well when he came on. The squad's good but not so deep, so of course I'm very happy if  Tino is available."


Also at Bosz's disposal is first-choice goalkeeper Anthony Lopes. The Portugal shot-stopper was sent off in le Derby against AS Saint-Étienne in Round 9 so missed the Monaco match, but the second of his two-game suspension has been delayed.


Wings clipped


Lyon could be facing Nice at the right time. Les Aiglons have made a flying start to the campaign but have had their wings clipped of late, losing two of their last four, most recently a 1-0 reverse at the hands of promoted ESTAC Troyes.


Nice beat Lyon 3-2 when the teams last met in May, though, and Bosz's opposite number Christophe Galtier - a Ligue 1 Uber Eats champion with LOSC last season - is expecting a reaction after last weekend's performance.


Watch: Highlights of Nice's 1-0 loss at Troyes



"The start of the game was catastrophic; in fact, the whole game was," he stormed. "When you're as bad as that for 93 minutes everyone gets a share of the blame, me first.


'Expect a reaction'


"If the players say they're ambitious, we must show a different side of ourselves, with total investment regardless of opponent or schedule. I expect this group to react in the face of difficulty. This match at least allows us to reflect on the starting XI."


Galtier is without several first-team regulars. Netherlands winger Justin Kluivert has a thigh strain, while defenders Melvin Bard and Robson Bambu have both rolled their ankles in recent weeks. Kasper Dolber is pushing Andy Delort for the right to accompany Amine Gouiri in attack.


Possible teams


Nice: Benitez; Atal, Todibo, Dante, Kamara; Stengs, Rosario, Lemina, Boudaoui; Delort, Gouiri


Lyon: Lopes; Dubois, Boateng, Diomandé, Emerson; Caqueret, Guimaraes; Shaqiri, Aouar, Toko Ekambi; Paqueta