Lyon chasing overdue win at LOSC
After a pair of cup triumphs over the last week, Olympique Lyonnais are desperate to get back to winning ways in Ligue 1 Conforama having lost three on the bounce, with a trip to LOSC up next.
LOSC - Olympique Lyonnais
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Lyon were second to leaders Paris Saint-Germain three short weeks ago, but last Sunday's 2-0 defeat to Stade Rennais FC means they have now dropped nine of a possible nine points domestically, with AS Monaco and Olympique de Marseille overtaking them in the standings.
Bruno Génésio's men, now fourth, have had no such trouble in cup competitions in recent weeks, though, winning through to the Coupe de France quarter-finals with victory over Montpellier Hérault SC last Wednesday before dismissing Villarreal 3-1 in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday. Mariano Diaz, who assisted two of OL's three goals against the Spaniards, is optimistic his team can parlay that form into the LOSC game.
Watch: Highlights of Rennes' 2-0 win over Lyon
"I'm delighted with our win and I hope it will help us get through this tricky phase," he told the mixed zone at the Groupama Stadium post-match. "We were on a bad run recently; we absolutely had to win. Whatever the result we're motivated as the final will be played in our stadium."
OL could pull back up to third provided Marseille lose to Girondins de Bordeaux later on Sunday night and there is a four-goal swing across the two games. But for some tired legs, Rafael is Génésio's only injury doubt, while in Mariano and Nabil Fekir he has a duo with 30 Ligue 1 Conforama goals between them this season.
LOSC are 16th, just two points above of the relegation zone despite replacing coach Marcelo Bielsa with Christophe Galtier in December. However, Les Dogues are without defeat against Lyon since November 2016, and Sunday's encounter could defy the sides' relative league positions.
Watch: Highlights of LOSC's 2-2 draw at Nantes
Portugal striker Eder this week said he would have happily returned to LOSC from his loan at Lokomotiv Moscow in the winter transfer window, but in Lebo Mothiba, Les Dogues may have found a new hero, with the South African's goal in last Sunday's 2-2 draw at FC Nantes making him the first player to score on his debut since Divock Origi, five years ago.
"If he comes to shake up the established order that can only be a good thing," said Galtier of the 22-year-old. "We've had the worst attack in the league. He's different from [Ezequiel] Ponce and [Nicolas] Pépé. We will see quickly if he has what it takes, but he plays with a smile on his face and is full of hunger."
Lille are not so spoiled for choice at the back, with Kévin Malcuit and Adama Soumaoro nursing thigh injuries, though the latter did at least return to training this week.
LOSC: Maignan; Lé, Dabila, Alonso, Ballo-Touré; Amadou (c); El Ghazi, Benzia, Maia, Mendes; Mothiba
Lyon: Lopes; Tete, Marcelo, Morel, Mendy; Tousart, Ndombele; Traoré, Fekir (c), Memphis; Mariano
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