The chances for Vitoria Guimaraes to qualify for the European spring are pretty low. Not only they need to win against Lyon but also they depend on the result from Betis – Rijeka (need Betis to lose).
Guimaraes may be determined to play their chance until the end, but being conditioned by Betis’ result may affect the morale.
In France Vitoria had a great chance to take all points as Lyon were in a disastrous state. Besides having a couple of important absentees, Lyon’s confidence couldn’t have been lower. But Guimaraes were very hesitant in going upfront. Somehow they still scored 1 goal and thought it’s going to be enough (finished 1-1).
Unfortunately for Guimaraes now things are completely different. The Portuguese side has more offensive problems. In the last 4 games they scored only 2 goals, both against Estoril after some pinball football and a corner. Otherwise they were under complete domination.
Coach Rui Vitoria (predestined to coach this team…) is aware of the offensive problems Guimaraes is going through but lacks options. This is why he called 3 players from the B team in order to try and improve the creative phase, 2 midfielders and one striker.
Defenders Kanu and Ba are still out injured for Guimaraes.
Lyon being already qualified will use the second squad in Portugal. But Lyon had severe problems with injuries this season and most their reserves played at least 1 game.
Vercoutre, M. Lopes, Umtiti, Bedimo, Gonalons, Fofana, Malbranque, Grenier and Lacazette are being rested, while Dabo, Bahlouli, Ghezzal and Briand are injured.
Still, Lyon’s team can be pretty competitive. In the goal there will be Anthony Lopes who played 12 games so far this season. Bisevac and Kone will be the central defensive pair (both of them solid).
Gourcuff and Danic will most likely start and all the creative burden will be upon their shoulders. The fact is that both of them have something to prove and in the same time both are very talented players. Gourcuff was troubled by injuries and lost rythm and now is the subject of severe criticism, while Danic after transferring this summer from Valenciennes never really had a chance to show his skills (which are quite impressive…)
Mvuemba, who also played about 5 games this season, will be responsible for preventing opponents to create.
Gomis made the trip to Portugal so he should start upfront. I am not impressed by Gomis this season but have to admit he picked up form lately, especially after managing a nice goal last round at Bastia.
Odds on Guimaraes are way too low and most probably will keep on dropping. The low price is not justified in any way by Guimaraes’ value. They may need the win, but being toothless upfront could mean more players for the offensive phase and open spaces at the back.
1.85 for Lyon +0.25 is a mistake from the bookies.