Disappointing performance by Lyon in Europa League against Astra (lost 2-1 on home ground).
Although Lyon holds possession they can’t find real solutions to open up opponents. It is hard for them without creative midfielders Gourcuff and Grenier.
In these conditions defensive midfielder Gonalons advances a lot in order to take part in the construction phase. The spaces left open are huge and when regular central defenders Umtiti and Bisevac are out injured it is almost a certainty that Lyon will concede.
Furthermore fullback Jallet often leaves his position and teammates simply can’t cover for his absence.
Midfielder Grenier returned from injury and played for about 15 minutes in Europa League but the pain reappeared and he is highly doubtful at the moment.
Umtiti, Bisevac, Bedimo, Dabo, Fofana, Fekir, Gourcuff and Grenier, all of them will most likely miss through injury. Also attacking midfielder Ferri is suspended.
The season has just began but Lens are like an open book already. Lens use only a few players in the offensive phase so forwards take too much time in order to find the best solutions. Instead of increasing the pressure and advancing with a fast short pass to a teammate nearby, most the times Lens’ players turn around or advance on their own as there’s nobody to provide support.
This defensive mentality was the reason Lens were defeated last week on home ground by Guingamp (lost 1-0). With a bit more courage they could have won without much emotions.
With only a few exceptions any other team in Ligue1 can surely score against Lyon at the moment. But for Lens it won’t be that easy regardless the huge spaces available.
Lyon will struggle to open up Lens who will be too shy to exploit hosts’ absences. Not exactly an interesting encounter for betting or even watching.
UPDATE: Lens will be without midfielder El Jadeyaoui who suffered an injury last week.
Lyon: A.Lopes, Gorgelin – Zeffane, Dabo, Jallet, B.Koné, Rose, Tolisso – Ghezzal, Gonalons, Bahlouli, Malbranque, Mvuemba, Danic – Benzia, Lacazette, Njie, Yattara
Lens: Belon, Ru.Riou – A.Ba, Baal, Cavaré, Gbamin, Kantari, Landre – Bourigeaud, Cyprien, Le Moigne, Nomenjanahary, Valdivia – Chavarria, A.Coulibaly, Guillaume, D.Ndiaye, Touzghar