Lyon have almost an entire team out injured and as a result their performances in this start of the season have been affected.
Leaving aside the 3 consecutive Ligue1 defeats they have also been eliminated from Europa League by minnows Astra. Still, believe it or not, Lyon’s game is improving as round goes by. Slowly they learned how to play without a couple of exponential players (like Grenier, Gourcuff, Bisevac, Umtiti or Bedimo) and nowadays they are capable of speedy actions carried through fast and short passes. This actually seems to be their specialty, one touch short passes.
The defense however is loose and opponents can easily get inside the penalty box. Last round we could even see toothless Metz creating problems for Lyon.
More defensive problems are foreseen this round because Zeffane (fullback) and Kone (central defender) were involved in International games on the African continent with less than 48h before this encounter. Most likely they won’t be in the lineup against Monaco.
Some good news for Lyon as Fekir, Yattara, Umtiti and Gourcuff will return after injury, but some time will pass until they will achieve full potential, especially creative midfielder Gourcuff.
Monaco dominated last round against Lille but found it difficult to get back into the game after opponents scored an early goal (finished 1-1). There was however a clear improvement in comparison to previous rounds. Even though midfielders still lacked a bit of creativity and had problems when trying to deliver the decisive pass, they were able to keep more possession and continuously tried to apply pressure.
Some players gain visible form, like fullback Kurzawa, winger Carrasco and even Dirar who only played around 15 minutes. The saddest part is that play-maker Moutinho fails to make an impact, and at times it even seems he is slowing down the game.
Both sides are slowly picking up rythm, the only difference is Lyon need to adapt to a new lineup each round while Monaco have continuity. That continuity should make the difference. Monaco DNB at 2.13
UPDATE: Lyon welcome back Gourcuff, Yattara, Umtiti and Fekir. Newly transferred-in defender Wallace is included in the squad for Monaco.
Lyon: Lopes, Gorgelin – Jallet, Umtiti, Zeffane, Koné, Rose, Tolisso – Ghezzal, Gonalons, Malbranque, Mvuemba, Ferri, Gourcuff, Fékir – Lacazette, Njie, Yattara.
Monaco: Stekelenburg, Subasic – Ricardo Carvalho, Fabinho, Kurzawa, Wallace, Raggi – Dirar, Bakayoko, Ferreira-Carrasco, Kondogbia, Moutinho, Ocampos, Bernardo Silva, Toulalan – Berbatov, Germain, Martial, Kamara