By chance alone Lyon managed to get a point last round against Bordeaux.
By now Lyon’s downtrend is visible from outer space. There are a couple of factors that contributed to their downfall.
Leaving aside the bad management, which in my eyes is the primary factor that steered the club in the wrong direction, the lack of motivation is simply astonishing.
I do not know and I can’t possible understand why forward Gomis is in such a vegetative state for more than a year already. For a player making more than 60.000 EUR per week he is nothing but a disaster.
Corroborate that with guaranteeing a place in the line-up for youngsters with low to no footballing skills like: Lacazette, Benzia, Fekir, Ferri, Plea, Fofana, Bahlouli and so on, for the lone reason of increasing their market value, and you have the perfect recipe for a calamity of a team.
The only good news for Lyon is the comeback of 4 important players: captain Gonalons will be back after being suspended in the league, same as fullback Bedimo. The other fullback Lopes may return after injury, just like midfielder Gourcuff.
It is almost impossible to foresee what players will coach Garde use. All we can do is have a guess, after taking in account Lyon’s next game in Ligue1 on Sunday, away at Monaco. That game is already lost and everybody following Ligue1 knows it. Garde will only try to wash away the shame accumulated so far and prevent a series of negative results. That is why I believe they will be using the best team possible against Rijeka.
The only problem is that their best possible team is impotent upfront, clueless at creation and pretty lame at defending, especially if Fofana (or Sarr) will start in central defense.
Europa League was invented for teams like Rijeka. For small clubs from the Eastern, Southern or Central Europe to compete against rich clubs in the West. For all clubs to maintain and grow their fan base and for Uefa to maintain its hegemony in the world of football.
I believe this game will be very similar to Lyon – Guimaraes where all of Lyon’s timid attempts were successfully rejected by a well organized and confident team (I think that way about Rijeka too). Lyon’s ever-present defensive blunders can make it possible for Rijeka to score without the need of over payed superstars in the team (like Gomis for example…)
Bookies could hire me as a consultant. If that would happen you wouldn’t be getting odds of 2.04 for Rijeka +1, which is basically money thrown away… Take it before it drops.