As soon as Bisevac and other fellow defenders got back from injury, Lyon returned to winning days.
And what better way to show everyone your power than a beautiful win away at rivals St Etienne (Lyon won 2-1). Lyon did not dominated that game, but they were in control even when defending. The defense with all the big guns available (M Lopes – Bisevac – Umtiti – Bedimo) is just impenetrable. Even first choice keeper Vercoutre is fully fit and most probably will feature.
Umtiti suffered a knock while in action with the U21 team, but it seems is nothing serious and he’ll be able to play on Saturday.
The offensive potential could be a bit affected seeing that midfielder Grenier is suspended. But now Gourcuff is there to replace him. He returned last round after a long injury and was the one delivering the assist for the decisive goal. He showed great playing appetite could actually be a better choice than Grenier (a bit undecided lately).
For a couple of rounds already Lyon play with two strikers: Lacazette and Gomis. This strategy works for them because they are able to apply more pressure as Lacazette has more freedom. When Lacazette was a winger most his actions ended in key passes for Gomis, but Gomis would send the ball outside the stadium with his poor efforts. Now Lacazette has more goal attempts and who knows, even Gomis could score after a lucky rebound…the ball may just hit him in the right place…
Opponents Valenciennes finished last round being booed by own fans. They were leading 1-0 and Montpellier were in 10. Still Montpellier were the ones imposing the rhythm and the late equalizer was a normal consequence of Valencienne’s softness and apathy (finished 1-1).
This surely affected their morale in a negative way. Some may say they could be more fired up. Well, they may try and be more energetic but you just can’t ask veteran striker Pujol or fullback Mater (their best players both aged 33) to make extra efforts. Rest of players are of average value, maybe except Dossevi who’s been out of form since this season started.
A determined and confident Lyon will be too much for a soft and apathetic Valenciennes. The price of 1.78 for Lyon -0.75 is just perfect.