Metz were a bit unlucky to lose last round away at Montpellier (finished 2-0). In the first half at 0-0 Metz missed a penalty that could have changed everything.
They were not bad at all, as the overall level of organization was impressive and opponents had major difficulties in opening up their defense.
The central defense with Marchal and Choplin is very solid and experienced. Unfortunately Marchal suffered an injury last week and is doubtful for this game. Still, no matter his expertise and talent, Metz aren’t a one man team.
They have the same defensive approach both at home and away, only that in-front of own fans they may have more courage and try to be more incisive.
Lyon just got eliminated from Europa League after an exhausting encounter in which they tried until the final whistle to score another goal that would have guaranteed an European autumn (won 1-0 at Astra but lost the qualification due to the “away goals” rule).
Lyon’s curse continues as they have almost an entire team out injured, along them key players like Gourcuff, Bisevac, Bedimo, Fekir, Fofana, Umtiti and Grenier. From all of them Bisevac may be the only one returning against Metz this round.
Lyon had nothing to do except trying to adapt and learn how to play without them. Slowly chemistry levels increased, confidence grew, they got more solid at the back and manage to create more spaces upfront. There are still talented players in the squad so Lyon can always be dangerous regardless the high number of absences.
Metz will be quite happy to let Lyon take the initiative, control and try to get inside the penalty box. But it will be hard for guests to take something from this game if they’ll fall into this trap. In the midweek Europa League game Lyon looked mature enough to avoid such a scenario.
UPDATE: In comparison to the midweek Europa League game only defender Rose is back after suspension.
Lyon: A.Lopes, Gorgelin – Zeffane, Rose, M.Dabo, Jallet, B.Koné – Tolisso, Ghezzal, Gonalons, Bahlouli, Malbranque, Mvuemba, Danic, Ferri – Lacazette, Njie, Labidi
Metz: Carrasso, MFa – Bussmann, Choplin, Marchal, Métanire, Milan, Palomino – Andrada, Krivets, Lejeune, NDaw, Ngbakoto, Philipps, Rocchi, Sarr – Falcon, Maiga.