Although they had their share of chances it can be considered that Valenciennes were fortunate to get 1 point away at Montpellier last week (finished 0-0).
Defensively they were outplayed more than once and if the opponent would have had more talented attacking players (like in Lyon’s case…) most probably the outcome would have been different.
Upfront Valenciennes really missed striker Waris who was out injured (still doubtful). In his absence veteran Pujol acted as the lone striker but failed to be as pragmatic as Waris.
Valenciennes really need all the points they can get if they want to play another season in Ligue1. In terms of value and playing style Lyon are clearly superior, but since they have a couple of important absences and were also involved in a midweek Europa League game, Valenciennes could exploit that.
As many expected, Lyon lost in Europa League at home against Juventus (1-0). The game was not one sided but Lyon’s attempts to create dangerous chances were timid to say the least. Juventus didn’t had to make much efforts to reject Lyon’s actions.
Lyon had to to without important players Bisevac, Dabo, Gourcuff, Grenier, Fofana and Miguel Lopes, which most likely will also miss again on Sunday. Mainly the creation phase and the defense are affected by those injuries.
Building actions proves to be a major problem for Lyon nowadays (especially with Grenier out) and they rely only on the individual skills of forwards Lacazette and Gomis.
The defense also suffers because of the absences and it’s not rocket science nowadays to score against Lyon.
Valenciennes could take advantage of Lyon’s situation but if they fail to be efficient upfront the talent of Lacazette and Gomis could make the difference.
UPDATE: Hosts welcome back striker Waris after he was injured last round. For Lyon central defender Bisevac will make his comeback
Valenciennes: Novaes, Penneteau – Ciss, Kagelmacher, Lala, Masuaku, Mater, Medjani, Néry – Da Silva, M.Dossevi, T.Doumbia, Ducourtioux, Enza-Yamissi, Melikson – Bahebeck, Le Tallec, Nguette, Pujol, Waris
Lyon: A.Lopes, Vercoutre – Bedimo, Bisevac, B.Koné, Umtiti, Zeffane – Tolisso, Danic, Ferri, Gonalons, Malbranque, Mvuemba – B.Gomis, N’Jie, Ghezzal, Briand, Lacazette