Valenciennes were pretty lucky last round to get 1 point from their trip to Ajacccio, especially since they played in 10 for about 20 minutes. They’ve lost an important player in the transfer window, play maker Kadir gone to Marseille, but Gods are on their side as they’ve found a raw gem, young offensive midfielder N’Guette.
The energy, determination and skills of this guy are just amazing. But still, he’s only 18 and obviously lacks professional football experience and now it’s too early for him to make a difference. Central defender Angou got a red and serves an automatic suspension.
Because of this Valenciennes will be forced to start with what may be the youngest defense in Ligue1: Isimat (21 years) – Rose (20 years, newly arrived from Laval. On the good side they may welcome back defensive midfielder Sanchez. He will strengthen a bit the defense, but considering their age and skills (not to offend anyone) home side will have big troubles against Lyon.
Upfront forward Pujol is still injured, same as winger Danic, so they will once again rely on out of form players like Le Tallec, Aboubakar or Dossevi. It’s sad that the only hope for Valeneciennes is an 18 years old player…
Lyon disappointed their fans last round by not being able to break Evian’s defense. Upfront Gomis appears to be having other things on his mind (maybe a transfer…) and is dragging them down. The good news for them is that winger Bastos clearly picked up rhythm. At the moment he seems to be their most dangerous man. Also creative player Grenier is finally fully fit and available. Defensive midfielder Gonalons is not of much use to the building phase, but at the back he’s just imperial, there’s no passing past this guy.
Their defense seems to be in form, as it’s able to hold ground and resist pressure. To put it simply, guests’ biggest issue is converting, but thinking on how they will be up against an inexperienced and prone to mistakes defense, sooner or later they will manage to put at least 1 past hosts.
It will not be an easy game, far from it, but Valenciennes’ vulnerable defense will help Lyon gain form and confidence. The odds on Lyon surely deserve a bet.