Olympique Lyon vs Nimes
Groupama Stadium, Decines-Charpieu
Friday, 18-09-2020 @10pm
Both Lyon and Nimes will be looking to recover from losses to Montpellier and Rennes respectively, last weekend.
The futures of Lyon pair Houssem Aouar and Memphis Depay are dominating the talk of the transfer window at present, and the duo found themselves in the spotlight for different reasons against Montpellier on Tuesday evening.
Aouar was named in the starting lineup but lasted just 44 minutes before being sent off, while Depay came off the bench to bag his fourth goal of the season from the spot late on.
However, Depay’s penalty proved to be nothing more than a mere consolation as a brace from Montpellier’s Teji Savanier condemned Lyon to their first league defeat of the season in midweek.
Lyon have taken four points from a possible nine at this early stage of the season, and the Lyon manager will be aware that this form cannot be allowed to continue if Les Gones are to secure a route back into the Champions League.
However, Lyon are now returning to familiar surroundings at the Groupama Stadium, where they thrashed Dijon in their opening game of the 2020-21 season and are yet to taste defeat this year.
Meanwhile, Nimes put up quite a fight against Champions League contenders Rennes last weekend and looked set to take a share of the spoils with 20 minutes to go.
However, with the scores level at 2-2, Rennes scored twice as Nimes walked away from the game with nothing to show for their valiant efforts.
Nimes have failed to build on their 4-0 drubbing of Brest in the opening weekend, and despite the fact that Lyon’s form leaves a lot to be desired, Jerome Arpino’s men will need to produce a spirited performance if they are to avoid a third defeat in a row on Friday evening.
Les Crocodiles have no trouble finding the back of the net – as evidenced by seven goals from their opening three matches – but Arpinon’s side can only boast two away wins from their last 22 in the French top flight as they bid to stave off relegation once again.
Depay and Aouar were both on the score sheet as Lyon thrashed Nimes 4-0 last season, while Les Crocodiles have not tasted victory against their opponents since the 1992-93 campaign.
Rudi Garcia’s system came under scrutiny following their loss to Montpellier, and the Lyon boss will already be forced into one change with Arsenal-linked Aouar suspended.
Nevertheless, Garcia is expected to stick his favoured three-at-the-back formation, but Depay and Moussa Dembele will look to start this one. Left-back Melvin Bard impressed off the bench against Montpellier and could feature from the opening whistle on Friday, while teenage protege Rayab Cherki will also be hopeful of getting some more first-team action.
As for Nimes, Arpinon has confirmed that Lucas Deaux and Sofiane Alakouch will both be forced to sit this one out. The Nimes manager also revealed that Romain Philippoteaux is eyeing a move away from the club and is not match ready.
The other Ligue One games this weekend
-Lens vs Bordeaux @6pm
-Rennes vs Monaco @10pm
-Nice vs PSG @2pm
-Brest vs Lorient @4pm
-Metz vs Reims @4pm
-Montpellier vs Angers @4pm
-Strasbourg vs Dijon @4pm
-Nantes vs Saint Etienne @6pm
-Olimpique Marseille vs Lille @10p