Lyon face doubts on and off the pitch ahead of PSG clash 17/09/2022

Lyon have started this season with big ambitions but head into Sunday’s encounter with Paris Saint-Germain in danger of already being cut from the Ligue 1 leaders, with Coach doubts Pierre Bosch and with a planned takeover of the club yet to be completed.

Champions of France for seven consecutive years at the start of this century, Lyon have since been eclipsed as the top Ligue 1 club by Qatar-owned PSG.

This year marks a decade since OL last lifted a trophy, and it hasn’t been in Europe at all this season after finishing eighth last campaign, the lowest result in a quarter century.

Despite this, Lyon retained faith in Dutch coach Bosz and there was plenty of optimism on the banks of the Rhône in the off-season as he brought in two local heroes, Alexandre Lacazette and Corentin Tolissoback to the club.

Both were sold in 2017, with Lacazette joining Arsenal and Tolisso moving to Bayern Munich, but returned five years later as free agents and still at the peak of their careers.

Their arrivals allow OL to maintain a solid workforce despite the sale of the Brazilian star Lucas Paqueta at West Ham United, and they started quite well, with four wins and one draw in their first five games.

Lacazette already has four goals to his name but now back-to-back defeats have raised concerns over Bosz’s ability to get the most out of a talented squad.

The defense is a particular concern, despite the presence of two highly rated youngsters at right-back Malo Gusto and central defender Lukeba Castle.

Lyon lost 3-1 at Lorient before a 2-1 defeat at Monaco last weekend, dropping them to six points behind leaders PSG and Marseille before entertaining the Parisians this weekend, and Bosz is under pressure.

“He is aware of the situation, because we are not going to wait until February or March, but we believe in him and his staff,” said the Lyon sports director. Vincent Ponsot says Progress. “We expect a reaction against Paris after the last two games, but it would not be fair to pass judgment after this game.”

In the meantime, Lyon remain confident in the sale of the club to the American businessman John Textor will still go ahead as planned, sources told AFP on Thursday.

Sports daily L’Equipe reported this week that Textor, owner of Brazilian club Botafogo and shareholder of Crystal Palace, was still looking for funding to complete the deal.

Textor, who is due to attend the PSG game, has until the end of September to finalize the purchase of a majority stake for an estimated amount of more than 600 million dollars.

Player to watch: Dango Ouattara

Ouattara was still 19 when he scored Burkina Faso’s winner against Tunisia in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals earlier this year, sparking scenes of joy at home as a coup military was taking place in the country.

However, he was also sent off in that game and therefore did not feature as they lost in the semi-final against Senegal. Nevertheless, he returned to his club, Lorient, where he scored his first Ligue 1 goal in April before starting this season in a team that had a meteoric start.

Ouattara, now 20, has scored in each of his side’s last three games and has also provided four assists in the last four matches. Lorient seems to have unearthed a nugget.

Program:
Friday: Auxerre against Lorient
Saturday: Montpellier against Strasbourg, Lille against Toulouse
Sunday: Reims vs Monaco, Brest vs Ajaccio, Clermont vs Troyes, Marseille vs Rennes, Nice vs Angers, Nantes vs Lens), Lyon vs Paris Saint-Germain
Display : Football on TV

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© Agence France-Presse

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