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Lyon lose three straight as Champions League credentials questioned

Tuesday 13th February 2018

Currently sitting in fourth place in Ligue 1; Olympique Lyonnais. The French giants are struggling with three defeats in their last three matches allowing other sides to overtake them in French football's top tier.

Founded in 1950, Lyon has a famed history due to winning Ligue 1 seven times; all spanning from 2001 in back-to-back seasons, right up to the 2007-08 campaign. Their history has played a huge part towards footballing folklore in France and has given the club a mighty reputation to follow up. Despite not winning the title since 2008 Les Gones have come close on a few occasions.

One player who stood out at the club over the past few seasons was Alexandre Lacazette. With 100 Ligue 1 goals at Lyon, the striker gained much attention by the media and the masses. It wasn't until last summer he would make a bold move towards the Premier League. His next journey was at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger's reign. Since his departure, Lyon has sorely missed his presence.

With 48 points from 25 games, Lyon is behind Marseille in third by four points and Monaco in second by five points. PSG are also ahead in first place blitzing the league on 65 points. With the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Neymar it comes as no surprise to us whatsoever.

Before Lyon lost their last three games they had only been defeated twice prior, this season. Those three losses could cost them a crucial place in Europe depending on how they finish their campaign. The losses against Bordeaux, Monaco and Rennes will have knocked their confidence but it will urge Bruno Genesio to keep his side level-headed.

Despite the poor form, Lyon are still 10 points above fifth-placed Nantes. Although that is a healthy gap it doesn't mean there is time for any errors. Two players who have really stood out this season; Nabil Fekir and Mariano Diaz. Fekir has 16 goals in 22 appearances while Diaz has managed to bag 14 goals in 24 games. Memphis Depay also has nine goals to his name. But realistically, when it comes to goals throughout the whole squad there aren't too many individual stand-out players other than these three.

With an average squad age under 23, this Lyon side is a young one. Only two players are either 30-years-old or over; Jeremy Morel and Marcelo (Not to be confused with Real Madrid's Marcelo). Considering the young talent they are producing, Lyon is trying to aim pretty high which is a lot to ask from youngsters.

Next up is Lille away. Surprisingly Les Dogues are currently in 16th place. Christophe Galtier's side is struggling, sitting just one point above relegation. If Lyon fail to get any result against LOSC Lille it will be difficult to get back on track. The reliability on players such as Diaz, Depay and Fekir will be important in these final stages this season.

Lyon's away form has been second-best this campaign only behind PSG. From their thirteen games away they have managed to win eight. Two were draws while the remaining two ended as losses against Bordeaux and Monaco quite recently. On the other side, Lille's home record is the third-worst in Ligue 1. Picking up only 15 points from 12 games has been the reason they are slipping down the table. This is definitely something Genesio will take into account and will assure his side grabs the victory on their next outing.

Although Olympique Lyonnais have slipped up on form their next game is the perfect chance to bounce back and against Lille, it could be a vital lifeline.

Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.


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