Football: Quick return just the tonic for leaders Lyon
Lyon have a chance to get over a rare defeat with a quick return to French league action on Wednesday at home to Brittany club Lorient
PARIS, January 22, 2008 - Lyon have a chance to get over a rare defeat
with a quick return to French league action on Wednesday at home to Brittany
club Lorient, who humbled Paris Saint Germain at the weekend.
Six-time reigning French champions Lyon, who lead the table by three points
from Bordeaux, fell 3-0 at lowly Lens on Sunday and need a quick pick-me-up.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas said the playing of new recruits because
of a worrying injury situation had led to difficulties at Lens.
Nevertheless Aulas was determined the players should look forward to
Wednesday's match, saying: "The most important game is not the one which has
just been lost but the one we are going to win on Wednesday.
"The defeat does not mean we should think again about the choices the club
has made or its plans for the future."
The injury to defender Cleber Anderson has meant there is urgency at the
club in their attempts to sign former Newcastle defender Jean-Alain Boumsong
from Juventus during the winter transfer window and Aulas was expected to meet
officials of the Italian club on Monday.
"We are having discussions with Juventus," Aulas added. "And we will be
trying to complete the deal quickly. It's true that the injury situation at
Lyon is unbelievable at the moment but we have to react by keeping our heads
up and showing imagination."
Lyon's Sidney Govou and Juninho are doubtful for the match, Govou having a
muscular problem to his left leg and Juninho suffering from a fracture to his
left little toe.
Central defender Cris is still on the comeback trail after the serious
injury to his right knee last August, meaning Mathieu Bodmer will likely stand
in in central defence with Sebastien Squillaci.
Lorient however are savouring their 1-0 win over PSG on Saturday which has
left them in eighth place in the table.
PSG, who host Metz on Wednesday, lie back in 14th place, not so bad
considering they had previously won their last two league matches which had
propelled them out of the relegation zone.
PSG coach Paul Le Guen admitted there was no reason to believe that PSG had
left the worst behind them.
"Before this match (Lorient) we'd only managed to secure two consecutive
league wins so we had no right to get carried away," said the coach.
"We were perhaps a bit tired following our efforts in midweek. At the start
of the match we just weren't in it, and we didn't pose any problems to Lorient
PSG were set to complete the signing of current leading scorer in the
second division, 23-year-old Guillaume Hoarau from Le Havre, on a five-year
contract on Monday though he will not join the capital city club till next
Other matches on Wednesday include Marseille at third-placed Nancy, plus
fourth-placed Nice at Rennes.
French league fixtures
Valenciennes v Lens, Caen v Auxerre, Lille v Le Mans, Lyon v Lorient,
Monaco v Sochaux, Paris Saint Germain v Metz, Rennes v Nice, Strasbourg v
Toulouse, Nancy v Marseille
Bordeaux v St Etienne