With one victory in last five matches in all competitions, Lyon is far away from their best form. After eight rounds played in Ligue 1 and 3-3-2 record, they are only just above the middle of the table position and are already eight points below league leaders from PSG. Together with a 1:1 draw in Champions League opening round against Gent away from home, which isn’t the best possible result for a French side, they are now close to a must win situation.
Not only because of their Champions League progress in a group together with Zenit and Gent, but also because the team needs to improve the atmosphere and morale inside the team in order to start performing better in the domestic league as well. In the first round as said, they were held to almost a shocking 1:1 draw in Belgium, shocking due the fact that the home team played with a man less since 41st minute and even had two man less in last five minutes of the game, while the French side missed a penalty kick in 88th for a three pointer. One of their best players Alexandre Lacazette was rested in a 3:1 defeat away to Bordeaux last weekend and will start here, while the hosts continue to miss long term absent midfielders Clement Grenier and Gueida Fofana, both without competitive football this season. Injured is also forward Nabil Fekir (3/4) and right full back Rafael (5/0).
Valencia is having similar start in the domestic league as their tonight’s opponents with the team being just above the middle of the table. At least, they come into this game after a narrow 1:0 home victory over Granada last Friday, as the team now has two victories, three draws and a defeat, being at eight position and having seven points less than leaders from Villarreal and already five points less than Champions League placed sides.
In the first round of Champions League they lost at home against Russian side Zenit 2:3 and are already in problems, which would mean that the team simply can’t afford to lose here, while only a victory would bring them completely back into the race for the first two places. Despite more of ball possession and half-chances created, Russians were simply much more concrete and serious in front of opponents goal, taking double lead in the first halftime, while the Spaniards equalized in 73rd, just to see their team conceding three minutes later. Visitors are still without goalkeepers Matt Ryan and Diego Alves, while they also miss full back Jose Gaya (3/0) and central midfielder Andre Gomes (2/1), all four due injuries. Lucas Orban will continue at the position of left back Gaya.
Having in mind that Zenit already took important three pointer away from home against Valencia and is awaiting Gent, they will probably be big favorites to qualify for the next stage after two rounds. This means that there is only one place left and both teams will need to search for a three pointer here. That should open up the game with a really fast paced game and both team scoring in the progress.
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