Derby bragging rights are on the line during Sunday’s Choc des Olympiques in Ligue 1 as Lyon welcome Marseille to the Groupama Stadium.
Peter Bosz’s side were humbled in a 4-1 defeat to Rennes before the international break, while Les Olympiens were held to a goalless stalemate by Metz.
Preview: Lyon vs. Marseille – prediction, team news, lineups
Three days after seeing off Sparta Prague with total ease in the Europa League, Lyon were taught a footballing lesson away to Rennes, and Bosz may have been grateful that his side only lost by three goals at Roazhon Park.
Gaetan Laborde drew first blood on the stroke of half time before Hamari Traore doubled his side’s tally six minutes after the restart, and substitute Adrien Truffert – a full-back by trade – bagged a brace not long after being introduced as a substitute to propel Rennes to a remarkable win.
Lucas Paqueta’s penalty did not evoke much joy within the ranks at Lyon, whose European credentials are still being called into question as they lie seventh in the table after 13 games, taking 19 points from a possible 39 so far.
However, the tightly-congested nature of the top half means that Les Gones are only six points behind second-placed Lens, and Bosz can focus all of his attention on domestic matters for now, with Lyon already booking their spot in the last 32 of the Europa League.
Lyon enter Sunday’s game having picked up just two wins from their last six in Ligue 1 – with European fatigue surely playing a part in that – but they remain unbeaten on home soil and will certainly have no intentions of breaking that hot streak here.
The continental fatigue has also been hitting Marseille hard in recent weeks, as three days after playing out an enthralling 2-2 draw with Lazio in the Europa League, Jorge Sampaoli’s men shared the spoils in a goalless stalemate with Metz.
Thomas Delaine and Dimitri Payet both went close for their respective sides at the Stade Saint-Symphorien, but there were ultimately no goals to be had as resident draw specialists Marseille played out a fifth stalemate from six games in all competitions.
The international break may therefore have come at the perfect time for Marseille – who have incredibly shared the spoils in all of their Europa League games so far – and Sampaoli’s men occupy fourth spot in the rankings ahead of Sunday’s derby.
While Marseille have evidently lost their early-season goalscoring touch amid their hectic schedule – scoring just twice in their last 360 minutes of domestic football – Sampaoli’s men have shipped just three goals in their last five league games away from home and will seek to pile the misery on Lyon with a refreshed side.
Both of last season’s Choc des Olympiques ended 1-1, but Marseille have won just one of their last 13 meetings with Lyon in the French top flight and are without a league win on Les Gones’ turf since prevailing 2-1 in the 2007-08 season.
Lyon Ligue 1 form:
Lyon form (all competitions):
Marseille Ligue 1 form:
Marseille form (all competitions):
We say: Lyon 0-0 Marseille
Marseille will hope to see their affinity for draws become a thing of the past following the international break, but Sampaoli is under pressure to find the right formula for his side’s attacking troubles.
A confidence-depleted Lyon can at least fall back on their solid home record and recent spate of strong results against Marseille, so we expect defences to take centre stage as both sides cancel each other out in a goalless stalemate.