Having enjoyed the luxury of a two-week break from competitive action, Lyon play their second Ligue 1 game of the season against Troyes at the Groupama Stadium on Friday evening.
Les Gones’ proposed clash with Lorient at the weekend was postponed, while the visitors went down 3-0 to newly-promoted Toulouse.
With soaring temperatures and drought gripping the continent, not even top-flight football is safe from the effects of the prolonged heat, as Lyon’s showdown with Lorient at the Stade du Moustoir was postponed due to an unplayable pitch.
Peter Bosz’s side have therefore had a whole fortnight to reflect on and analyse their opening 2-1 success over newly-promoted Ajaccio on matchday one, where Anthony Lopes’s sending off certainly complicated matters for Les Gones.
Nevertheless, the returning Alexandre Lacazette came up with a goal and assist to help get his side over the line – laying the ball on a plate for Tete to fire home before netting from the spot – and the 10 men of Lyon held on after Thomas Mangani scored from 12 yards himself.
The postponement of the trip to Lorient means that four of Lyon’s opening five Ligue 1 fixtures will take place at their headquarters, which is just what the doctor ordered for Bosz as he attempts to cement his position in the hotseat and quieten any alleged murmurs of discontent from the Lyon squad over his tactics.
Victory over Ajaccio made it five Ligue 1 home wins on the bounce for Lyon, during which time they have scored 19 goals but failed to keep a single clean sheet, and the absence of their first-choice shot-stopper will do them no favours on the defensive front.
While Troyes managed to give Montpellier HSC a real run for their money in the opening weekend, ESTAC were simply torn to shreds by Toulouse last time out, as the home crowd at the Stade de l’Aube witnessed a 3-0 defeat unfold before them.
Yasser Larouci’s own goal broke the deadlock in the first half before Rafael Ratao was on hand to tap home and double Toulouse’s lead in the 54th minute, and substitute Rhys Healey put the cherry on the icing on the cake with a stunning solo effort in the dying embers.
After successfully salvaging their Ligue 1 status last term, the objective for Bruno Irles and his side is exactly the same this time around, but an opening pair of defeats leaves ESTAC below the dotted line at this embryonic stage.
Reading too much into the rankings after two games would be an act of folly, but Troyes are one of several sides sure to be concerned about the prospect of four teams being relegated from this year’s top flight, as the league prepares to cut down to 18 clubs from 2023 onwards.
The visitors’ winless run in Ligue 1 now stands at five matches before a taxing trip to Lyon’s base, and Les Gones have won each of their last nine against Troyes in all competitions, including a 3-1 success in this fixture last season.
Lyon Ligue 1 form:
Troyes Ligue 1 form:
We say: Lyon 3-1 Troyes
Lyon are certainly prone to the odd defensive error, and Troyes should fancy their chances of experiencing some joy in front of goal with Lopes stuck on the naughty step.
However, a consolation strike will likely be the only thing the travelling support have to cheer, as Bosz’s abundance of goal-getters should propel Les Gones to a straightforward second win of the season.