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Ligue 1 | Gameweek 19
Jan 26, 2024 at 8pm UK
Parc Olympique Lyonnais

2 - 3

Henrique (57'), Lacazette (78')
Mata (33'), Nuamah (58')
FT(HT: 0-3)
Terrier (22', 41'), Doue (36')
Santamaria (7'), Stephan (8'), Truffert (66')

Preview: Lyon vs. Rennes - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Lyon vs. Rennes - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Ligue 1 clash between Lyon and Rennes, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Two sides struggling to live up to their billing clash at the Groupama Stadium on Friday night, as Ligue 1 rivals Lyon and Rennes battle it out for three points.

Both clubs scraped through to the Coupe de France last-16 last time out, and they now aim to continue inching up the league standings.

Match preview

Despite being faced by Championnat National 2 opponents in last week's cup contest, Lyon only edged past Bergerac Perigord in the clubs' contest at Stade Beaublanc.

The Ligue 1 side went ahead through Malick Fofana, making his first start for the club, but in the dying embers of the first half Bergerac levelled the tie. It was only when the hosts were later reduced to 10 men that Lyon seized the initiative and scored again through Maxence Caqueret.

OL's 2-1 victory set up an intriguing clash with Lille for a place in the quarter-finals, but two vital league games - against Rennes and Marseille - await between now and then.

Pierre Sage's side are deep in danger at the wrong end of the table, occupying the relegation playoff spot - even after a revival that has raised hopes of turning around their dismal Ligue 1 campaign.

Already onto their third head coach of the season, Lyon recently put together a four-match winning run without conceding; however, suffering a 3-1 loss to Le Havre - during which both of their starting centre-backs saw red - then threw a spanner in the works.

One of just two away victories to this point came at 10-man Rennes back in November, and Les Gones now aim to get back on track for survival by beating them again and posting three home wins on the spin.

Having won five of their last eight league games in Lyon, Friday's visitors may be confident of taking maximum points again and continuing their recent upturn in form.

Last time out, Rennes secured their place in the Coupe de France last 16 by overcoming Marseille in a penalty shootout: following a 1-1 draw, Mahamadou Nagida converted the decisive spot kick when OM finally flinched, and a dramatic 9-8 triumph set up a tie with Sochaux early next month.

In all, Julien Stephan's side have gone unbeaten through their last five matches, not only helping them progress in the cup but also guiding them up the Ligue 1 standings.

Les Rouge et Noirs have been more accustomed to fighting it out for a top-four finish in recent seasons, but after a sluggish start left the Breton club trailing behind, only now are they showing signs of improvement.

Rennes have won both of their last two league matches - 3-1 at Clermont, then 2-0 versus Nice - which is as many as throughout the previous 15; another win on Friday would lift them to ninth in the table.

Lyon Ligue 1 form:

Lyon form (all competitions):

Rennes Ligue 1 form:

Rennes form (all competitions):

Team News

While Duje Caleta-Car serves the second game of his two-match ban, fellow defender Jake O'Brien will return from suspension this weekend and can compete with recent arrival Adryelson to start in Lyon's back three.

Mama Balde and Ernest Nuamah are still away on Africa Cup of Nations duty and Johann Lepenant is ruled out by a serious knee injury; loanee Diego Moreira has returned to parent club Chelsea.

Several players signed in the winter transfer window could be involved, though, as goalkeeper Lucas Perri, winger Malick Fofana - who scored on his debut last week - and ex-Gent striker Gift Orban are all available.

Rennes will be without Christopher Wooh, who was recently Cameroon's saviour at the AFCON, and reported Lyon transfer target Nemanja Matic. The latter has been sidelined for several weeks now and is set to leave the club soon.

The visitors' first mid-season recruit should step into the void left by Matic, and Dutch defensive midfielder Azor Matusiwa may make his debut after arriving from Reims earlier this week.

First-choice goalkeeper Steve Mandanda will return between the posts, while Arthur Theate is back in the squad following suspension.

Lyon possible starting lineup:
Lopes; Mata, Lovren, Adryelson, Tagliafico; Caqueret, Tolisso; Cherki, Maitland-Niles, Fofana; Lacazette

Rennes possible starting lineup:
Mandanda; G. Doue, Omari, Theate, Truffert; Matusiwa, Le Fee; Bourigeaud, D. Doue, Terrier; Kalimuendo

We say: Lyon 2-2 Rennes

Rennes have found form in the final third, while Lyon have conceded as many as 30 goals at this stage of a Ligue 1 campaign for the time since 1980. As a result, Les Rouges et Noir should push their hosts all the way - but the help of some new signings could see OL rescue a point.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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