Olympique Lyon face the
prospect of missing out on the Champions League group phase for
the first time in nine years when they host an injury-hit Ajax
Amsterdam in a make-or-break Group D game on Tuesday.
Victory would put the seven-times French champions second in
Group D with one match remaining, away to Dinamo Zagreb, but a
score draw or defeat would eliminate them for the first time
since the 2002/03 season.
Back-to-back defeats by Real Madrid and a first Ligue 1 home
loss in more than a year against Stade Rennes on Friday have
dented their self-confidence.
"It will be another competition and sometimes, in the
Champions League, we find resources that we do not always have,"
coach Remi Garde said after his team were beaten 2-1 at home by
"We won't have a choice. It's a make-or-break game."
Lyon, who have lost five of their last seven games in all
competitions, will have to drastically raise their level if they
are to beat Ajax.
"The problem is not our ambition, it's our level of play,"
Striker Bafetimbi Gomis, who missed several chances against
Rennes, reckons he needs to be more lethal in front of goal.
"I should more aggressive, be more like a killer," he said
after the Rennes game.
"We have to stop the bleeding. We've already been in this
kind of situation and we have what it takes to make it through."
Garde may not be able to field Lisandro Lopez from the start
after the Argentine striker made his return from a 12-week
injury layoff only as a second-half substitute against Rennes.
Centre-back Dejan Lovren and holding midfielder Maxime
Gonalons are expected to be back after shaking off minor
Ajax travel to Lyon with serious offensive problems as
central striker Dmitry Bulykin sustained a knee injury in
Saturday's 2-2 draw against NAC Breda.
With Kolbeinn Sigthorsson and Luuk de Jong already out and
winger Derk Boerrigter staying at home with back problems, coach
Frank de Boer might have to adjust his tactical plans.
The Dutch side are also without defenders Nicolai Boilesen
and Andre Ooijer.
Olympique Lyon: Hugo Lloris; Anthony Reveillere, Cris,
Dejan Lovren, Aly Cisshokho; Maxime Gonalons, Kim Kallstrom,
Ederson, Yoann Gourcuff; Jimmy Briand, Bafetimbi Gomis
Ajax Amsterdam: Kenneth Vermeer; Gregory van der Wiel, Toby
Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Vurnon Anita; Nicolas Lodeiro,
Eyong Enoh, Christian Eriksen, Theo Janssen; Miralem Sulejmani,
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