18th of September, Sunday. Mark this date down on your calendar as you wouldn’t want to miss the battle between the top performing clubs in France Ligue 1: Olympique Lyonnais vs Olympique de Marseille. The age old rivals since 1945 will be flexing their muscles to win bragging rights at the Stade de Gerland in Lyon.
Lyon who finished 3rd last year dominated the scene from 2001 until 2008 which saw them reaping a total of 7 Ligue trophies in 7 consecutive seasons! In their pursuit to revive those glory days, Lyon’s manager Remi Garde has been working hard to field a competitive team for this season while maintaining his key roster of top scorers and playmakers like Lisandro Lopez, Bafetimbi Gomis and Michel Bastos. However based on previous games it seems that the new additions to his stable of players will need to get into the rhythm of the team play in order to “Tango” their way up the league table.
Meanwhile in Marseille, both key players Gabriel Heinze and Taye Taiwo who contributed 3 goals each to the club in the previous season have been sold to clubs in the Italian Serie A. However with the departure of players, Marseilles manager Didier Deschamps has brought in a new cavalry which includes Alou Diarra from Bordeaux, Nicolas N’Koulou from Monaco, Jeremy Morel and Morgan Amalfitano from Lorient. Marseille, who has had a sluggish start to the season and are currently in 12th place, will need to work their magic to bring in the goals.
From the last 5 meetings, Lyon won twice; Marseille once and drew two games. It is anyone’s guess who has the upper hand. It will boil down to this – who among the two wants this just a little bit more and who can conjure up the moment of brilliance to eke out a favorable outcome when these titans clash this September. “Lyon has the home advantage” I hear you say? But haven’t you heard? “The ball is round, the game lasts 90 minutes, and everything else is pure theory”
Who do you think will emerge victorious? Hard call for me anyway!