Lyon v Toulouse Live
French giants Lyon will be keen to wipe away the memories of their Champions Trophy penalty shoot out loss to Bordeaux when they meet Toulouse in their opening Ligue 1 game.
Lyon, who have been Ligue Champions for the last seven years, had their six year hold on the Champions Trophy broken by Laurent Blanc's Bordeaux. There were a few key players missing for Lyon - Ederson, Mensah, Keita and Juninho, but the game highlighted the fact that the players did seem short on match fitness. Defender Sebastien Squillaci has left for Sevilla, but new coach Claude Puel has managed to land Ghana's John Mensah as a replacement. Grosso and Revelliere occupy the flanks, with Toulalan and Makoun providing cover in front of defence.Puel has a lot of work to do- his predecessor Alain Perrin got the sack despite guiding OL to a league and cup double. Hugo Lloris, Frederic Piquionne, Miralem Pjanic, Ederson and Jean II Makoun have all arrived in the summer. Karim Benzema has stayed, while Hatem Ben Arfa has gone to Marseille. Skipper Juninho, who likes playing in a 4-3-3, is still an influential player despite being into his 30's.
Toulouse generally start their season well, but travelling to Stade Gerland for their first game and coming out of it with points will be a tough ask of Alain Casanova's side. They finished just two points above relegated Lens last season. TFC drew with Bordeaux, Marseille and Monaco in their pre season friendlies. Mathieu Berson has returned to France after being released by relegated Spanish club Levante. Johan Elmander has left TFC for Bolton, while Danish international Soren Larsen has come in from Schalke. The Elmander deal also saw Daniel Braaten arrive at TFC. Other notable signings include Cedric Carasso and Etienne Didot. The likes of Mohamed Fofana and Jeremy Mathieu will find life tough if Lyon's attacking players do get going. Fode Mansare and Andre Pierre Gagnac will look to take advantage of any slack Lyon defending.
Toulouse will take heart from the fact that they shocked Lyon 1-0 at home last season. The trip to Stade Gerland resulted in a 2-3 loss for the Violets. Lyon should win this- they are playing at home, and are bidding for a eighth consecutive title.
Tags: Lyon, Ligue 1, John Mensah, Juninho, Toulouse