To highlight in the eyes of coach Didier Deschamps, what better than this true classic of the French championship between OL and ASM, Saturday at Décines-Charpieu? With a scent of revenge: the last meeting between the two clubs, won by OL (3-2), ended in confusion at the Louis-II stadium, while the Lyonnais had also won the first leg (4 -1).
In April, the Monegasques, on the other hand, qualified for the semi-finals of the Coupe de France by winning 2-0 in Lyon, again in a certain tension.
For now, Ben Yedder seems better off than Aouar in the race for the World Cup. Even if he did not play, “WBY” was present in the France team last week for the four-way final of the League of Nations, a trophy awarded on Sunday by the Blues, while Aouar disappeared from the radar after only one selection, missing several opportunities to return to it.
Aouar “better physically”
His inconstancy, sometimes anonymous matches and a supposed interest of big European clubs, which never materialized by a firm purchase offer, complicated the trajectory of the midfielder of the 23-year-old Olympique Lyonnais in the courses at the World Cup.
Unless delivering a great season, at the level that Aouar had displayed during the “Final 8” of the Champions League in August 2020 in Lisbon, where OL had fallen only in the semi-final against Bayern , future winner (3-0).
“I’m ready. I’m getting better and better physically and I’m feeling pretty good in the last few games,” assured the player just before facing Saint-Etienne (1-1) and scoring just before half-time .
He had already scored a goal against Brondby in the Europa League (3-0) and these two achievements helped restore his confidence, after several missed opportunities in previous meetings.
“Last season, I don’t remember having played a game 100% physically. This year I am doing very well. There is also a little more joy in the game and better connections between the players,” continued the player, who had experienced a pubalgia in 2020-2021.
With Peter Bosz at the helm of OL, Houssem Aouar can play a runner-up, left midfielder or attacking midfielder behind the center forward as against the Greens, on October 3, with Lucas Paqueta at the forefront.
Ben Yedder in confidence
For Wissam Ben Yedder, on the other hand, confidence seems to be in order. He already has five league goals, all scored over the last four days, including a double against ASSE (3-1). He also delivered two assists.
“Wissam deserves to be in the selection and to have a little more playing time. But when you have Mbappé, Griezmann, Benzema, it’s complicated. This also applies to other attackers than him, who plays little in selection because of the very high quality of French football “, underlines his coach Niko Kovac.
“I understand that Wissam is a little disappointed because he likes to play with France and be part of this group. It is very rewarding to be part of the squad of such a strong nation. World Cup in Qatar. It is his dream, he must pursue it “, adds the technician.
“We will surround him, help him and show him even more than we believe in him. Because he is very important for us. He always scores essential goals. He will show it again, I am convinced of it”, he stressed Thursday at a press conference.