AS Saint-Etienne : the derby to launch the series of all dangers | ASSE

Which side will the 2019-2020 season of Olympique Lyonnais tip over? Still engaged on four tables, heroic, unexpected winners of Juventus Turin in the knockout stages of the Champions League (1-0) but only 7th in League 1, Rudi Garcia and his players approach a month without doubt decisive.

From Sunday March 1st, four days after the almost perfect evening spent facing the Italian giant, the Groupama Stadium will rediscover the atmosphere of special occasions. AS Saint-Etienne presents itself for the 120th hottest derby in French football. The Greens won the first leg early October (1-0) at Geoffroy-Guichard thanks to a goal from Robert Beric in the 90th minute.

Inducted 48 hours earlier on the bench of the Greens, Claude Puel could not dream of a better start. His beautiful series of invincibility stretched until early December. But since, ASSE have won only 7 of their last 19 matches all competitions combined (for 11 losses), 2 out of 12 in the league (9 losses).

Garcia was not on the bench on the outward journey

Result, Saint-Étienne points to 15th place, with only two points ahead of the 18th, which will compete in a jump-off so as not to descend in L2, Nîmes. Historic goalkeeper Stéphane Ruffier has just been sidelined in favor of Jessy Moulin. At least, the Greens stopped the hemorrhage before the derby by taking a point against Reims (1-1), while the victory held out their arms.

Can they return to success in the field of their best enemy, in front of some 56,000 Lyonnais white-hot, boosted by the success against Juve? On the one hand these matches are always apart in one season, with a tenfold motivation in both camps. On the other hand the players of Rudi Garcia have to digest an energy expenditure never seen this season. Will they all have fully recovered?

Garcia was not on the Lyon bench in the first leg, fatal to the Brazilian Sylvinho. If the result curve has improved significantly since his arrival on October 14, his OL has steadily fallen into disarray. However, it remains on a series of three wins and one draw, after a good reaction in Paris in early February despite the 4-2 defeat.

PSG three days after the Greens

PSG, precisely, will land in the Rhône in the wake of the derby, Wednesday, March 4, for a French Cup semi-final – before the two clubs meet in the final of the Coupe de la Ligue at the Stade de France on Saturday 4 April. Will Parc OL be entitled to a third consecutive evening of madness in a week when Neymar returns from suspension? Lyon is clearly one pivotal moment in its season, even its history.

History because he can win at least one title, which has not happened since 2012, qualify for the quarter-finals of the Champions League (return match in Turin on Tuesday March 17), but also lose everything and ultimately not qualify for the 2020-2021 Champions League.

The delay on 3rd place, occupied by Rennes, is 7 points. Lyon will travel to Brittany on March 21, just after the big meeting against Juve. There are two other turns to negotiate before: a trip to Lille (4th) on March 8 and the reception of Reims (8th) on March 13. The Lyon-Marseillle poster is scheduled for April 19. Which program.

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