Smarting Garcia eyes Lille coup as PSG lie in wait


Lyon coach Rudi Garcia will try and shake off his aspect’s bitter midweek French Cup quarter-final exit to Monaco and derail the Ligue 1 title hopes of his former membership Lille on Sunday.

Garcia criticised referee Stephanie Frappart after Lyon had what gave the impression to be the opening purpose disallowed in Wednesday’s 2-0 dwelling loss, and for a yellow card proven to Memphis Depay that may rule him out towards Lorient subsequent month.

“It is an elimination that was under no circumstances deserved,” mentioned Garcia. “We had too many issues go towards us. I do not suppose the refereeing was on the degree of the 2 groups.”

He added: “What would you like me to say to the gamers aside from to congratulate them for the efficiency and that it is how we have to play Sunday towards Lille and at Monaco within the league.”

After failing to qualify for Europe final season, Lyon are on the very least aiming for a top-three end, with the main 4 groups separated by simply three factors with 5 matches to play.

Garcia was in control of Lille once they received a home double in 2011, the membership’s final silverware, and, relying on different outcomes, Lyon might exchange them on the prime with a victory at Groupama Stadium.

Lille coach Christophe Galtier is doing his greatest exude calm, having seen aspect occupy first place for a lot of the final three months.

“We’re not beneath stress, as a result of we ensure that there’s no,” he mentioned. “However there’s an actual need to create one thing particular.”

Paris Saint-Germain can have the possibility to climb above Lille once they go to Metz on Saturday, 4 days earlier than their Champions League semi-final first leg at dwelling to Manchester Metropolis.

Mauricio Pochettino’s males powered into the final 4 of the French Cup with a 5-0 rout of Angers, as Mauro Icardi scored a hat-trick whereas Neymar bagged his first purpose since late January.

“I really feel good and I really feel assured. I am very pleased to have the ability to come again after a tough yr affected by damage,” mentioned Icardi, who grabbed a Ninety fifth-minute winner towards Saint-Etienne final week.

“I am getting there little by little and scoring targets is all the time necessary for a ahead.”

Neymar is out there once more after serving a two-match ban for his purple card towards Lille. Accidents and suspensions have restricted him to 13 appearances within the league this season.

Niko Kovac’s Monaco are the in-form aspect and have scored 14 instances with out reply of their previous 4 outings.

They might additionally go above Lille by making it 14 victories in 17 video games this yr, away to Angers, who’ve slid to twelfth following a run of only one win in 11.

One to observe: Pol Lirola

The Fiorentina loanee notched his first two targets for Marseille in final weekend’s 3-2 victory over Lorient, hitting an injury-time winner to spice up his aspect’s European prospects.

Lirola, 23, has blossomed for the reason that arrival of Jorge Sampaoli, whose 3-5-2 system has allowed the Spaniard to assault down the suitable and yielded 13 factors from a doable 18.

His type makes a compelling case for Marseille to activate their possibility to purchase Lirola for 12 million euros ($14.5 million), though OM will seemingly attempt to strike a deal for much less along with his mum or dad membership.

Key stats

9 – successive wins registered by PSG towards Metz.

18 – clear sheets recorded this season by Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan, probably the most in Europe’s prime 5 leagues.

41 – factors earned by Monaco for the reason that flip of the yr, seven greater than some other membership in Ligue 1.

Fixtures (all instances GMT)


Reims v Marseille (1900)


Saint-Etienne v Brest (1100), Metz v Paris Saint-Germain (1500)


Good v Montpellier (1100), Lens v Nimes, Lorient v Bordeaux, Rennes v Dijon, Strasbourg v Nantes (all 1300), Angers v Monaco (1505), Lyon v Lille (1900)




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