Olympique Lyonnais: Lyon lack creativity to trouble Juventus

Olympique Lyonnais v Juventus Europa League

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Olympique Lyonnais boss Remi Garde is again without a number of big names for his side’s trip to Europa League favourites Juventus in the quarter-final second leg on Thursday.

The French club are bidding to overturn a 1-0 deficit from their first-leg at the Stade Gerland when Leonardo Bonucci swept home the only goal after poor defending from Lyon at a corner.

But Garde’s injury-ravaged side did manage to cause the Italians some problems with the man-marking of Juventus‘ Andrea Pirlo working particularly well as the veteran playmaker was restricted to only one pass in the Lyon half during the first 45 minutes.

Related: Juventus restore momentum before Lyonnais clash

Former Fulham midfielder Steed Malbranque was asked to sacrifice himself for the team to stop Pirlo, who later remarked: “He was sitting next to me on the bus, after we left the stadium.”

Malbranque is expected to start in midfield again, and could get the same role, although Lyon must now show more ambition as they need to win in Turin to have any chance of progression.

Playmakers Yoann Gourcuff (ankle) and Clement Grenier (match fitness) are still out with Arnold Mvuemba again likely to start and Corentin Tolisso another who could deputise for Gueida Fofana (groin) on the right-hand side of midfield.

The good news for Garde is the return to fitness of attack-minded left-back Henri Bedimo, who has recovered from a knee injury, as well as the return of central defensive linchpin Milan Bisevac after a hamstring injury.

Lyon are the 8.76 underdogs to win in Turin on Thursday with Juve the 1.32 favourites and the draw available at 4.80 in the 1X2 betting.

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