The 33rd day of the French Championship will see French title holders Lyon take on Paris Saint-Germain. The latter will be hoping to beat its once unstoppable opponent, now actually struggling to remain in the top three.
AFP - Lyon captain Cris has issued a rallying call ahead of the visit of Paris St-Germain on Friday night, when the reigning champions will look to re-assert their faltering title credentials.
Lyon's bid for an eighth straight Ligue 1 crown received a serious setback when they lost 1-0 at title rivals Bordeaux on Sunday evening, a result which knocked them down to third place, four points behind leaders Marseille.
"We're having a very difficult season because we've had a change of coach, a change of culture and lots of injuries," Cris said.
"We've produced some very average performances. Today we're paying for it and we're in third place because of the season we've had."
Lyon's home form this term has been less than impressive. They have dropped 17 points at Stade Gerland, but Cris has encouraged his side to maintain belief that they can overhaul Bordeaux and Marseille.
"We need to show another side of our game in the six matches that remain because I believe that we can still take the title," the Brazilian said. "We're not completely dead yet."
Cris says that his team-mates are itching to get back onto the pitch after the disappointment in Bordeaux, with coach Claude Puel admitting the defeat had let "frustration" ferment in the squad.
"I think that, against Bordeaux, we put a lot into the game and made a good start to the match that we should have been rewarded for," Puel said.
"The next match against Paris is of crucial importance. It's a match we must win to continue our adventure. We have to produce six cup finals, we know that."
PSG go into the game in fourth place, one point behind Lyon, having been knocked out of the UEFA Cup at the quarter-final stage by Dynamo Kiev last week.
Midfielder and captain Claude Makelele sympathised with Lyon's plight, and warned that Puel's men could not be discounted from the title race just yet.
"Lyon are going through a difficult time," the Frenchman said.
"They've dominated the league for a while but the other teams have got stronger, have bigger ambitions and have shown that they are capable of causing them problems.
"But Lyon are still the favourites with Marseille and Bordeaux and I don't think they'll stay where they are. For me, they're the favourites for the title."
Date created : 2009-04-24