Sport Soccer

Thursday 13 December 2018

Lyon boss admits some of his players are set to play a final game for the club amid Nabil Fekir links with Liverpool

Lyon's French midfielder Nabil Fekir being strongly linked with a move to Liverpool
Lyon's French midfielder Nabil Fekir being strongly linked with a move to Liverpool

Lyon boss Bruno Genesio has tipped Nabil Fekir to help his side secure Champions League football in what could be the player's final match for the club.

The playmaker, who has been named in France's squad for the World Cup, has been heavily linked with a summer move to Liverpool.

Lyon are in pole position to clinch the last Champions League spot on the final weekend of the Ligue 1 season but must beat Nice or hope Marseille do not win against Amiens.

Genesio said on olweb.fr: "We have to put aside everything related to emotion. For some, this may be the last game. It must give (those players) even more strength because you have to say: '(I will) leave by qualifying this team in the Champions League'.

"There is also the World Cup. The very great players are able to ignore all this. I think Nabil will play a big match on Saturday."

Lyon looked set to secure third place last weekend when they were beating Strasbourg only to concede two late goals, and now face having to take three points against Nice, who themselves are still not yet sure of Europa League football next season.

Genesio is confident the Strasbourg disappointment will not have an effect, saying: "We left this behind very quickly. We cannot influence it any more. We went back to work. We have the opportunity to have our fate in our hands. It's up to us to seize it.

"It's a final. It must be won. We only control our match and not the rest. We must tackle that. The instructions are mainly to take care of ourselves, not to reproduce the mistakes of the past, to prepare for the game, to give everything, to trust and play our game strongly.

"This is the most important game of the season because it's the one that can send us into the Champions League."

A point should be enough for Nice to hold off Bordeaux and St Etienne in the race for sixth place.

Nice coach Lucien Favre, who has been heavily linked with Borussia Dortmund, said on ligue1.com: "The last day will sort out a lot of things in this division and it will be exciting right until the last minute.

"There's no point having regrets over points we might have picked up earlier in the season. What's happened has happened.

"We have to stay positive and say to ourselves that we still have the possibility of qualifying for Europe."

Lyon will be without suspended duo Anthony Lopes and Mouctar Diakhaby while Pierre Lees-Melou and Christophe Jallet remain sidelined through injury for Nice.

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