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French Cup - Match Prediction: Red Star FC 93 VS Lyon
Match Time：4/9/2021 01:00 Friday (GMT+8)
French Cup -- Red Star FC 93 VS Lyon
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Lyon will hope to avoid a major upset in the Coupe de France when they travel to third-tier side Red Star for the last 16 of the tournament on Thursday evening.
The hosts produced a shock to dump Ligue 1 high-flyers Lens out of the tournament in the previous round, while Lyon swept aside Sochaux to put their name in the hat for the next round.
Newly-promoted side Lens are pushing for the fifth and final European spot in Ligue 1, but a much-changed Sang et Or outfit fell to a thrilling 3-2 defeat to Red Star in the last 32 of the Coupe de France, with Le Havre loanee Alan Dzabana scoring the winner right at the death after being brought on as a substitute.
Vincent Bordot's side have been rewarded for their endeavours with a battle against one of France's most successful and illustrious clubs in Lyon at the Stade Bauer, although their league fortunes since overcoming Lens in the cup have hardly been impressive.
Indeed, Red Star are losing ground in the promotion race after winning just one of their last seven games in the division - a 2-0 success against Creteil on March 13 - and they have tried and failed five times to come out on the correct end of the scoreline since then.
Furthermore, Bordot's men have lost two of their last three games in the third tier, most recently a late defeat to promotion rivals Stade Briochin on Saturday, although that was their first home defeat in 13 matches across all competitions - a run stretching all the way back to September.
The Red Star teams of old lifted the Coupe de France five times, but their most recent success in the tournament was all the way back in 1942, and they have not progressed past the last-16 stage since the 1991-92 campaign, although Lyon are not exactly a team full of confidence right now.
The effervescent Lucas Paqueta saved Rudi Garcia's bacon when Lyon faced Lens in Ligue 1 at the weekend, as the Brazilian playmaker struck nine minutes from time to rescue a point for his side after Jonathan Clauss had opened the scoring for Sang et Or.
Substitute Islam Slimani was sent off just before the full-time whistle blew as Lyon lost even more ground in the title race, and Les Gones have now slipped to fourth in the table - five points behind leaders Lille - after taking just two points from their last three matches.
While Garcia's side are faltering in Ligue 1, they have had no such problems asserting their dominance in the Coupe de France, as Les Gones have beaten Ajaccio and Sochaux by an aggregate scoreline of 10-3 to advance to the last 16 for the fourth year in a row.
Lyon's ultimate goal for the 2020-21 campaign is the Ligue 1 crown, but the five-time Coupe de France champions will be desperate to lay down a marker for the remainder of the tournament this week, as they have bowed out at the semi-final stage two years in a row and have not reached the showpiece event since their most recent triumph in 2012.
Red Star and Lyon were familiar foes in the 1960s and '70s, but they have not faced off against each other since the 1999-2000 Coupe de France campaign, where a brace from Sidney Govou saw Les Gones win 2-1 at this stage of the tournament.
Red Star Coupe de France form: WWWW
Red Star form (all competitions): WDDLDL
Lyon Coupe de France form: WW
Lyon form (all competitions): DWWDLD
Red Star's solitary injury concern at the minute is Nimes loanee Theo Sainte-Luce, who is nursing a metatarsal fracture and unlikely to return to action for another couple of weeks.
Former Birmingham City midfielder Cheikh N'Doye is likely to man the engine room, while Dzabana will hope to be rewarded for his winner against Lens with a start up top over Pape Ba, who opened the scoring in that victory.
Slimani would have been in contention to start this game for Lyon, but the 32-year-old will serve a suspension following his sending-off against Lens, so Memphis Depay could very well lead the attack again.
Houssem Aouar and Djamel Benlamri are recovering from muscular problems and may not be ready in time for the cup, but Garcia is set to ring the changes nonetheless.
With the visiting manager hoping to keep most of his first-teamers fit for Sunday's visit of Angers, Rayan Cherki, Sinaly Diomande and Melvin Bard will all hope to start this week, but Leo Dubois was forced off with a suspected adductor problem at the weekend.
Red Star possible starting lineup:
Adiceam; Doremus, Labor, Karamoko, Ghabaoui; Koukou, N'Doye, Roye; Gomel, Ba, Durand
Lyon possible starting lineup:
Pollersbeck; De Sciglio, Diomande, Denayer, Bard; Mendes, Caqueret, Guimaraes; Soumare, Depay, Cherki
Red Star VS Lyon
Red Star 0-2 Lyon
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