Since this article was published, the game has been postponed due to an unplayable pitch. A new date for the game will be announced in due course.
Lorient and Lyon will both be aiming to build on winning starts in the 2022-23 Ligue 1 season when they clash at the Stade du Moustoir on Sunday lunchtime.
Les Merlus claimed a memorable opening-day success on Rennes’ turf last time out, while Les Gones were too good for newly-promoted Ajaccio.
Having risen through the managerial academy ranks at the Stade du Moustoir, Regis Le Bris could hardly have envisioned a better start to life in the senior dugout, as his side came away from Roazhon Park with a 1-0 win to show for their efforts.
In the 65th minute of the contest, Arthur Theate stuck out a leg to try to prevent Gedeon Kalulu’s cross from entering the danger zone, but the Rennes new boy could only watch the ball sail into the back of his own net over the head of Steve Mandanda.
Les Merlus were indebted to a wonderful acrobatic save from Yann Mvogo to keep the scoreline at 1-0 in the dying embers, as Jeremy Doku was spectacularly denied by the Lorient debutant, and it is now three games unbeaten for the home side in Ligue 1.
While the exploits of Christophe Pelissier should not be forgotten in a hurry, 46-year-old Le Bris has already got off to the perfect start with Les Merlus, but the visit of a reinvigorated Gones side will provide a true test of their mettle.
The return of Lyon’s favourite son Alexandre Lacazette spelled immediate success for Les Gones, despite reports of the ex-Arsenal man falling out with coach Peter Bosz – which he emphatically denied – as Lyon kicked off the new season with a 2-1 success against Ajaccio.
Lacazette put the ball on a plate for Tete to fire home the opening goal before the latter then won a penalty for his captain to convert, but Les Gones then had to see out most of the game with 10 men after Anthony Lopes took Mounaim El Idrissy clean out.
Thomas Mangani stepped up to convert from 12 yards before Ajaccio went down a man themselves following Romain Hamouma‘s two bookable offences, but Bosz’s side took some of the pressure off their under-fire manager with a narrow success.
Failure to qualify for Europe and a mixed bag of pre-season results have done little to improve Bosz’s prospects of maintaining his place in the hotseat for the long-term, but a third win from four away games this weekend would quieten the murmurs of discontent for the time being.
Two of the last four games between Lorient and Lyon have ended 1-1, with the other two seeing Les Gones run out convincing 4-1 winners, which they did at the Stade du Moustoir only five months ago, but not since 2015 have the visitors kept a clean sheet against their less-revered opponents.
Lorient should head into Sunday’s game without any fresh injury concerns bedevilling them, but Julien Ponceau‘s knee issue could keep him sidelined for a few more weeks.
The futures of Armand Lauriente and Enzo Le Fee are both still shrouded in uncertainty, but both men will likely join Terem Moffi in the final third for their first home game of the season.
Le Bris should see no reason to make any alterations for matchday two, but Leo Petrot and Loris Mouyokolo are both available to reinforce the defence if required.
Meanwhile, Lyon number one Lopes has been hit with a three-game ban for his clattering of El Idrissy and subsequent red card, which opens the door for 35-year-old Remy Riou to show what he is made of in between the sticks.
Left-back Henrique will return from a ban of his own but will have a hard time displacing Nicolas Tagliafico, while midfield duo Maxence Caqueret and Corentin Tolisso should have good chances of being available from the first whistle.
Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Romain Faivre and Moussa Dembele are cutting it fine but may be involved as they step up their recoveries, and Lacazette will also need assessing after pulling up with a calf problem in training earlier this week.
Lorient possible starting lineup:
Mvogo; Kalulu, Talbi, Laporte, Le Goff; Innocent, Abergel, Ouattara; Le Fee, Moffi, Lauriente
Lyon possible starting lineup:
Riou; Gusto, Mendes, Lukeba, Tagliafico; Paqueta, Lepenant, Aouar; Tete, Lacazette, Toko Ekambi