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Unexpected leader of its Champions League group ahead of the final match of the group stage, Lille travels to Wolfsburg, Germany on Wednesday in an attempt to write a memorable page in its European history with just one word of order: do not lose to regain the eighth, 15 years later.
Lille can do a double blow to Wolfsburg, Wednesday, December 8, since the northern club will have the opportunity to write one of the most beautiful pages in its history by qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League, and confirm the beautiful European campaign of French teams.
Six months after winning a title of champion of France at the expense of PSG, Lille hope to join Parisians in the draw for the European top 16 scheduled for Monday in Nyon (Switzerland). This would be the second time in the history of the club, 15 years after a narrowly lost double confrontation against Manchester United in the eighth (0-1, 0-1).
The Mastiffs, first to the surprise of an extremely tight group G after a complicated start, only need a draw on the lawn of the Wolves to qualify for the knockout stages. And even in the event of defeat, they would receive a consolation prize: qualification for the play-offs of the Europa League (C3).
“We said we would play the C1 at 300% and that’s what we do, we show it at all matches,” said Lille coach Jocelyn Gourvennec at the end of November. “We do credit to the competition and to Ligue 1, that’s not nothing. There will be a European competition in Lille in February, now we hope it will be the best.”
“Not in the calculation”
No question of calculating Wednesday night for the Northerners, who are aiming for victory on Volkswagen land so as not to downgrade in the standings.
“I don’t want us to be in the calculation or in the management. I want us to focus on the game and on the match we have to play, we just have to think about that with a big collective force. The result will be the consequence of what we put in the match “, hammered, Tuesday, Jocelyn Gourvennec.
Reinvigorated by its two successes in L1 last week in Rennes and against Troyes, Lille calmly approaches this “final” against the Germans, who are themselves in full doubt after four games without a win (3 defeats, 1 draw).
A positive result from Lille would also be very important for French football, rarely at the party in recent years on the continental scene. Apart from the beautiful courses of Lyon, semi-finalist in 2020, and Monaco, semi-finalist in 2017, the L1 rarely had two representatives in C1 over the past decade in the spring, beyond the essential Parisian locomotive. .