Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Valbuena could face Saint-Etienne, confirms Fournier

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 6 Nov 2015

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Lyon boss Hubert Fournier has not ruled out Mathieu Valbuena from playing in Sunday’s derby match with Saint-Etienne.

A criminal investigation into allegations of a blackmail attempt against Valbuena involving a sex-tape is ongoing, with Real Madrid and France star Karim Benzema having been charged with complicity over the alleged plot.

Both players were left out of Didier Deschamps’ international squad this week, with the France boss confirming Valbuena was not in the right state of mind.

Fournier, however, says he will wait to evaluate the 31-year-old over the next two days before deciding whether he can face Christophe Galtier’s side.

“Physically, Valbuena is ready to play. Psychologically, we have 48 hours to see if he is able to respond for the derby,” he said on Friday.

“It mainly affects the life of Mathieu, and ours only indirectly. But we can’t speak too much about it because it’s a matter for the courts.

“When you have a team-mate living this situation, you sympathise with what is a difficult situation. There are better ways to prepare for a game, that’s for sure.”

Valbuena has played 14 games for Lyon so far this season.

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