When your team has only scored nine goals in the league and twice in the Europa League, you would think starting a player that has been involved in 50% of those goals would be a no-brainer. However, Liverpool loanee Divock Origi is set to start of the bench as Lille take on Russian side FK Krasnodar on Thursday evening.
Origi’s last goal for the club came almost two months ago, when he gave Lille the lead from the penalty spot against Wolfsburg in Germany. That was only days after his last goal in the league, and Lille’s last victory in any game.
On Thursday night, Lille boss René Girard is set to start without the 19-year-old Belgian, putting his faith in Nolan Roux, Sebastien Corchia and Ryan Mendes.
Origi has more goals than that trio combined this season. Roux’s last goal came in August against Monaco and Corchia scored in the third qualifying round of the Champions League.
It is a brave move from Girard, especially when Lille needs all three points to have any chance of qualifying from Everton’s group this year.
After four games the French side has three points, and need to rely on Robert Martinez’s men pick up all three points in Germany and that they can beat both Krasnodar and Wolfsburg to steal a place in the knockout phase.
Origi’s performances may not have been eye-catching, but whenever Lille makes something happen in the final third, more often than not, the Liverpool striker is involved.
Danish defender Simon Kjaer is also set to miss out after picking up an injury in training, former Newcastle United defender David Rozehnal will come in to replace him.
The other change to the regular lineup is the return of Belgian Jonathan Delaplace. He is making his return from injury and in 12 games where the midfielder has started, Lille have never lost.
Perhaps the inclusion of Delaplace and not Origi will be the good luck charm Girard need on Thursday.
Krasnodar: Dikan – Jedrzejczyk, R.Sigurdsson, Granqvist, Petrov – Gazinski – Izmailov, Pereyra, Mamaev, Laborde – Ari
Lille: Enyeama – Béria, Rozehnal, Basa, Souaré – Balmont, Mavuba, Delaplace – Corchia, Mendes, Roux