Liverpool loanee set for place on the bench after goalless run

Lille face Toulouse today after they were knocked out of the Europa League, but after going 900 minutes without a goal, Origi could be dropped.

Divock Origi faced a booing home crowd on Thursday night and there is a chance that Lille boss René Girard could bench the striker on loan from Liverpool for Sunday’s game against Toulouse at the Stade Pierre Mauroy.

With a lack of creative midfield options, Girard is looking for a hard-working, honest and no-nonsense performance on Sunday, which could mean that Origi is dropped for Nolan Roux at the head of the Lille attack.

With having now gone over 900 minutes without a goal, Girard will have to decide whether to continue with the Belgian forward or go with Roux as the main striker.

Usually there would be space for both, with Origi playing wide, but this recent slump could see the youngster benched in a move hoping to see him bounce back from this dry spell and save him from the wrath of the fans. Roux may not have the potential that Origi has, but he will give the club 100%, and that’s what they need right now.

The Frenchman has only scored one league goal this season, but did find the net against Krasnodar in Russia and set up Idrissa Gueye for the opening goal against Lens. He might be the better option when what Lille needs to show is hard work and passion.

Their opponents Toulouse has recently moved away from their trademark back three. Alain Casanova has changed to 4-4-2 and has tried to play all three of his forwards at the same time, although it looks like he will have to decide between Aleksandar Pesic and Martin Braithwaite this weekend.

Le Téfécé’s 2-1 win at Nantes snapped a three game losing streak away from the Stade Municipal, keeping their reputation as one of Ligue 1’s most inconsistent sides.

Toulouse used to be known for their width in the 3-5-2, but this new 4-4-1-1 looks very narrow, with both full-backs and the wide midfielders being more accustomed to playing through the middle.

They may only be two points behind Toulouse in the table, but Lille is desperate for a victory in the league. Their last win was in September and Girard needs something to go his way before the winter break.

Now the club is out of the Europa League, they should be able to get players rested and refreshed, looking to climb up the table in the New Year, but points in December would be a great help in their recruitment drive this January.

The only question left is whether Origi will be part of the side at the end of January, or will Lille cut their losses and let him return to Liverpool early?

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