Elber set for comeback
By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The talented Brazilian has been on the sidelines since suffering a muscle strain on January 9 and he is now keen to put his injury worries behind him.
Original diagnosis had predicted that the player would need two to three weeks rest, but it is only now, five weeks after the injury occurred, that Elber is ready for a return.
''I expected to need between two and three weeks,'' Elber confirmed. ''It was therefore really difficult to have to wait for five weeks, preparing alone while my friends had training sessions.
''I expected to play last Saturday against Guingamp, but the doctor preferred to postpone my return.
''I hope the fans will discover the true Elber from now, because I believe I will be able to help better the team.''
Whilst Lyon are expected to be strengthened by the return of Elber, Monaco coach Didier Deschamps is expected to field a weakened side for the big cup clash.
The former World Cup winner has repeatedly expressed his intentions to prioritise the French title over its cup competitions and as in the League Cup, Deschamps is to rest several key members of his side.
Sebastien Squillaci, Patrice Evra and Vassilis Zikos, all important players in the Monaco set-up, will not play in the midweek clash.
Deschamps has defended his decision to the French media and explained that with a small squad, both priorities and sacrifices have to be made.
''The cup will not become a major aim just because we are playing Lyon," said Deschamps.
''The team that will start against Lyon will be different to the one that played our last league encounter and which will play next Saturday against Lille.
''I am not here to offend Coupe de France or the League Cup which we won last year.
''When you play a competition, the aim is to win and tonight, the players that start will enter the pitch to win.''