Two teams with something to prove
Both Manchester City and Lyon will feel hard done by this season. Lyon lost out of a spot in Europe after a heartbreaking loss to PSG in a shootout in the Coupe de la Ligue.
Manchester City would like to get their hands on on of the few trophies they’ve yet to clutch over the past few years, the Champions League. They need to get past this game to have an opportunity.
These teams were paired together in the group stage of the Champions League with the French team holding the upper hand. Lyon took the first meeting 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium, and led twice at home only to draw 2-2.
How they got here
Both teams will feel momentum is on their side heading into this Saturday’s knockout match. The Citizens did something no team has ever done in the Champions League history, ousting Real Madrid under Manager Zinedine Zidane. Lyon on the other hand were able to hang on and upset Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus in the Round of 16.
Of note for the EPL runners-up is the fact they will be without the services of Sergio Aguero. Given how Gabriel Jesus stepped up against Los Galaticos though it may not be that big a loss. Benjamin Mendy is back from the suspension but it’s unknown is Pep Guardiola will draw him back into the lineup or stick with Joao Cancelo. For Lyon we’re likely to see Moussa Dembele back after he was omitted from the team’s second leg game with Juventus.
Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodrigo, Gundogan; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling.
Lyon : Lopes ; Denayer, Marcelo, Marcal ; Dubois, Caqueret, Guimaraes, Aouar, Cornet ; Dembele, Dempay.
Scoring goals has certainly not been a problem for both these teams this season. The Citizens found the back of the net 102 in the EPL this season and 20 times in eight outings in the Champions league. Lyon on the other hand have scored in 19 of their last 28 Ligue 1 matches in France.
City will win if…
They can find a breakthrough early. If the Citizens can start quickly as they have many times this season it’ll be off to the races and Lyon will be outmatched by a team with an attack far superior to theirs.
Lyon will win if…
They can stymie the City attacks. Seems simple in theory but the longer the game goes 0-0 the more confident Lyon will feel.
Lyon are huge underdogs going into this game, meanwhile City missed out of the EPL title and an FA Cup this year so the expectation is sky high. City have the experience of having been to this stage of the competition many times in the past. Lyon on the other hand have only progressed past this point once, back in 2009/10 when they defeated Bordeaux. Expect Man City’s attack to eventually find a breakthrough and be on cruise control from there. I say City wins it 1-0. The match will be played Saturday evening at the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon. (JSL)