Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Prediction: Barcelona vs Lyon

Verdict: Barcelona win and both teams to score

Best Odds: 11/8

Bookmaker: Bet365

Playing out a 0-0 draw in France last month, Barcelona will look to book their spot in the quarterfinals of this year’s Champions League when they host Lyon at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night.

Barcelona

Starting with Wednesday’s hosts, while some will argue that they have not been at their convincing best this season, Barcelona still remain on course for a triple-winning campaign. Coming from behind to pick to pick up a 3-1 win at home to Rayo Vallecano over the weekend, Ernesto Valverde’s side are enjoying a four-match winning run in Spain’s top-tier and hold a seven-point buffer at the top of the table. A squad that will undoubtedly be boosted by their back-to-back victories over bitter-rivals Real Madrid and booking their spot in the final of this year’s Copa del Rey, Barca will be looking to extend their very impressive European record at the Nou Camp. The hosts are unbeaten in their last 29 Champions League matches in Catalonia, a run that stems all the way back to May 2013. While the Spanish heavyweights have continued to shine in the final third, Valverde will be desperate for his side to improve on Barca’s recent defensive issues. They have managed to record just a single clean sheet in their last seven matches on home soil.

Team News

Philippe Coutinho might start for Barcelona in Wednesday’s finely-balanced Champions League tie against Lyon, despite being booed last weekend.

Coutinho could replace Ousmane Dembele who suffered a hamstring strain, although Malcom is another option.

Defender Thomas Vermaelen remains sidelined with a thigh problem.

Lyon

As for the visitors, while Lyon may have managed to pick up a 0-0 draw over Barcelona at the Groupama Stadium last month, the Ligue 1 outfit have started to struggle with their consistency of late. Only managing to pick up a 2-2 draw away at Strasbourg on Saturday, Bruno Génésio has seen Lille overtake them in the race for a second place finish in France’s top-tier. If Les Gones are to pull off a remarkable result and book their spot in the quarterfinals of this year’s Champions League, then the Whites will need to improve on their recent struggles on the road. Lyon have failed to win any of their last three matches away from home and Génésio will know that they must also improve on some defensive issues, particularly on their travels. Wednesday’s visitors have recorded just a single Ligue 1 clean sheet away from the Groupama Stadium since the 26th of September.

Team News

Influential attacking midfielder Nabil Fekir is set to return for Lyon having been suspended for the first leg. The 25-year-old has scored 12 goals for the Ligue 1 club this season.

Key Factors to Consider

  • 68% of teams to have drawn 0-0 away from home in the first leg of a Champions League knockout tie have ended up progressing to the next round (21 out of 31).
  • Barcelona have won all three of their home matches against Lyon in the Champions League, scoring 10 goals and conceding only two.
  • Barcelona and Lyon are unbeaten in this season’s Champions League. In fact, Lyon have drawn each of their last six games, equalling the record for most consecutive draws in a single Champions League season held by AEK Athens (2002-03) and Glasgow Rangers (2005-06).
  • Barcelona will attempt to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the 12th consecutive season – a record, last failing at the last-16 stage in 2006-07 against Liverpool. Meanwhile, Lyon last made the final eight in 2009-10.
  • Since losing 3-0 to Bayern Munich at Camp Nou on 1 May 2013, Barcelona have won 26 of their 29 home games in the Champions League (D3).

Conclusion

On paper, it has all the makings of a matchup that should produce chances at both ends. While Barcelona have shown some defensive issues at the Nou Camp recently, it is hard to overlook their fearsome attacking line-up, particularly five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi. We’re backing the hosts to come away with the victory but both teams to find the net on Wednesday night.

Verdict: Barcelona win and both teams to score

Best Odds: 11/8

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

SHARE OR COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

WE RECOMMEND

Leave a Reply

avatar
 
smilegrinwinkmrgreenneutraltwistedarrowshockunamusedcooleviloopsrazzrollcryeeklolmadsadexclamationquestionideahmmbegwhewchucklesillyenvyshutmouth
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Live Scores

advertisement

Betting Guide Advertisement

advertisement

Become a Writer
More More
Top