Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Prediction: Lyon vs Manchester City

Verdict: Raheem Sterling to score anytime

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

With the chance to book their spot in the knockout stage of this years Champions League, Group F leaders Manchester City will travel to the Groupama Stadium. The Sky Blues will be looking to get their revenge after losing the reverse fixture in their 2-1 defeat back in September.

Lyon

Starting with the hosts, enjoying a very bright stat to the season under Bruno Genesio, Lyon will be feeling confident of booking their spot in the knockout stage of this years Champions League. Drawing three of their four Group F games, they currently sit three points adrift of City but do hold a three point buffer over Hoffenheim in the race for second place. The only team to hand Manchester City a defeat in any competition, they also sit second in the Ligue 1 table, only behind PSG. Picking up a 1-0 win over Saint Etienne over the weekend, Les Gones are now unbeaten in their last seven matches. Genesio will also be boosted by Lyon’s recent success against English sides in the tournament. Tuesday’s hosts have lost just one of their 10 home European games against English sides, winning three and drawing six. Their only defeat came against Arsenal in February 2001.

Team News

Nabil Fekir was substituted at half-time during the Derby du Rhone victory against Saint-Etienne at the weekend, but should be back in time for this clash.

Manchester City

As for the defending Premier League champions, picking up a 4-0 win away at West Ham over the weekend, Pep Guardiola’s side have once again cemented their spot as the leading contenders in the title chase. With their shock 2-1 defeat to Lyon the only defeat The Sky Blues have tasted this season, they have now won their last eight matches across all competitions. With no team in either the Champions League or the Premier League holding a better-attacking record, Guardiola and his side will believe they have a real shot in this years tournament. Scoring an astonishing 21 in their last five, it will be the form of England international Raheem Sterling most pleasing fans in Manchester. Once again finding the net in last weekend’s victory at the London Stadium, the 23-year-old already has seven for the season and sits only behind teammate Sergio Aguero in England’s goalscoring charts, Sterling has now been directly involved in more goals (13) than any other player in the Premier League this season.

Team News

City are without Bernardo Silva, Ilkay Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus, with 18-year-old Foden in line to come in for his third start in the competition – and first this season.

Midfielder Kevin de Bruyne and left-back Benjamin Mendy are also out.

Key Factors to Consider

  • City are the highest scorers in this season’s Champions League, netting 12 goals in their four games.
  • City are aiming to win all three Champions League away group games for only the second time.
  • Lyon have lost just one of their 10 home European games against English sides, winning three and drawing six. Their only defeat came against Arsenal in February 2001.
  • Raheem Sterling has now been directly involved in more goals (13) than any other player in the Premier League this season.
  • David Silva also has four in his last four appearances for The Sky Blues.

Conclusion

While Lyon’s start to the season has gained plenty of plaudits and they will still fancy their chances of pinching the second qualifying spot in Group F, it is incredibly hard for them to keep out a free-scoring Manchester City side. Given their outstanding form in the final third since the start of the season both domestically and in Europe, we’re backing the defending Premier League champions and Raheem Sterling to carry on their tally in front of goal.

Verdict: Raheem Sterling to score anytime

Best Odds: 11/10

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

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