Saturday, September 19, 2020

Prediction: Manchester City vs Lyon

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 21/20

Bookmaker: Unibet

In a new one-off format, Manchester City will travel out in Lison on Saturday night when they face off against French outfit Lyon with a spot in the semi-final of this year’s Champions League up for grabs.

Manchester City

Starting with Manchester City, finishing off the job at the Etihad last week and picking up another 2-1 victory against Real Madrid, the Sky Blues eventually breezed past the former European champions and they are seen as the leading contender to lift their first European crown this summer. Relinquishing both their Premier League and FA Cup titles this season and with all their eggs in the Champions League basket, Pep Guardiola’s side are on a three-match European winning run and are unbeaten in this year’s tournament, collecting seven wins and a pair of draws. Undoubtedly still boosted by their 4-2 aggregate win against Los Blancos last time out, the former Barcelona boss has also seen his side shine in the final third of late. Along with signing off this year’s domestic campaign with a 5-0 romp against Norwich, one man to keep an eye out for will be the red-hot Raheem Sterling. Once again finding the net against Madrid last week, the England international has recorded 11 post-lockdown strikes.

Team News

Once again, City will be without Sergio Aguero who still remains on the sidelines with a knee injury.

Elsewhere, while left-back Benjamin Mendy is available after serving a suspension, it is expected that an ever-improving Joao Cancelo will retain his spot in Pep Guardiola’s side.

Lyon

As for Lyon, while on paper Les Gones might have thrown away the lead out in Turin last week and were hit with a 2-1 defeat on foreign soil, it was certainly a night to remember for the French outfit. Picking up a real scalp and coming past Juventus on away goals, a result that sent shockwaves across Europe, the mood in Rudi Garcia’s camp should be at a real high. While the Whites might have only been sat seventh in the Ligue 1 table before the season was scrapped back in March and making just a pair of appearances since the restart, there is no doubt that the former Marseille boss will be hoping for Memphis Depay to extend on what has been nothing short of a staggering European run. Once again converting from the spot away at the newly-crowned Italian champions last time out, the one-time Manchester United winger has only continued to shine since returning from injury over the enforced break. In fact, Depay became just the second Dutch player to score in six successive Champions League appearances after Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Team News

After missing out on Lyon’s trip to Turin last week, Moussa Dembele is expected to be in line for a recall and should partner Memphis Depay up top.

Aside from that, Rudi Garcia has no injuries or suspensions to worry about as they make the trip out to Portugal this weekend.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two sides met in the Champions League back in 2018, Lyon picked up four points in their two groups stage meetings against Manchester City, including a 2-1 win at the Etihad.
  • The Sky Blues are unbeaten in each of their nine Champions League matches in this year’s tournament, collecting seven wins.
  • Raheem Sterling has scored 11 post-lockdown goals, including four in his last three outings.
  • Memphis Depay became just the second Dutch player to score in six successive Champions League appearances after Ruud van Nistelrooy.
  • Each of City’s last six Champions League matchups on the bounce have finished with both teams finding the net.

Conclusion

While on paper Manchester City might rightfully open Saturday’s meeting as a landslide pick with the bookmakers, Lyon will be boosted by their eye-catching recent memories against the Premier League outfit. Picking up a famous 2-1 win and collecting four points off of their two group stage meetings against the Sky Blues back in 2018, we could be in for another lively contest out in Portugal. With both Raheem Sterling and Memphis Depay continuing on quite the recent purple patches, it should also be noted that each of City’s last six Champions League contests on the bounce have finished with both teams finding the net.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 21/20

Bookmaker: Unibet

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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