LINE: Manchester City -385 | Draw +510 | Lyon +1000
KICK OFF: Saturday, August 15th, 3PM EST
WHERE: Estadio do Sport, Lisbon, Portugal
WATCH: CBS Sports / app in US
Manchester City must be purring with confidence e after defeating 13-time champions Real Madrid to take a big step towards lifting the UEFA Champions League trophy. Their next opponents Olympique Lyon are…. not quite so formidable. However, the French sides pulled a shocker over Juventus and can deal a nasty stinger if not taken seriously.
The Citizens are perfectly adapted to the new single-tie based knockout format, having won the FA Cup & Carabao Cup so many times in recent years. But in the UCL, their biggest obstacle has been the inability to thrive under pressure of the European nights. Pep Guardiola is desperate to break his Champions League curse & will hope his side can comfortably trample over the unpredictable French side.
Manchester City Predicted XI
Ederson, Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Sterling, Jesus.
Sergio Aguero remains the only injury for City in this game & is unlikely to feature in the UCL campaign at all, even if they reach the finals.
Lyon Predicted XI
Lopes, Denayer, Marcelo, Andersen, Dubois, Mendes, Guimaraes, Aouar, Cornet, Depay, Dembele.
Lyon have a clean bill of health going into this big clash.
Manchester City vs Lyon Match Preview
City are definitely fancying their chances to break their European duck this year & look extra determined to get the job done. As usual, they got the easiest possible draw (thanks for their good luck) and face Lyon, arguably the weakest team remaining in the competition.
But complacency can be their downfall. Guardiola’s side have tasted the agony of defeat too many times in this competition to know they can’t slack off in this stage of the competition. Despite’s City’s great record in such a format, it’ll take one big mistake for Lyon to end their season in dismal fashion.
Having underachieved elsewhere, City need to win the Champions League to validate a ‘successful season’. They now need to show more hunger to win & play with renowned vigour like never before. Thankfully for him, Guardiola has a devastating frontline more than capable of getting the job done.
Kevin de Bruyne was the best player in the Premier League last season & was at his majestic best against Madrid, creating chances at will. He’s arguably the best midfielder in the world right now and will look to be in his mischievous ways to provide goal-scoring chances on the plate for teammates.
Raheem Sterling also seems to have picked up momentum at the perfect time, scoring goals for the fun since the season restart. With his penetrativeness &clinical instincts in the final third, the Englishman’s bound to torment Lyon with his movement. But it’s Gabriel Jesus who has really turned up big in recent months.
With no Aguero, Jesus is looking to stake his claim as City’s No.9 for years to come. If he puts in another hard-working shift & scores against Lyon, Guardiola’s trust in him will only get stronger. The somewhat terrifying thing for the Ligue 1 side is if these 3 are contained, there’s the ultimate trickster Riyad Mahrez there to pounce on chances or Iilkay Gundogan to add that extra figure in attack.
Lyon’s best chance will be to take the fight to City rather than sitting back looking to counter. If they can run at the Citizen’s shaky backline, they will have a chance at pulling off something special. Memphis Depay has a history with his former inner-city rivals and going by his newfound slick movement & killer instincts in attack, he should cause Kyle Walker plenty of problems.
The French side also have unpredictable goal-scorer Moussa Dembele to finish off whatever chances presented to him, while young midfield Houssem Aouar is packed with creativity to disorganize any defence. Lyon’s backline will obviously need to be their fittest and strongest to frustrate City, while young starlet Bruno Guimaraes has the daunting job of marking De Bruyne.
As long as City don’t lose their wits, they should pull off a routine win. The haunting memories of the past will probably be a bigger threat to the Citizens than Lyon on Saturday. Unless they can get over that mental blockage, they could be in for another European embarrassment.
Keeping their tendency to bottle big European games in mind, I think City will get over their nerves & pick up a compelling win. I’ll go with a 3-1 win over Guardiola’s side.