Champions League betting preview: Will Man City overpower French underdogs Lyon?
Michael Johnson | 15 August 2020
Odds, preview and team news ahead of tonight’s quarter-final
If the burden of their previous Champions League failures under Pep Guardiola don’t already hang heavy over Manchester City’s players, they also have the weight of another unwanted record to overcome tonight.
Man City have failed to beat Lyon in all three of their previous Champions League meetings, including two group stage matches last season, with Lyon coming out on top in a 2-1 win at the City of Manchester Stadium.
The better news for City is that despite their narrow Champions League victory over Juventus, Lyon have had a poor year, only managing a seventh-place finish before Ligue 1 ceased in March and losing to PSG in both domestic cups.
But as heavy favourites going into this match, the pressure is truly on Pep Guardiola’s team tonight…
Man City are the 1/4 favourites here to win in 90 minutes, with Lyon at 9/1 and the draw at 19/4.
With the possibility of extra-time and penalties on the cards, Man City are 1/9 to progress to the next stage, with Lyon at 6/1.
If you think it could be a one-sided encounter, Man City can be backed at 2/1 to win to nil, while they’re 2/1 to win with both teams scoring.
Raheem Sterling has six goals in the competition so far this season, scoring after nine minutes against Real Madrid last time out. He can be backed at 16/5 to open the scoring here, and is Evens to net anytime. Gabriel Jesus was also on target against Real Madrid and is 23/20 to add to his tally here with an anytime goal.
For Lyon, striker Moussa Dembele is 10/3 to score anytime, although he’s struggled in front of goal in the Champions League. Memphis Depay has had no such issue, netting six times already and is 11/1 to score first, or 7/2 to score anytime.
Manchester City’s Champions League travails under Pep Guardiola are well documented by now, with the coach often accused of ‘over-thinking’ his team selection in knock-out ties. That didn’t stop him from fielding Phil Foden as a false nine against Real Madrid and he may opt for another unorthodox selection tonight.
One player who’s almost certain to start is Sterling, who has been in devastating form since emerging from lockdown. The attacker has 10 goals in his last 10 games for City, stepping up to the plate in the absence of Sergio Aguero.
In midfield, Guardiola may look once more to Rodrigo, Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne as his starting trio, though with David Silva and Bernardo Silva waiting in the wings, he’s not short of options.
Benjamin Mendy also comes back into contention at left-back after his suspension, while Riyad Mahrez may start on the right of the attack with Gabriel Jesus shifting into a more central role.
For Lyon, the two key players are former Manchester United man Memphis Depay and midfielder Houssem Aouar. Depay has had a Champions League campaign to remember so far, scoring in all six of the games he’s played, including that decisive away goal against Juventus. Aouar is the emerging talent in their squad, with City among a host of Premier League clubs credited with an interest in the midfielder.
While Lyon can’t be overlooked after knocking out Juventus, their Ligue 1 struggles this season suggest a side who shouldn’t be able to stand up to the might of Man City’s talent-stacked squad.
When they’ve been faced with the quality of league rivals PSG, Lyon have often wilted, losing to them on four occasions this season. And if there’s one thing City do well, it’s maintain pressure and stifle their opposition. However, they’ll need to look out for Aouar and Depay on the break – with several teams enjoying counter-attacking success against them in the Premier League this term.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication