Olympique Lyon are in the Champions League knockout round against FC Barcelona as a clear outsider, but the Catalans weakened last – quite differently against Lyon.
Clear thing? In the Champions League knockout round, Olympique Lyon will host FC Barcelona on Tuesday night for the first leg. The cards already seem to be clearly distributed in the run-up to the series, but a walk is certainly not going to be the favorite from Spain. What to expect from the first leg?
Olympique Lyon vs FC Barcelona Champions League
FC Barcelona has been a footballing superpower for decades, so it bans the betting market, should it run doubtful for a few weeks. Accordingly, the bookmakers see the Catalans in front, even if the odds give reason for hesitation.
The tendentious caution can be explained by looking at the current shape curves. It’s easy to see that Barca has lost several points in the last race, but Ernesto Valverde’s side have only won one of their last four competitive games – but they have not lost either.
Olympique, meanwhile, suffered a defeat in the same interval, but won the remaining three games for themselves – especially one in the run-up to the duel with Barca proclaimed power: Against Paris St. Germain the Lyonnais came to a similar outsider role as now against the FCB, but contrary to expectations, Olympique went from the field victorious and brought the first champions defeat on home soil to the French champions.
The resulting self-confidence may not have faded away, many hopes against Barca to the next surprise. That this will succeed, however, may be doubted: Barca has individual immense advantage and is warned after the PSG bankruptcy. Messi and Co. will take Lyon seriously, which may not result in a football match, but in a sovereign away win.
The last three results: 2: 1 vs. EA Guingamp, 0: 1 Vs. OGC Nice, 2: 1 vs. EA Guingamp
Barca can come: At Olympique Lyon, the tension is great, the French CL representative pays quite a chance to conquer the great Catalans – albeit small. That one starts with hope and self-confidence in the upcoming series, is largely due to a victory two weeks ago.
In early February, Lyon faced the French champions and over-team PSG, the Parisians were still undefeated in the domestic league. Lyon, unbeaten in five previous games, was a clear outsider despite third place in Ligue 1 – but could thwart the expectations: Thanks to a sparkling clean performance and the necessary little luck, the team of coach Genesio defeated the giants from the capital – 2: 1.
As a result, the team gained two more wins in the Cup against Guincamp. No particularly impressive ideas, which were also interrupted by a defeat against Nice, in which the team revealed their less strong sides: With relatively simple means the opponent kept the Lyonnais away from the own box, so that the competitor a single hit was sufficient for the victory (0: 1).
Bottom line is Lyon’s hope to prevail against Barca, therefore, especially on the win against PSG – and on the course of the group stage: In a very demanding division, the French put especially against Manchester City exclamation point: At home, the team won a point ( 2: 2), Lyon won even away (2-1) against the English champions.
Possible lineup Olympique Lyon
Coach Genesio should do a lot to rekindle the fighting spirit, attitude and self-confidence of those 90 minutes against Paris. He will probably trust the same starter as he did two weeks ago – as follows:
Lopes – Dubois, Marceloa, Denayer, Meny – Ndombelé, Aouar – B. Traoré, Fekir, Depay – Dembelé
The last three results: 1: 0 vs. Real Valladolid, 0: 0 vs. 0. Athletic Bilbao, 1: 1 Vs. real Madrid
Well, FC Barcelona is not presenting itself like a premium premier class favorite these days. Admittedly, the past opponents had it in itself – but it is precisely in top matches to shine, if you want to be internationally considered the primary title candidate. The Catalans have to fight back after a hitherto mixed February.
The league started against FC Valencia, one of Spain’s biggest teams, but not even at the international ranks. Nevertheless, Barca did immensely hard with the Andalusians and ultimately did not get past a 2-2 draw.
Then the world looks spellbound on the Camp Nou, El Clasico: Against the weakening Real Madrid, the team thought to bring themselves in the Cup semi-final first leg in a good starting position, but even this mission failed: despite higher scores stood at the end only one point – 1: 1.
As a result, the Catalans had with Athletic Bilbao one of the most unpleasant opponents of the league in front of the chest, and the Basts was indeed able to slow down the already almost hurried championship leader (54 points). Impeccable defensive work and a high level of motivation were enough on Matchday 23 to squeeze Barca off a zero number – only for the second time in the current season remained the Valverde team without their own goal.
After all, on the three disappointing draw in total, the FCB last week, a successful dress rehearsal follow, at least results technically. Against Real Valladolid Barca could once again rely on his best man: Lionel Messi made the point for the decision, but also missed from the point the chance to screw the result in the air (1: 0).
Bottom line Barca starts thus in dubious condition in the CL-K.o.-phase. Regardless of the results, the class of the team is still undisputed, but as I said: the reputation of the clear CL title candidate, the team must first work out again – for example, with clear wins against Lyon.
Possible line-up FC Barcelona
Valverde saved against Valladolid some established regulars – which could pay off now. The dress rehearsal has succeeded and the squad is freshly available. Injury concerns plague the team primarily in the defense, where Samuel Umtiti, substitute keeper Jasper Cilessen and Thomas Vermaelen fail. The following formation could eventually Valverde on Tuesday evening, finally:
Stegen – Sergi Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Jordi Alba – Sergio Busquets, Vidal, Rakitic – Messi, Suarez, Coutinho
Sure Bet: victory for FC Barcelona