Home Sports UEFA Champions League Manchester City vs Lyon match preview UEFA Champions League

Manchester City vs Lyon match preview UEFA Champions League

The striker was substituted early in the second half of Saturday’s Premier League win over Fulham with an ankle injury but trained on Tuesday. Sergio Aguero is likely to be fit for Manchester City’s Champions League group-stage opener against Lyon.

Defender Vincent Kompany, who was rested at the weekend, also took part in training. Left-back Benjamin Mendy was absent from the session as he continues to recover from a knee problem.

Defender Vincent Kompany, who was rested at the weekend, also took part in training. Left-back Benjamin Mendy was absent from the session as he continues to recover from a knee problem.

France international Mendy, 24, who missed the majority of last season after suffering a cruciate ligament injury, did not play in City’s 3-0 home win over Fulham at the weekend. Fabian Delph is likely to continue at left-back.

Guardiola must watch from the stands

City boss Pep Guardiola must serve a touchline ban during Wednesday’s Group F opener against French side Lyon as a result of his sending-off in last season’s quarter-final defeat against Liverpool.

Assistant coach Mikel Arteta will direct the team from the dugout and he spoke confidently when addressing the media on Tuesday.

“For me we have the best players in the world and I look at our players as if they are the best,” he said. “I wouldn’t change the players for any others. They are absolutely fantastic. The hunger is this group is incredible.”

City are third in the Premier League having won four and drawn one of the opening five games of the defence of the title they won in record-breaking fashion last season.

They made it as far as the last eight of the Champions League last campaign and have never gone beyond the semi-finals but have been installed as favourites to lift the trophy for the first time by English bookmakers in 2018-19.

Fekir, Depay and Dembele await

Mephis Depay

Lyon earned their place in the Champions League by finishing third in Ligue 1 last season behind Paris St-Germain and Monaco.

However, they have had a mixed start to the new campaign, winning two, losing two and drawing once in their opening five fixtures to sit seventh in the table, already eight points behind leaders PSG.

Les Gones are a regular presence in Europe’s premier club competition, having played in the group stages in three of the last four seasons, although they have never met City before.

Midfielder Nabil Fekir, who was a member of France’s World Cup-winning squad this summer and was strongly linked with a move to Liverpool, is their prize asset.

British football fans will also be familiar with forwards Memphis Depay, Moussa Dembele and Bertrand Traore.

Depay played for Manchester United from 2015 to 2017, Dembele joined Lyon from Celtic in a £19.7m move in August, while Traore began his senior career with Chelsea before leaving Stamford Bridge in 2017.

This will be the first competitive encounter between City and Lyon. So far, no French club has ever won away against City in European competition (D1 L2).

City yet to have a goalless draw in the Champions League

  • Lyon have only won one of their eight Champions League games against English opposition (D4 L3), it was against Liverpool at Anfield in October 2009.
  • This is Manchester City’s eighth consecutive Champions League participation – the longest current run among English clubs, reaching the knockout stages in each of their last five campaigns.
  • None of Manchester City’s 42 Champions League group games have ended goalless.
  • This is Lyon’s 15th Champions League appearance, more than any other French club. They reached the knockout stages of the competition every season from 2003/04 to 2011/12 but haven’t managed it ever since, failing to exit the group stages in 2015/16 and 2016/17.
  • Lyon have won only three of their last 13 Champions League games (W3 D3 L7).
  • Lyon’s last five Champions League games have only produced five goals (2 for, 3 against).
  • Pep Guardiola has reached the semi-finals in seven of his nine seasons as manager in the Champions League but hasn’t taken his team to the final since 2011. He will be looking to win a third trophy in the competition and equal Zinedine Zidane, Carlo Ancelotti and Bob Paisley’s record.
  • Raheem Sterling has scored eight goals and delivered six assists in his last 15 Champions League starts for Manchester City.
  • Lyon striker Moussa Dembele scored three goals in his first four Champions League games but has since found the net only once in six games, all with Celtic.

‘City should progress easily’

Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis at Gracenote:

“As Manchester City could not draw the top rated teams in pot two or the top rated team in pot three during the Champions League draw last month, their chance of progress was unlikely to change much from the 91% pre-draw.

“Competing in a group containing Shakhtar Donetsk (ranked 15th on the Euro Club Index), Lyon (23rd) and Hoffenheim (40th), sixth-ranked City should progress relatively easily to the knockout phase.”

Source: BBC News