Lyon vs Juventus: Predictions, team news and injury updates
Juventus face Lyon in the Champions League last-16 tie, after regaining the top spot in Serie A. On the other hand, Lyon are undefeated in their last two league games.
The two European giants head into the contest with the Italian giants and are currently on the seventh spot in Ligue 1.
Juventus back at the summit has been one of the best news for the clubs recently and keeping Cristiano Ronaldo’s contribution away is just not possible.
The Portuguese captain scored his 11th goal in his 11th consecutive Serie A game and equaled a record that was currently held by Fabio Quagliarella and Gabriel Batistuta.
Coincidently, the record came in his 1000th appearance in professional football, which is another feat in a way. After this Ronaldo will be looking to win another European crown with a third different club.
Although Juventus are most probably the favorites, Maurizio Sarri wants to see more from his team due to some inconsistent performances in the final third.
Another plus point for the Old Lady is, the appearance of the Welshman, Aaron Ramsey on the score sheet, who netted his third goal of the campaign.
As far as Lyon are concerned, Memphis Depay will be one of the biggest losses for the team. Depay featuring in the game could have given some hopes to the team but in his absence, getting over the line will be very difficult but still it is not impossible.
Rudi Garcia’s team is capable of defeating any team on their day, especially at Groupama Stadium despite going through one of their worst seasons in the league this season.
Garcia hopes that their loss against PSG could prove to be the turning point because since then, his team has conceded only one goal in the last three matches.
Since earning a place in the UCL knockout stages this season, Lyon have faced defeat in only three games out of 16. This is something that can used as a huge positive when playing against the top contenders for the UCL this season.
Giorgio Chiellini is expected to start after making a huge impact in the game, returning just after a long-term injury. Miralem Pjanic is a doubt for the game. Thus, Rodrigo Bentancur could be given ample play-time, being the most defensive-minded out of the midfield three. Gonzalo Higuain is also a doubt.
There will be a definite comparison possible between the selection of Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot and looking at the injury record of the former, the latter one stands more chance of being picked up.
In Lyon’s case, Garcia used three at the back against Metz and that shows Garcia has plenty of choices to make before the game.
A back four is expected, which may leave Marcelo to settle a place among the replacements. Bertrand Traore will expect to be selected over Maxwell Cornet after firing his first goal of the campaign this weekend.
1. Moussa Dembele v Giorgio Chiellini
Moussa Dembele is not having a great season and yet has managed 20 goals in all competitions out of which 14 are Ligue 1 goals. Moussa Dembele will be against Girogio Chiellini, who has just returned from a long-term injury.
Dembele’s physicality can cause trouble to the defender but Chiellini, who has managed to be a part of very few games this season is still very lethal, even on the days when he is not at his best.
2. Joachim Andersen v Cristiano Ronaldo
The Danish centre-back will be on his toes throughout the game, as he will be up against the best player in the Champions League, Cristiano Ronaldo.
It will be a robust physical battle between the two as Cristiano Ronaldo will be eyeing the UCL top scorer claim to get back to him as he is the all-time leading goalscorer of the tournament and has already mentioned that he will do everything to win yet another Ballon d’Or this season.
Lyon have won two, lost two and drawn two in their last six games in all competitions while Juventus have won three, lost two and drawn one out of their last six.
Lyon’s Champions League has been the same while Juventus are unbeaten in their last six UCL encounters, winning five and sharing points in one.
Juventus look to dominate the games and will keep a similar approach in this game as well. Lyon will most probably try to play on the counter. However, despite their record in the France’s top-flight, Lyon will push Juventus but the extra quality of the Old Lady will get them through.
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