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Can Lyon Cause Champions League Upset?

Last updated: August 19, 2020 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Wednesday, 20:00
Venue: Estadio Jose Alvalade
Coverage: BT Sport 1
Home Form: WWLLW
Away Form: WWWWW
Last Meeting: Lyon 0 – 3 Bayern
Competition: UEFA Champions League

The second of the all-French – German semi-finals sees Lyon and Bayern Munich battle for a spot in the final to play PSG. Bayern is the world’s best team on form, while Lyon knocked out the favourites to secure a semi-final spot. It’s a David v Goliath battle, join us as we preview the game.

The premature end to the Ligue 1 amid the coronavirus pandemic means Lyon failed to qualify for next season’s European competition for the first time since 1997. Their wildest dreams could come true if they qualify for next year’s tournament by winning the Champions League, but they face a daunting next challenge in the shape of Bayern Munich.

This year’s competition sees for the first time since 1991 that a team from England, Spain, or Italy will not compete in the last four. Rudi Garcia deserves a lot of credit for building a fantastic team spirit that has put them just ninety minutes away from the Champions League final. Their 3-5-2 system perfectly suits the player’s potential. They are very solid at the back, crowd the midfield and are fast on the counter-attack: they have a wonderful technical leader in Houssem Aouar (40 appearances with nine goals and ten assists). Captain Memphis Depay is their top scorer in the competition with six goals; he is the heart and soul of the side reaching heights that few thought he would reach after his high-profile barren spell when at Manchester United.

Lyon has been the king slayers, knocking out the competition favourites Juventus and Manchester City and could complete the holy trinity by knocking out red-hot favourites Bayern Munich. Seventh from a league nicknamed “farmers league” but knocked out the fanciest and wealthiest team in the best league in the world. Maxwell Cornet opened the scoring in the first half in Lyon’s quarter-final with City but the Premier League’s best player, Kevin De Bruyne, equalised only for cameo star Moussa Dembele to score twice late in the game to send Lyon into the final four.

Bayern has risen back to the realm of Europe thumping Barcelona 8 -2 in the most humiliating game of the Champions League. Not even the perceived Greatest Of All Time, Lionel Messi, could save his side from the claws of the Bundesliga champions. The trophy is theirs to lose as they haven’t triumphed in Europe since the 2012-13 season.

A team that sparkles in every aspect with Alphonse Davies being their breakthrough star with lightning pace and precision down the left side. The return of Thomas Muller, after being sidelined by Niko Kovac, under Hans Flick’s introduction the manager’s faith has been repaid with the player contributing 21 assists. Serge Gnabry is second in the assists table with 13. Ten Bayern Munich players have double figures in goal involvement, which makes them a collectively dangerous side as goals can come from anywhere.

Bayern Munich has been on a scintillating run of 28 games unbeaten. Hear this: of the 28 games, they have won 27, scoring 94 goals which averages 3.4 goals per match, conceding just 22 which equates to 0.8 goals conceded per match, and keeping 12 clean sheets. Beaten semi-finalists RB Leipzig, are the only side to stop them from winning when they drew 0 – 0. In the Champions League, they set a record for the first team to win nine games of the campaign scoring 39 goals which is a new club record (4.3 goals per game) the best numbers in Europe’s top-flight leagues.

Robert Lewandoski will be the most disappointed player that the Ballon d’Or was cancelled this year, the Polish international is the Champions League top scorer (14 goals) and the lead assist (5 assists). This signals he had a direct hand in 19 European goals this season, one every 37 minutes.

Bayern Munich has a very experienced squad with Alaba, Boateng, Muller, and Neuer all Champions League winners while at Bayern. They are however vulnerable at the back as Boateng doesn’t have the legs anymore. At the same time, Alaba is not a natural central midfielder and was caught out several times against Barcelona, even scoring an own goal. Even though they were ruthless against Barcelona, they were fortunate not to have been two-nil down by the time they scored their first.


Team News

Lyon finished 7th in the French league and will miss next season competition if they don’t win, they have so far just won 4 of the nine games in the Champions League.

The French outfit has had a tough campaign facing Italy Serie A Champions, Juventus, and the Champions League favourites Man City to book a place with Bundesliga champions Bayern.

Bayern is on a 28 game unbeaten run and has won all their nine Champions League games.

Robert Lewandoski tally of 14 goals and five assists means he is involved in a goal after every 37 minutes.


Expected Line-Ups:

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Lyon (3-4-2-1): Lopes, Denayer, Marcelo, Marcal, Dubois, Caquaret, Guimaraes, Aouar, Cornet, Ekambi, Depay
Subs: Tatarusanu, Diomande, Andersen, Rafael, Dembele, Traore, Mendes, Lucas, Tete, Bard, Cherki
Injured:
Doubtful:
Not available:
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Bayern (4-2-3-1): Neuer, Kimmich, Boateng, Alaba, Davies, Goretzka, Alcantara, Gnabry, Muller, Perisic, Lewandoski
Subs: Ulreich, Hoffmann, Odriozola, Sule, Martinez, Coutinho, Cuisance, Hernandez, Tolisso, Coman, Zirkzee, Musiala
Injured: Pavard
Doubtful:
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
Lyon This Season Bayern This Season
7th League Position 1st
4 (2) Wins (away) 9 (5)
3 – 1 v Man City Biggest Win 8 – 2 v Barcelona
2 (0) Draws (away)
0 – 2 v Zenit Biggest Defeat
Depay (6) Top Goal Scorer Lewandoski (14)
Y20, R0 Discipline Y9, R0
1 Failures to Score 0
22% Clean Sheets 44%
67% Both Teams to Score Games 56%
56% Over 2.5 Goals 89%
44% Under 2.5 Goals 11%
  • The two sides have played eight games, Bayern winning four against Lyon 2 wins and two draws between them.
  • Bayern has won all their nine games scoring 39 goals averaging 4.33 goals per match against Lyon average of 1.56 goals per match.
  • Lyon has scored just 14 goals this campaign that’s just Lewandoski’s tally in the CL this season, Bayern have ten players with double digits on goals involvement so far.
  • Quite a matchup between two sides so good at their style of play, the Germans a dominant force while the French are a counter-attacking machine that has upset two big boys already.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
27/04/2010 UEFA Lyon 0 – 3 Bayern Olic 26’
21/04/2010 UEFA Bayern 1 – 0 Lyon Robben 69’
10/12/2008 UEFA Lyon 0 – 3 Bayern Klose 11’
30/09/2008 UEFA Bayern 1 – 0 Lyon Demichelis 25’
05/11/2003 UEFA Bayern 1 – 0 Lyon Makaay 15’

Conclusion & Betting Tips

The odds on Lyon even reaching this stage would have been astronomical, and a few accas would have been destroyed by Lyon this year. They are a surprise package that keeps surprising. Few gave them a chance against Juventus, and even fewer would have predicted them knocking out Manchester City, but here we are!

Not that they will need any further incentive, but Lyon needs to win this tournament if they are to play Champions League football next season.

This current Bayern team is just incredible and will surely be remembered as one of the best club sides in the modern era. 31-year old Robert Lewandowski is a machine, 55 goals in 46 games this season is just insane, and he could yet add more with potentially two games left.

The scary thing for Lyon is that the German champions are far from a one-man team and have quality all over the pitch. The defence can be leaky, but that’s not such a problem if you can score eight at the other end!

We try to be balanced with our tips, but in all honesty, we don’t see anything here but a rather routine win for the Germans. Lyon is a hardworking, battling team and will make life difficult and frustrate Bayern. Despite this, the constant pressure will wear down Lyon, and we expect a 3-1 win for Bayern. This scoreline is priced @10/1 with 888sport.