Manchester City kickstarts their Champions League Campaign at the Etihad against Lyon who are back in the competition after missing out last season.
Manchester City are set to take on Lyon at the Etihad and begin their Champions League campaign as Pep Guardiola’s side look to perform better than their quarter-final finish from last season when they were ousted by eventual finalists Liverpool. Manchester City will look to begin their campaign on a high note, meaning nothing could satisfy Pep Guardiola other than a win over the Ligue 1 side.
But Manchester City will be without their manager Pep Guardiola for this tie as the Catalan is serving a touchline ban after being sent off during City’s quarterfinal clash against Liverpool last season. Following that, Guardiola has handed over matchday duties to assistant Mikel Arteta who would preside over team affairs for their competition opener.
Their opponents for the evening, Lyon are back in Champions League action after failing to qualify for the competition last season. But in the Ligue 1 side, Manchester City are facing one of the most prolific sides in recent seasons, a team that has scored in all but six of their last 52 games in all competitions.
Lyon too would like to get a grip on their group and would want to start by getting a result against City at the Etihad.
Team News & Tactics
Manchester City will have Pep Guardiola missing due to his touchline ban, meaning Mikel Arteta will be tasked with the job of selecting the side and managing the team against Lyon. But City have some injury problems to deal with ahead of their Champions League opener, with the likes of Sergio Aguero and Benjamin Mendy significant doubts.
Aguero and Mendy, however, will be thoroughly assessed before the game to decide on their participation, but it all looks bleak. The Argentine’s absence could mean a lone striker’s role for Gabriel Jesus who would be keen to make his mark. Mendy’s absence, on the other hand, will give another run to Fabian Delph at Left-back who did wonderfully in that position for most parts during last season.
Claudio Bravo and Kevin De Bruyne, however, are long-term absentees and will undoubtedly miss the Lyon game, so would right-back Danilo. The Brazilian has not played so far this season after being sidelined with an injury, and Eliquim Mangala, who is seemingly out of favour for City will also not feature.
Probable Starting-XI (4-4-3) – Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Delph; Fernandinho, Gundogan, D.Silva; Sterling, Jesus, Mahrez
Bruno Genesio will be playing his best possible side against Manchester City despite some injury concerns. Fernando Marcal is a significant doubt and might not feature for Les Gones after suffering a calf injury. Lyon will also be without striker Amine Gouri who ruptured his cruciate ligaments recently.
But the former Celtic striker, Moussa Dembele could make a first Champions League appearance for his new side after making his Ligue 1 debut last weekend. There could also be a start for Ferland Mendy who scored last weekend against Le Havre, while a familiar face in former Manchester United right-back Rafael Da Silva will even start.
Former City defender, Jason Denayer is also pencilled for a start against his old side as will English forward Bertrand Traore. Nabil Fekir will be Lyon’s star man in a powerful if not star-studded line up against English Champions Manchester City.
Probable Starting-XI (4-3-3) – Lopes; Rafael, Marcelo, Denayer, Mendy; Tousart, Ndombele, Aouar; Traore, Fekir, Dembele
- Manchester City and Lyon will be meeting for the very first time.
- Lyon have only won one of the last eight Champions League games against English opposition.
- In Manchester City’s 42 group games to date, none have been goalless.
- Lyon have not been into the Champions League knock out stages since the 2011/12 season.
- Lyon striker scored three goals in his first four Champions League games but has only one in the last six.
Player to Watch
After finally getting his wish to leave Leicester City this summer and signing for Manchester City in a club record deal, Riyad Mahrez has been showing only glimpses of his former self to the City faithful so far. Some corners have pointed out that the fierce competition for places at City would do more harm to Mahrez than good something the Algerian is intent on proving wrong.
Mahrez is yet to open his account for Manchester City, and after not starting against Fulham on the weekend, the Algerian will be looking to take his chance with both hands when he plays against Lyon. Mahrez will be looking to lock down his place in the lineup, and a strong showing against the French side would do him a world of good, without which he knows it would be difficult to start in Pep Guardiola’s side.
Manchester City 2-1 Lyon
Lyon are one of the most prolific scorers as a team in Europe, and they will not shy away from attacking a great Manchester City side. Meaning, there would be plenty of goals in this clash, but City have the quality of players that could oust this Lyon side. Despite the likes of Aguero likely to miss the clash, City have more firepower to attack and score against Lyon.
But this Lyon side have their strengths, and one of them is to surprise any top, and they certainly will be doing their best to exploit this City defence. But as our predictions go, City will be winners, if not comfortable ones.