Manchester City vs. Olympique Lyonnais Best Bets & Predictions
Last Time Out:
Manchester City beat Real Madrid 2-1; Olympique Lyonnais lost 2-1 to Juventus.
The sides drew 2-2 on November 27, 2018 at Parc Olympique Lyonnais.
About the Matchup:
The pressure is on for Manchester City, which has been knocked out in the quarterfinals two years in a row and has what might be its best chance to actually lift the trophy, given how many of the big-name sides have already packed up and gone home. The semifinal will likely be City's toughest test, but to get there, the Sky Blues have to find a way past a Lyonnais side that suffered through a down year but is playing with nothing to lose.
Nobody expected Les Gones to make it past Juventus, but Lyonnais did exactly that by finding the critical away goal they needed to get by the Italian champions and put an end to Cristiano Ronaldo's run in the tournament. With one hurdle already in the rearview mirror, can Lyonnais find a way to claim another famous victory and stop City's run in the quarterfinals for the third year in a row?
Scouting Manchester City:
There's one thing that Manchester City has to do to truly be considered one of the bluebloods of Europe: win the Champions League. City is a relatively new power in the soccer world, as the Sky Blues had never even qualified for the Champions League before 2011 but are now one of the game's most feared sides.
When you have the likes of Raheem Sterling up top and Kevin de Bruyne creating chances, it's easy to become a truly feared team. If that wasn't enough, what Manchester City did to its final seven opponents in the Premier League was truly frightening. Over those last matches, City outscored its opponents by a margin of 25-2, and while some of those wins came against the likes of relegated Watford and Norwich City, there was also a 4-0 beatdown of Liverpool in that stretch.
In short, this is a loaded side capable of putting up big numbers against just about any opponent but has no problem controlling the tempo when the situation calls for it. If nothing else, City won't lack for motivation, as the last thing in the world the Sky Blues want is to fall short in the quarters yet again.
Scouting Olympique Lyonnais:
To get a result here, Lyon will have to continue to get quality play out of Memphis Depay, who has been the big-game guy for Lyon throughout the Champions League. Depay has scored six of Lyon's nine goals in the competition, including the critical penalty against Juventus. That gave Olympique the away goal it needed to get past the Italian champions.
Ideally, Lyon would also get a strong performance out of Moussa Dembele, but he's disappeared in the competition to date. Dembele was the main man for Olympique during the French season by scoring 16 goals, but he hasn't found the net even once in eight matches in the Champions League, leaving Depay to handle the scoring.
The biggest question for Lyon is how fit it's going to be compared to Manchester City. Fitness wasn't a factor against Juventus, but Lyon was also playing with a lead and knew that one goal would all but seal the win for them. That doesn't exist this time, and Lyon is now facing a side that has been playing competitive matches since June. Conversely, the French canceled their season, so Lyon has played just one competitive game in the past five months.
- Get more details: Manchester City vs. Olympique Lyonnais Match-up Stats
Dan's Score Prediction:
City just has too much in the way of offense for Lyon to really stand a chance. With Depay as the only real threat for Lyon, I can't see City having too many problems putting up a solid number here. Given the teams' respective forms, I've got to take City to win 4-0 at a +1050 payout.
Dan's Best Bets
I'd be crazy to bet against Manchester City here, and I'm not going to do it. But I'm also not going to lay the juice with City, as that price is ridiculous. Instead, I'll back a significant number and take City to win and over 3.5 goals, which pays out at +150. Unless Lyon chooses to park the bus, it's difficult to see how they can possibly stop City. Lyon's defense has been relatively stout this season, so the under is a bit tempting, but City has proven adept at opening up any defense, including the likes of Liverpool. Once the first goal comes, there's no goal difference to worry about, which should open up Lyon.
I'd also throw a gamble on City to win both halves of the match at +140. This might be tough to hit, as it essentially divides the game into two 45-minute matches, but I think that City finds the first goal early and is then able to take advantage of Lyon's desperation. I think they can open up their opponent and outscore Lyon in both halves to earn the payout.