The final quarter-final match of this year’s Champions League goes down Saturday afternoon, with the winners facing a must-see matchup against an in-form Bayern Munich side.
Manchester City and Lyon will do battle, and after seeing the beatdown Bayern put on Barcelona yesterday, both clubs will surely realize they’ll need to be at their best to progress into the Finals.
But, one step at a time and for both sides this is a crucial match to the future of their franchise. For Man City, it certainly wasn’t the year Pep Guardiola and his team of talented players were hoping for. They’ve missed out on many trophies, and now all of their focus remains on the Champions League title. A lot of pressure, but this is a group that can handle it.
For Lyon, nobody expected them to be here, but when will they ever receive another chance like this at European glory? After stifling Juventus in the earlier round, Lyon enter a rested side and in fine-form at the moment. Their defensive prowess has the ability to frustrate many skilled teams, and yes, that includes an immensely talented Manchester City side.
Continue reading on beneath the posted odds for this pivotal final game of the quarter-finals. The winner gets Bayern Munich mid-week, and with the pressure emanating from the Man City camp, it should make this match must-see TV. Enjoy the mid-day soccer!
Manchester City vs. Lyon Betting Odds:
Man City (-460)
Over 3 (-145)
Under 3 (+125)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Manchester City vs. Lyon Pick:
Though it was rumoured that Man City’s top scorer Sergio Aguero would be fit in time for this crucial quarter-final match, unfortunately time was not on his side for the striker. As a result, the Argentinean will miss out vs. Lyon, and look for Guardiola to go with a 4-3-3 formation on Saturday afternoon.
City have been prolific countless times within this set-up, and don’t expect Saturday to be all that different. Gabriel Jesus will spearhead the centre of the attack, with the speedy and tricky Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling flanking him. Together those three represent one of the more formidable attacking threats in all of Europe, and Lyon will certainly have their hands full.
For Lyon, they’ll have to monitor their structure and be disciplined to not get caught out over the full 90 minutes. Can they truly hold off City without much attacking presence? Well that remains to be seen, but the French side are more than capable.
Against Juventus, Lyon was formidable on the counter – and their pressing abilities frustrated the likes of Ronaldo and Co. Expect limited time and space on the ball for City’s top talents, and if they do get chances up front – Memphis Depay is an elite striker who can finish on the Man City back-line.
Playing just three at the back, Lyon will look to clog up the midfield and really apply pressure to City’s skilled passers and creators – especially de Bruyne. That said, Lyon haven’t faced a side as talented as City all season – PSG included, and if they concede early their gameplan will have to adapt.
The form in which Man City are in right now is impressive. They’re motivated and hungry for any sort of glory this season, and it’s this coveted Champions League title that is currently eluding this talented squad. Expect City to come out firing, securing a goal within the first 30 minutes, and thus forcing the match to open up.
Lyon will have no choice but to respond with offensive aggression, and that could lead to even more chances – for both sides. Ultimately, Lyon is good enough to score, but they aren’t good enough to outscore Manchester City. I’m banking on early goals leading to offense later in this match, and City should edge out a 3-1 victory in this quarter-final tie, thus setting up a tantalizing affair with Bayern Munich in the semis. Enjoy!
Pick: Manchester City 3-1