Lyon’s one last hope for silverware as well as qualifying for continental competition next season was gone after losing in Coupe de La Ligue. Considering their final position on the standings, which is only on seventh, there is no other way for them to stay in European elite than winning this year’s Champions league. Such is very unlikely though not impossible yet. The first step to do for such long way road to the final would be wrapping up what has been done in the round of 16 this week while they are travelling to Turin to take on Juventus. The host certainly has the ambition to overturn their first leg defeat.
The teams’ previous matches
Juventus did not play their best starting IX in the last game of Serie A for the sake of their UCL preparation. Without Ronaldo and Dybala on the pitch, they were beaten by Roma in spite of taking the lead first by Gonzalo Higuain’s goal. Then, it was Giallorossi’s turn to respond. First, it was Niko Kalinic’s header to equalise. Then, Diego Perotti, who provided an assist earlier, netted a brace. Such result was unexpectedly spoiling the host’s party.
Les Gones, on the other hand, could keep their clean sheet, but unfortunately also failed to score one too while facing off PSG in the Coupe de La Ligue final last weekend. They were thumped 5-6 by Le Parisien on penalties. Anthony Lopes who performed well during 120 minute, did not succeed to keep it up during the shootout.
Possible game plan
Lyon might be deploying the same or similar formation as they did at the first leg and against PSG last weekend. They managed to frustrate Ronaldo and Neymar when they began to approach the defense line. Rudi Garcia’s 3-4-2-1 can be transformed to 3-5-2 when necessary and is likely to face off Maurizio Sarri’s 4-3-1-2 considering their failure to score at the first leg, in which CR7 and Dybala were pushed wide so that they had no choice but count on long balls to each other instead of cutting inside with through balls in the penalty box. However, Juventus could maximise the set pieces scenario to score as there will be quite a lot of faults in Lyon’s defence line.
Possible Line-up and Missing players
Juventus (4-3-1-2) – Wojceich Szczesny; Matthjis de Ligt, Leonardo Bonucci, Alex Sandro, Juan Cuadrado; Miralem Pjanic, Rodrigo Bentarcur, Adrien Rabiot; Aaron Ramsey; Cristiano Ronaldo, Federico Bernadeschi.
Missing players: Paulo Dybala, Douglas Costa, Mattia de Scoglio.
Lyon (3-4-2-1) – Anthony Lopes; Joachim Andersen, Jason Denayer, Marcal; Leo Dubois, Rafael, Houssam Aourar, Bruno Guimares; Thiago Mendes, Memphis Depay; Moussa Dembele.
Missing players: Kenny Tete, Youssouf Kone, Marcelo
Juventus vs Lyon Prediction
Playing offensive is not an option for Memphis Depay and Co if they aim for one place in quarterfinal. They could employ the layered defence wall, which could eventually keep Cristiano Ronaldo, Bernadeschi or Gonzalo Higuain, who might come off from the bench, at bay. Lyon could even attempt to score an away goal if possible by swift counter attack scenario as Udinese did while beating Sarri’s men last month. Such could make things easier for them.
There is no one-sided game in UCL, including this one. Juventus are surely priced to win higher at 1.45 whereas Les Gones are backed to win much lower at 7.55. The odds for a draw result are only at 4.60.