Lyon will look to pull off a third consecutive giantkilling when they take on Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday night (20:00 kick-off).
The French side have already claimed the scalps of both Juventus and Manchester City, with Rudi Garcia’s men outfoxing the Old Lady over two legs in the last-16 and netting two late goals against the Citizens in a 3-1 win to book their place in the penultimate round.
The Kids will be relishing the chance to butt heads with another European powerhouse in Bayern Munich, but after the Bavarians pulled off a resounding 8-2 win over Barcelona in the previous round, this will undoubtedly be their toughest challenge yet.
Under Hansi Flick, Bayern look unstoppable at the minute and he will be hoping to exorcise the ghosts of past Champions League semi-finals for the German club, with Bayern failing to progress in their last four appearances at this stage of the competition.
The other semi-final between PSG and RB Leipzig will be played out the night before on Tuesday, so both these sides will know who awaits them in the showpiece event later this month. But who will get there? In this season’s Champions League, it is anyone’s guess….
Lyon & Bayern Munich’s previous line-ups:
- Lyon (vs Man City): Lopes; Denayer, Mercelo, Marcal; Dubois, Caqueret, Guimaraes, Aouar, Cornet; Ekambi, Depay.
- Bayern Munich (vs Barcelona): Neuer; Kimmich, Boateng, Alaba, Davies; Thiago, Goretzka, Muller, Gnabry, Perisic; Lewandowski.
Both these sides have thus far made their way through this intense mini-tournament relatively unscathed. Lyon have a full-strength squad to choose from, while Benjamin Pavard remains the only notable absentee for Bayern, setting the stage for an epic clash of heavyweights.
Players to watch:
- Lyon: With Bayern Munich entering this contest off the back of an historic bombardment against Barca, Lyon will naturally have to keep things tight at the back and be wary of the threat their attacking opposition poses. But, they will also have to assert some authority in the middle of the park to break forward when they get the chance, and to ease the pressure on their backline. That task largely fell to Houssem Aouar against City, who worked tirelessly to procure the ball and keep things ticking over for the French club. His performance even led to eulogies from Kevin De Bruyne, who told RMC: “I don’t watch a lot of French football. But if I had to pick it one name, for me it would be Houssem Aouar. Today, he played a good game.” Garcia and Lyon fans will be hoping their academy jewel can produce similar heroics when he goes toe-to-toe with the likes of Leon Goretzka and Thiago.
- Bayern Munich: Players to watch? Take your pick from this sensational Bayern Munich squad. They have treated games against Spurs, Chelsea and Barcelona this season as playground duels, secondary school versus primary school. Robert Lewandowski has taken the No. 9 role to another level, Serge Gnabry has dispelled apprehensions about the departure of ‘Robbery’ and Thomas Muller has rediscovered his form of old. But, the standout man against Barca was arguably Alphonso Davies, the Canadian wing-back who made mincemeat of Nelson Semedo and provided Bayern with enough zest and flair on the flank to play out another 90-minute match. Lyon will look to keep things tight, and counter with waves of quick-thinking devastation, but in Davies, Flick has a player who can surge forward and track back without seeming to tire, offering excellent skill and technique in both thirds of the pitch.
Scoreline prediction: Lyon 0-2 Bayern Munich
Champions League 2019/20 recent form:
- Lyon: WLWDLW
- Bayern Munich: WWWWW