Manchester City continue their quest to win the UEFA Champions League (UCL) for the first time when they take on Lyon at the Estadio Jose Alvalade, Portugal tonight.
The semi-final clash which will be played over just one leg after the European body adjusted the format due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will see the winner play German champions Bayern Munich in next week’s semi-finals.
Lyon will draw inspiration from eliminating Juventus in the round of 16 while the Cityzens will be full of confidence after knocking out Real Madrid.
Man City are without scoring sensation Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus is expected to lead the attack. Benjamin Mendy returns from suspension. bGundogan, Rodrigo and Kevin De Bruyne are expected to start.
For Lyon, Moussa Dembele was left out for the second leg against Juve but look set to return. The French team will look to Memphis Depay for inspiration on the pitch and he has scored in six successive Champions League games so far. Former City defender Jason Denayer, who spent four years at the Etihad Stadium without getting a look-in, will start in what is likely to be a back three for the French side.
Last time Manchester City and Lyon met was in the group stages of the same competition last season and the Ligue 1 side came out on top, winning 2-1 away at the Etihad before drawing 2-2 in France.
Manchester City XI: Ederson; Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodrigo, Gundogan; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling
Lyon XI: Lopes; Denayer, Marcelo, Marcal; Dubois, Caqueret, Guimaraes, Aouar, Cornet; Dembele, Depay
Josep Guardiola, Man. City manager: “We know them quite well – incredibly well organised, so tight, so aggressive on frontal balls, so fast, people up front, the quality of wing-backs, good set-piece takers. They are a top team. We must be strong in our mind, knowing the game will be over when it’s over and not before, and try to do our plan. In these games the mentality, the heart and the spirit leads to the other things. I think the players are ready to do it.”
Rudi Garcia, Lyon coach: “I think the victory against Juventus needs to give us greater confidence. Of course, we do have greater desire – you get greater appetite once you begin eating, so to speak. Manchester City are naturally favourites for this tie but the start of the Champions League quarter-finals has shown potentially the odds can be overturned. We hope that comes tomorrow night – based on the first two matches the outsiders might be able to overturn the odds.”
Referee: Danny Makkelie. Assistant referees: Mario Diks, Hessel Steegstra. Fourth official: Tasos Sidiropoulos. Video Assistant Referee: Jochem Kamphuis. Assistant VAR: Kevin Blom.
Prediction: Man City 3-2 Lyon