Projected Manchester City starting XI: Ederson; Cancelo, Laporte, Fernandinho, Walker; Gundogan, Rodri, De Bruyne; Sterling, Jesus, Foden
Projected Lyon starting XI: Lopes; Denayer, Marcelo, Marçal; Dubois, Caqueret, Guimarães, Aouar, Cornet; Depay, Dembélé
After seeing its Champions League hopes dashed in the quarterfinals for 3 straight years, Manchester City looks like the favored team against a Lyon side that finished 7th in Ligue 1.
The match between Manchester City and Olympique Lyon kicks off on Saturday, August 15 (Sunday, August 16 at 3 am, Philippine time) at the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon with the winner facing Bayern Munich in the semifinals.
Catch the pregame show live an hour before the match with special guest Richard Dunne and Shaun Wright-Phillips.
City comes off the heels of a huge 2-1 victory over Real Madrid in the Round of 16, with the Pep Guardiola-led side capitalizing on blunders by Real defender Raphael Varane.
The English side won the two-leg tie, 4-2, to book a match against a Lyon side that managed to get through against the Cristiano Ronaldo-led Juventus side, 2-2 on away goals.
The City side never really threatened Liverpool for the Premier League title. The team finished second in the league with 81 points, 18 behind the champions.
Kevin De Bruyne remains arguably the best midfielder in the world; his passing remains top-notch as he tallied 23 assists in all competitions. The Belgian midfielder led the highest scoring attack (102 goals) in the Premier League having created the most scoring chances in the league with 136.
On the receiving end of most De Bruyne passes is speedster Raheem Sterling, who finished with 31 goals across all competitions.
The 23-year-old Gabriel Jesus, meanwhile, looks ready to take over the mantle from the 32-year-old Sergio Aguero, who is set to miss the tie due to a knee injury. Jesus matched Aguero’s 23-goal production for the season.
Lyon must do its best to go deeper in the Champions League, seeing as winning the competition will be its only ticket to European football next season.
The French side endured a rough patch in the league early in the season that, in the end, was too much to overcome. From August to October 2019, they went through a two-month stretch without winning a game.
It’s been 10 years since Lyon last made it to the semifinals of the CL. With Memphis Depay and Moussa Dembélé leading the attack, Lyon is in no way a pushover despite being an underdog out of the remaining teams in the competition.
However, City’s attacking prowess and relentless pressing should prove too much for a Lyon side that hasn’t achieved any semblance of consistency this season. – Jedd Pagaduan/Rappler.com