Group favourites Juventus clash with the French outfit in France in the first of a home and home
French club Olimpique Lyonnais has had a mediocre season so far in Ligue 1 sitting in 8th place. In the Champions League they are right behind joint leaders Juventus and Sevilla, looking to pick up some points against the Italian champions on Tuesday night. The French outfit have been dealing with some injuries this season and have played well at home, in fact winning their last 3 matches at the Stade de Lyon. The Ligue 1 runners-up have lost their last three games against Italian opponents.
Their record in 18 such meetings is W7 D4 L7 (W3 D3 L3 at home; W4 D1 L4 away). This has included two losses to Juventus in both legs in the 2013-14 Europa League quarterfinals in their most recent encounter. Leonardo Bonucci scored with five minutes remaining to give Antonio Conte’s Juventus an important away win. In the return, Samuel Umtiti’s own goal gave Juve a 2-1 home win against Rémi Garde’s Lyon after Jimmy Briand had equalised Andrea Pirlo’s early strike.
Lyon began their 14th group stage campaign with a 3-0 home win against GNK Dinamo Zagreb before a 1-0 defeat at Sevilla FC. One more point (4) will be an improvement on last season’s record when, returning to the UEFA Champions League after a three-year absence, Lyon lost all three home games, scoring only once. Their only victory came on matchday six, 2-0 at Valencia CF, with their place as Group H’s bottom side already confirmed. Lyon star forward Alexandre Lacazette is back from injury and will be relied upon heavily for offensive production.
Possible Lineup (3-5-2)
Lopes – Mammana, N’Koulou, Yanga-Mbiwa – Rybus, Tolisso, Gonalons, Darder, Rafael – Fekir, Lacazette
Juventus will be looking to increase their lead at the top of the group, at the very least keep up with Sevilla who will be playing minnows Dinamo Zagreb. The Bianconeri have won three and drawn one of the last four encounters against Ligue 1 sides. Their 24 matches with French opponents have ended W14 D5 L5 (W4 D3 L5 in France; W10 D2 L0 at home).They began the campaign with a 0-0 draw at home to Sevilla and then equalled their biggest ever away win in the UEFA Champions League, winning 4-0 at Dinamo Zagreb.
The 2014/15 runners-up won at Manchester City FC in last season’s group stage, their other away matches producing a draw at VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach and a defeat at Sevilla. Juve finished runners-up in Group D behind City. Their 2015-16 Champions League season came to an end in the round of 16. The two-time European champions drew 2-2 at home to FC Bayern München, succumbing 4-2 away in extra time.
Bianconeri striker Paulo Dybala has caught fire scoring in the last CL match against Dinamo Zagreb and is fresh off a brace over the weekend against Udinese. Gonzalo Higuain also has 7 goals in all competitions this season and is the second piece of the world’s greatest striker pairing.
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The Bianconeri have won their last five matches in all competitions, scoring 14 goals and letting in only one in the process. They had not conceded in 402 minutes prior to Jakub Jankto’s goal for Udinese Calcio in Saturday’s 2-1 win for the Bianconeri. Juventus historically have not lit up teams away from home so expect Juventus to win but with few goals in this match. A draw would not be out of the question either. Side note, Miralem Pjanic will be facing his old squad having last played in Lyon for 3 seasons prior to joining Roma. Juventus will be without Giorgio Chiellini and Kwadwo Asamoah, and Claudio Marchisio for this match.
Possible Lineup (3-5-2)
Buffon – Benatia, Bonucci, Barzagli – Sandro, Khedira, Lemina, Pjanic, Alves – Dybala, Higuaín
Prediction: Lyon-0 Juventus- 1 (Higuain)