Manchester City v Lyon Saturday Champions League Quarter Finals Analysis.
Lyon finished seventh in Ligue 1, 28 points behind PSG, who had a game in hand. And that was after only two thirds of the season had been played.
For them to get past Juventus on away goals was a minor miracle, and evidence of just how shambolic the Italian champions have been this season, but it’s extremely difficult to see how it could pull off another miracle against City – even if they did shock them at the Etihad Stadium in the group stage last season.
City have a glass jaw. They have deficiencies at the heart of their defence. They are vulnerable to the counter-attack and it may be that Memphis Depay can hurt them with his direct running – the former United forward is happily recovered from the cruciate injury that would have kept him out of a quarter-final in March – but the issue is rather at the other end. After five months without football, Lyon have played just two competitive games and in both of them they have essentially sat deep and looked to cling on – in losing on penalties against PSG in the Coupe de la Ligue final after a 0-0 draw and in losing 2-1 at Juve to win on away goals.
Their approach will presumably be similar against City, but City are a rather more cohesive and fluid attacking side than either even if they are perhaps not quite so ruthless as they might be. Lyon conceded less than a goal a game in the league and haven’t let in more than two in Champions League defeats against Benfica, Zenit and Juve this season, but it’s still hard to believe they will be able to hold out. Rudi Garcia’s only previous two meetings with Guardiola, when Roma met Bayern in 2014-15 ended in 2-0 and 7-1 defeats.
Prediction: Comfortable City win.