On paper at least, Manchester City look to be one of the strongest teams in the Champions League each season, and yet so far they have never really gotten close to lifting that famous trophy.
A strong seeding and an ‘easy’ group draw has seen Pep Guardiola’s men as the favourites to win the title in 2018/19, but is such confidence justified?
Olympique Lyonnais, or Lyon to their friends, will be looking to put an early dent in those aspirations when they meet in the Group F opener on September 19.
At first sight, you’ve already picked the winner here, right? But where’s the value, we’ll try to find it so go on and read our Man City vs Lyon predictions below.
|Statistics for last 10 matches ||Man City / Lyon |
|Number of wins: ||7 / 4 |
|Number of draws: ||1 / 2 |
|Average scored goals per match: ||2.1 / 1.2 |
|Average conceded goals per match: ||0.8 / 1.1 |
|Failure to score matches: ||1 / 4 |
|Team form (last 5 matches): ||W W D W W / W L W L D |
1. Odds Preview
The French side have long been considered a ‘feeder club’, i.e. one that develops excellent young talents and then sells them on. Mariano Diaz, Willem Geubbels, Mouctar Diakhaby, Sergi Darder and Myziane Maolida – all aged 25 and under – have left the club this summer.
The problem with that business model is that it is very difficult to produce a consistent winning team when the exit door is revolving, and a lack of success both domestically and on the continent for Lyon should come as no surprise to anyone.
They still have some quality in Memphis Depay and Nabil Fekir, mind you, and they may just fancy their chances of springing an upset against a Manchester City side without their injured talisman, Kevin de Bruyne.
So who will take the spoils on Wednesday?
The bookmakers are siding with the proven Champions League quality of Manchester City, rather than the youthful exuberance of Lyon.
How the 1X2 Manchester City v Lyon odds pans out? The hosts are as short as 1.19 to win this match, with Lyon available at a lengthy 17.00. The draw can be backed at 8.30.
2. Man City vs Lyon Prediction
So just how have Manchester City been performing without De Bruyne?
Well, they are still winning matches, by and large, but clearly their play is a bit more disjointed without the presence of the Belgian. Bernardo Silva is playing in his attacking midfield role, with Riyad Mahrez on the right flank and Raheem Sterling on the left.
Guardiola has also gone with Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus as a twin strikeforce, but with question marks about the attitude of Leroy Sane it’s obvious that the absence of De Bruyne is hurting Manchester City at the moment.
Let’s not be confused though: Lyon do not have the quality to pose them major problems here.
They aren’t French football’s best team – PSG take that accolade by some margin, and we have seen how the Parisians have struggled to contend for European football’s most prestigious prize despite being the richest club on the planet.
Simply, French teams aren’t used to playing elite-level opposition week in, week out, and it shows in their continental adventures.
Lyon were despatched in the last 16 of the Europa League by CSKA Moscow last term, and that was after dropping points in the group stage to such luminaries as Atalanta and Apollon Limassol.
The French outfit have some intriguing attacking players but little else, and Manchester City with a -1 handicap here is a comfy bet at 1.51. Maybe even -2 would still be a quite safe bet.
Manchester City and Lyon kick off their Champions League 2018/19 campaign on September 19. Will Guardiola’s men be met by staunch French resistance? Don't forget to check out more Man City vs Lyon betting tips from our community or go read our other Champions League review: Real Madrid vs AS Roma predictions.