Lyon will face Bayern Munich in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League and try to make another surprise after they eliminated Manchester City in the quarter-finals.
It is not a surprise to see Bayern Munich in the semi-finals of Champions League. However, Lyon are not a club that is not a regular participant during this latter stage of the competition.
Both Rudi Garcia and Hansi Flick deserve to be praised for their achievements which were not expected from them. Flick was actually given the as an interim manager but his he impressed the Bayern bosses and his interim appointment was made permanent by the club.
On the other hand, no one expected Rudi Garcia to lead this Lyon team to a Champions League semi-final. It is not just a fluke that he has managed to do so, Lyon’s quarter-final victory over Manchester City was due to Garcia’s tactical brilliance as well. Hansi Flick will be definitely aware of that and despite big wins over Chelsea and Barca, he won’t allow his team to get carried away.
Hansi Flick has all of his players fit and there are no suspensions as well. Benjamin Pavard is back for the Bavarians after missing games against Chelsea and Barca due to injury. However, considering that it is a Champions League semi-final Flick is likely to start Joshua Kimmich as a right back. The German has previously played as a right-back and Pavard may lack match fitness.
Also, the duo of Thiago and Leon Goretzka have been excellent for Bayern in the midfield. Ivan Perisic started the game against Barca and he could start the game against Lyon as well. The Croatian is a skilful player and in the later parts of the game, Coman could come on and use his pace to trouble Lyon’s defence.
The French side have no injury or suspension worries ahead of the game. Lyon’s game plan will be to take advantage of a 3 vs 2 in the midfield. Rudi Garcia’s side play 3- 5-2 in which Houssem Aouar, Bruno Guimarães and Maxence Caqueret operate in the midfield. For Bayern Thiago and Goretzka play in the midfield while Muller plays further upfront.
However, if Muller starts to drop deep then it might open up spaces for Bayern and Lyon will find it difficult especially if Bayern start to knock the ball around fast. Thus stopping Muller will be key for Lyon. Also even if they have a 3 vs 2 advantage in the midfield Thiago might still be able to navigate the ball for the Bavarians given his technical qualities. While Les Gones will sit back and defend and hit the Germans on the counter.
Old rivalry to renew
Bayern Munich and Lyon faced each other in the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2010 as well. The Germans managed to win the semi-final on two legs with an aggregate score of 4-0. Since then Bayern continued to do well in the Champions League while have struggled at the club.
The French side genuinely have a chance because this season’s new format has shown that the performances of previous games are not of much relevance. City performed so well against Real Madrid but they were eliminated by Lyon, while Atletico performed so well against Liverpool but they were knocked out by Leipzig.
Lyon vs Bayern Munich Predicted Line Up
Lyon: Lopes; Marcelo, Denayer, Marcal; Dubois, Caqueret, Guimaraes, Aouar, Cornet; Ekambi, Memphis
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Kimmich, Boateng, Alaba, Davies; Goretzka, Thiago; Gnabry, Muller,Perisic; Lewandowski