Lyon and Bayern Munich meet at the Estádio José Alvalade this evening to contest the Champions League’s second semi-final in a clash that is every inch a David vs Goliath sporting scenario.
With the shockwaves from their 8-2 demolition job on Barcelona in the quarter-finals still being felt across the globe, Bayern Munich are understandably overwhelming favourites to breeze past Lyon and into the tournament’s final, where French champions PSG await.
Les Gones showed in their unexpected triumph over Manchester City in the last round that they are underdogs with bite however, and Lyon will be desperate to set up the first even all French final against the big-spending Parisians this weekend.
Ahead of what promises to be an enthralling night of action in Portugal, we’ve complied a unique #OOT selection for the game, and remember – you can read a much more detailed analysis of the semi-final in our Lyon vs Bayern Munich predictions.
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Lyon vs Bayern Munich #OOT
Bayern Munich to win
Bayern Munich are flirting with sporting perfection in 2020, and their historic 8-2 mauling of Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals last week helped the Bavarians to extend their incredible run of results since the turn of the year.
Hansi Flick’s unstoppable juggernaut have won 23 and drawn one of their 24 competitive fixtures since January 1st, picking up the Bundesliga title and DFB Pokal before their late-season surge to the Champions League final.
With world-class, highly consistent operators in every area, Bayern look as formidable a unit as we’ve seen in club football over the past decade, and against a talented, but inexperienced Lyon outfit, the German giants should prevail.
Both teams to score
While Bayern Munich are virtually untouchable in terms of results, there is enough of a pattern in the defensive performances and statistics to suggest a consolation goal might be on offer for Lyon this week.
The Bavarians managed to keep a clean sheet in just three of their last 10 fixtures in all competitions, and Manuel Neuer was beaten three times in total in Bayern’s last two Champions League tussles against Barcelona and Chelsea.
Lyon meanwhile, notched at least once in eight of their nine Champions League assignments this season, and their pace in attack should ensure that they create counter-punching opportunities against a Munich team that like to commit numbers forward.
Keeping Hansi Flick’s free-scoring team out at the other end should prove next to impossible however. Bayern are averaging an eye-watering 3.3 goals per game in 2020 and should plunder enough in the final third to maintain their average.
Serge Gnabry to score anytime
With a career best 21 goals in all competitions this season, Serge Gnabry has emerged as one of Bayern’s most potent secondary attacking threats behind leading marksman Robert Lewandowski in 2019/20.
Gabry in fact, needs to just one more Champions League goal to move up to second in the scoring charts behind his aforementioned Bayern teammate, and we’re backing the 25-year-old to net his 8th goal of the tournamant against Lyon.
The ex-Arsenal winger made a habit of punishing English teams on the continent this term, though the German international got in on the act against Barcelona in the last round, bringing his recent Champions League haul up to three goals in as many games.
Gnabry is priced generously to make his mark in the semi-final against Lyon and his penchant for notching in the competition makes him work backing.
Marcelo to be Booked
Experienced Lyon defender Marcelo had kept himself largely out of trouble with officials for the vast majority of the 2019/20 season, but when the fixtures cranked up in intensity towards the campaign’s climax against tougher opponents, the 33-year-old started to tackle his way into difficulty.
The Brazilian was shown yellow cards in the both Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue semi-finals for Lyon against Nice and Lille respectively, and the seasoned campaigner was also cautioned in Les Gones’ Champions League Last 16 first leg win against Juventus, as well as their quarter-final victory against Manchester City.
In total, Marcelo was shown yellow three times in seven Champions League starts this term, and we think the veteran will struggle to cope with the quality and cleverness of Bayern’s attacking play this week.