Argentinian striker continues recovery in Barcelona after knee surgery
Manchester City vs Lyon
Competition: UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final
Date: 8.00pm, Saturday 15th August, 2020
Venue: Estádio José Alvalade, Lisbon
Referee: Danny Makkelie Assistants: M Diks, H Steegstra Fourth Official: T Sidiropoulos
Odds: City 1/4, Draw 11/2, Lyon 11/1. You can also bet in-play with 888 Sport live betting.
TV: BT Sport
Manager: Pep Guardiola
Squad (from): Bravo, Carson, Ederson, Cancelo, Fernandinho, Garcia, Laporte, Mendy, Otamendi, Stones, Walker, Zinchenko, De Bruyne, Foden, Gundogan, Mahrez, Rodri, B Silva, D Silva, Sterling, Jesus
Form guide: WLWWW
Manager: Rudi Garcia
Squad (from): Lopes, Tatarusanu, Racioppi, Anderson, Denayer, Marcelo, Kone, Marcal, Dubois, Rafael, Tete, Mendes, Aouar, Guimares, Adelaide, Caqueret, Lucas, Cherki, Depay, Cornet, Traore, Soumare, Ekambi, Dembele, Kadewere
Form guide: WWLLL
City will be without leading scorer Sergio Aguero once again as they face Lyon in the last eight of the Champions League. The Argentinian striker has not recovered from injury, and is in Barcelona recupering after surgery on the knee meniscus problem he suffered in June. City had included him in their squad for the finals tournament, but it looks unlikely that he will play any part even if the Blues progress to the semi-finals.
“Sergio is still in Barcelona. If he was to come here, he would have to do a test,” Pep Guardiola revealed at Friday's press conference.
“He is still in Barcelona making progress with his recovery.”
Guardiola said he was "incredibly proud" of the players his team has prepeared for the clash against Lyon:
“I think it’s an important moment in our careers. I would prefer to be at home, but this is a special situation. It is comfortable, it is nice to be here. Hopefully we can do a good game and stay a few more days in this lovely country.
“After lockdown they have been incredibly focused. We accepted the deal to help our club go to the semi-final. The format is what it is. We adapted to the new protocol.
“Now we prepare for Lyon. Tomorrow is the time to be ourselves. I want to see my team be who they are, do everything with their soul and their minds and after that the football will dictate whether we deserve it or not.”
“I would like to tell you what is going to happen tomorrow, but I don’t know. But I am incredibly proud with the way we have behaved the last two or three weeks,” the boss asserted.
The "sudden death" knockout format of this year's competition, as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, has presented Guardiola with a new challenge and City's manager believes that it leaves little margin for error.
“Anything can happen. It’s a different competition. It’s a knockout competition. It’s a final at every stage. We are ready to do our best performance to go through,”
“The pressure is always there, we try to do our best like the other teams. We saw how tight it was in the last two quarter-finals, tomorrow will not be an exception.
"We saw Lyon’s last games against PSG and Juventus. We know them quite well. They are incredibly organised and so aggressive. They are so fast up front, with quality in the wing backs.
"They are a top team. It’s the quarter finals - we cannot expect anything else. It is not going to be easy.
“It’s a final so it’s one game. We’ll try to avoid mistakes so they can’t punish us. The pressure is always there to do our best.
“In a knockout game anything can happen. It’s difficult to beat the big teams over two games, but in one game anything can happen.”
Lyon have no new injury concerns after Jason Denayer and Maxwel Cornet recovered from knocks, and manager Rudi Garcia expects to have a fully fit squad to select from:
"We hope to remove the injury doubts on Jason Denayer and Maxwel Cornet. Kenny Tete had an issue but I hope to have a complete squad tomorrow. We will take stock tonight, after the final training session."
Lyon beat City in the group stages of the competition in 2018, and Garcia believes that will give his side confidence ahead of tonight's tie:
"It helps us first and foremost from a mental perspective. We've already done it and it will be possible in a one-off game when everything is very different. It was wonderful what they did back then but this is a different tie, a knockout match ."
"I think the victory against Juventus needs to give us greater confidence. Of course, we do have greater desire – you get greater appetite once you begin eating. Manchester City are naturally favourites but the start of the Champions League quarter-finals has shown potentially the odds can be overturned. Based on the first two matches the outsiders might be able to overturn the odds."
"We have to make sure we get quality service into our strikers and make sure we are dangerous in the final third. We know we won't necessarily win a possession battle against Manchester City – it is in their DNA to hog possession – but we need to use it as best we can and win it back as best we can. We mustn't let their team play and individual talent cause us problems, but they’re a fearful side."
City drew their last game against Lyon 2-2, courtesy of goals from Aymeric Laporte and Sergio Aguero. Overall City have won neither of the two games played against Lyon, with 1 draws and 1 defeat.
Predicted City line-up (4-3-3) : Ederson, Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Foden, Sterling, Jesus
Predicted Lyon line-up (3-5-2): Lopes, Denayer, Marcelo, Mrcal, Cormet, Guimares, Dubois, Caqueret, Aouar, Dembele, Depay
Score prediction: City 2 Lyon 1