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Champions League, Round of 16, second leg: Juventus vs Lyon – Preview, Team News and Line-ups

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Champions League: Juventus vs Lyon
Paulo Dybala has been the driving force for Juve this season (Picture Source: Twitter)

Juventus face a resurgent Lyon side in the Champions League, having lost the first leg by a slender margin. The Dutch star Memphis Depay missed out on what was a feisty affair between these two sides in the first leg. The on-loan striker from Villareal, Ekambi had failed to make use of his two opportunities to take the lead against the Old Lady. Houssem Aouar had a five-star showing in midfield and also created the crucial solitary goal that separates these two sides at the moment. He dictated midfield with great ease, distributed the passes as if he were playing in his backyard and also exhibited excellent vision in executing those cross-field passes.

Juventus were caught napping several times throughout the first half, with Gorgio Chiellini uncharacteristically presenting Ekambi with a clear strike on goal. Mistake after mistake, helped Lyon build composure and confidence in their play thus allowing them to ask questions against Sarri’s side. Rudi Garcia’s teams are known for how well drilled his sides; both offensively and defensively. It allows them to maintain shape in almost any situation on/off the ball for his midfielders to get on the ball.

Juventus’s first-half showing was so poor that it needed Cristiano Ronaldo to spur his team on while heading into the tunnel after the first half. Second Half presented Argentine ace; Paulo Dybala with a few half chances. Juventus grew into the game too late as Gonzalo Higuain missed a tight sitter at the very death. Lyon held on fantastically to carry a lead to Turin.

One-nil doesn’t mean anything in any football match, so it most certainly does not assure any results here too. Juventus haven’t looked their comfortable best this season in what has been a mixed bag of emotions for Maurizio Sarri. They have 21 points from winning positions in this Serie A term, the most by any team. Makes you wonder if this was the same team that has been winning the Scudetto for several years now.

Also read: Barca vs Napoli – Preview, Team News and Line-ups

Lyon went into this tie as the underdogs but now hold a lead heading to Italy. They have been phenomenal considering that they did miss Depay’s firepower up top. With their 5 man midfield formation, this team is capable of attacking with thunderous pace and sitting back in numbers and defending which wouldn’t be welcome news for Juventus. The Biaconeri have struggled for goals against teams that sit back and defend. Now is the time when Mr. Champions League, Cristiano Ronaldo announces himself on the big stage. This tie is proving to be a real nail-biter.

Team News

Juventus

Sarri will still be without the services of Mattia De Sciglio, and Douglas Costa has also been ruled out through the thigh injury he picked up against Udinese. Forward Paulo Dybala, who will be hopeful of shaking off a thigh complaint in time to lead the line for the Old Lady.

Predicted Lineup:

Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, De Ligt, Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic, Rabiot; Bernardeschi, Dybala, Ronaldo

Lyon

As for Lyon, left-back Youssouf Kone remains on the sidelines, while first-leg hero Tousart has now joined up with his teammates at Hertha Berlin. Marcelo and Kenny Tete are both doubts for Garcia’s men, but Memphis Depay is expected feature after missing the first leg through injury, meaning that Karl Toko Ekambi could drop down to the bench.

Predicted Lineup:

Lopes; Dubois, Denayer, Andersen, Marcal; Aouar, Mendes; Cornet, Reine-Adelaide, Depay; Dembele

Stat Corner

Juventus are unbeaten in their two home European games against Lyon (W1 D1), winning 2-1 in the Europa League in April 2014 and drawing 1-1 in the Champions League in November 2016.

Lyon have lost four of their last five away UEFA European matches in Italy (D1 L4) since winning 2-1 at Fiorentina in the Champions League in November 2008.

Juventus have lost two of their last three home Champions League knockout games (W1), losing to Real Madrid in April 2018 and Ajax in April 2019.

In the knockout stage, Lyon is winless in their last 10 away games (D2 L8), failing to score in six of those games. Their last away knockout win was in February 2006 against PSV.

After losing the first leg of a Champions League knockout match, Juventus have progressed from five of their 11 previous ties, including the most recent occasion it occurred against Atlético Madrid in the Last 16 last season (0-2 first leg, 3-0 second leg).

Lyon have lost in the second leg of nine of their last 10 Champions League knockout ties (D1 L9), scoring just five goals and conceding 25 across those 10 games.

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 18 goals in his last 12 home Champions League knockout matches, with this run including four hat-tricks, including one in the second leg of last season’s Last 16 match with Atlético Madrid.

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