Manchester City and Lyon are meeting for the first time ever in European competition at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening. City will want to get their Champions League campaign off to a good start, and build some early momentum. After dominating domestically in recent seasons, City’s trophy cabinet is still bare when it comes to Europe’s top trophy. Lyon will be hoping to replicate their most recent success on English soil, when they overcame Everton in last season’s Europa League group stages, winning 2-1 on Merseyside and 3-0 in France. City offer a steeper challenge than the Toffees, though.
Manchester City vs Lyon Prediction: Man City 3-0 Lyon
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City warmed up for this game with a 3-0 home Premier League victory over Fulham at the weekend, and it would not be surprising to see them replicate that scoreline on Wednesday evening. When City find their groove at home, even the strongest sides find them difficult to deal with. The attacking power at City’s disposal is immense, and Lyon will struggle to cope with City’s forward line. Les Gones do have a decent record against English opposition, but City are a side with talent to burn, and we anticipate a convincing victory for the home side.
Our recommended tip: Aguero hat-trick
Our recommended tip for this game comes from BetVictor. They are offering tempting odds of 5/1 on Sergio Aguero netting three goals in the game. Those odds are surprisingly short for a player to score a hat-trick, a sign of just how highly the Argentine striker’s goal-scoring abilities are rated. This should be the kind of game Aguero relishes, playing against relatively modest opposition at home. If he is given enough opportunities, Aguero is one of football’s most natural goal scorers, and we expect him to run riot against the French outfit’s defence on Wednesday evening.
These two sides have never encountered each other in European competition on any previous occasion. City have played against French sides on five previous occasions in Europe, winning two, losing two and drawing one of those matches. Lyon have lost only one of their last six games against English opposition, home or away. They have won three and drawn two of those six matches. Their most recent success in European competition against an English side was in the Europa League last season, when they beat Everton in the group stages of the competition.
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Players to watch: Vincent Kompany & Nabil Fekir
While much of the focus on Manchester City is on their glamorous attacking players, it is also worth taking a closer look at their defensive options. Belgian centre back Vincent Kompany has been at the Eithad since 2008, and has been a central part of the club’s climb to massive success over the last decade. An inspirational captain as well as a great central defender, when Kompany plays well City tend to win.
Nabil Fekir played in six out of seven games at the World Cup finals in the summer in Russia. He came on as a substitute in each of those six games, which included an appearance in the final against Croatia, a game that France, of course, won. The attacking midfielder has been linked with moves to Premier League clubs in recent times, most notably Liverpool, and could well be playing his trade in England soon.