12th of March 2019 Author: Johnny Karp
LaLiga champions Barcelona will be looking to secure their place in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals when they face Ligue 1 side Lyon at Camp Nou on Wednesday in the second leg of their last-sixteen tie. Lyon managed to grab a good result in the first leg, they held out for a goalless draw and that will force Barcelona to attack in Wednesday's match. The two sides had met at the same stage of this competition back in 2009 and Barcelona qualified with a 5-2 victory at Camp Nou after a 1-1 draw in France. In 2007 the two sides were in the same Champions League group and Barcelona won 3-0 at home before being held to a 2-2 draw in Lyon. Overall, Barcelona have won four of the six direct matches, while Lyon have never defeated the Catalan giants.
Barcelona are the obvious favourites for this clash, but they still have to be very careful because the first-leg result doesn't give them any guarantees. Last week they grabbed a 3-1 league victory over Rayo Vallecano, and Ivan Rakitic was the only first-team regular to be rested by head coach Ernesto Valverde. The Blaugrana are leading the LaLiga table with an advantage of seven points over Atletico Madrid, so they can't afford any distractions in that competition either. Ousmane Dembele and Thomas Vermaelen are injury doubts for the home side, while Rafinha is out for the remainder of the season.
Lyon are hoping to pull off the biggest upset of the week in the UEFA Champions League, but they are fully aware of the difficulty of the task. Last week they only managed to grab a 2-2 Ligue 1 draw at Strasbourg after having held a two-goal lead. Head coach Bruno Genesio decided to rest quite a few key players last week, including star wingers Nabil Fekir and Memphis Depay, so he is counting on them for the counter-attacks that they will try to stage against Barcelona. Amine Gouiri is injured for the away side, while Marcelo and Rafael are injury doubts.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen - Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba - Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal - Messi, Suarez, Coutinho
Lyon: Lopes - Dubois, Marcelo, Denayer, Mendy - NDombele, Aouar - Traore, Fekir, Depay - M. Dembele
My prediction: Barcelona to win 3-1, I am confident that Lyon will score at Camp Nou but Barca will eventually overpower them.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Barcelona win - 1.25
Draw - 7.00
Lyon win - 12.00
12th of March 2019
18th of February 2019
It probably doesn't been so convincing of a Barcelona performance as the final result shows cause 3 of their goals came quite late in the game and at 2-1 there's probably have been a few nervous Catalan fans at Camp Nou.
But you always have to fancy Barcelona chances of scoring a few goals and overcoming the French side with the striking power they have up-front so nothing so unexpected there really.
Now it's time for the real tests for them this season in the CL.
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