Out of form French side Lyon are in for a stern test to their abilities in the third game of the UEFA Champions League group stage as Ligue 1 heavyweights prepare to welcome red-hot Juventus on Tuesday night.
Make it or break it for Lyon
Bruno Genesio’s side are experiencing all sorts of problems lately which ultimately brought three defeats in the last four games, including the weekend’s 2-0 slump to surprising title contenders Nice. As for their European campaign, Lyon started their 14th group stage inclusion with a compelling 3-0 home win over Dinamo Zagreb, before being dealt a 1-0 blow at Sevilla. Having only returned from a three-year absence at the Europe’s elite stage, Lyon will be hoping to make an improvement and it appears that Juventus game might be their last chance to do so. With odds significantly stacked against them, Bruno Genesio’s men will do everything in their power to win against Italian opposition for the first time in last three occasions as they look to earn a vital win which will keep them in the competition. Alexandre Lacazette’s return to the fold will be a timely boost, the fans hope will be able to spur the team forward.
Maxwel Cornet has picked up a thigh injury that will keep him sidelines for up to three weeks. Clemon Grenier is yet to recover from his tibia injury, while Christpoh Jallet’s back injury has not allowed him a single minute in play this season. Mathieu Valbuena is out of the squad of course.
Having suffered a defeat to Serie A rivals Inter Milan earlier in September, only days after their Sevilla stalemate in the UEFA Champions League, Juventus embarked on a five-match winning run which was rounded off with the 2-1 triumph over Udinese at the weekend. Paulo Dybala’s brace has put Juventus five points ahead of second-placed AS Roma locking them on course for yet another Scudetto. The Old Lady boosted their title hopes with the latest win and will now head into the Champions League match with clear minds and motivation on the maximum in order to make one step closer to sealing their place in the knockout stages of the Europe’s elite competition. Turin-based club have undergone a major overhaul this summer losing one of their key players in the midfield – Paul Pogba – but Max Allegri has once again found the winning formula which keeps reaping rewards for Bianconeri. Allegri’s hopes of landing the sixth win on the trot will be put to a serious test due to a long list of unavailable players though.
Marko Pjaca, Daniele Rugani, Rolando Mandragora and Kwadwo Asamoah are all ruled out of the game at Lyon. The biggest problem for Juventus however will be the absence of Giorgio Chiellini, who picked up a thigh injury over the weekend.
The Bianconeri have won three and drawn one of their last four encounters against Ligue 1 side, beating Lyon in both legs of their 2013-14 UEFA Europa League quarter-final clash which makes them firm favourites to emerge victorious once again. Visitors are in great form which we expect will be extended past the midweek game.
Top pick: Juventus 1.7 (7/10) @Ladbrokes
Alternative pick 1: Juventus/Juventus 2.75 (7/4) @Coral
Alternative pick 2: Both teams to score – no 1.90 (9/10) @BetVictor