Weblog: The football punter

City can gain revenge on Lyon in thrilling contest

Group F
BT Sport 3, 8pm Tuesday

Lyon are the only team to have beaten Manchester City this season but Pep Guardiola's outfit should dish out revenge in emphatic fashion when the sides meet in France.

That success for Lyon on matchday one was deserved thanks to an excellent first-half display from the visitors, who caught City cold with early strikes from Maxwel Cornet and Nabil Fekir, although at the time the Premier League champions were still finding their post-World Cup groove.

Guardiola was suspended for that game so his assistant Mikel Arteta was in charge and City's extremely high standards dipped.

That week Guardiola had bemoaned a poor league performance against Fulham and dragged the players in for extra training on the Sunday. That match had followed average performances in a 2-1 win over Newcastle and a draw with Wolves.

The Champions League loss seemed to be the perfect wake-up call because since the Lyon game, City have won 12 of their last 13 matches and the only draw came in a goalless stalemate at Liverpool when Riyad Mahrez missed a penalty.

City have scored 42 goals in those 13 fixtures and the eight games since the Anfield draw have been won by an aggregate margin of 29-2. The two goals conceded were penalties.

Guardiola was rightly unhappy with some aspects of Saturday's display at West Ham, when the 4-0 scoreline flattered City, although clearly his forward-thinking players are in great form with Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and David Silva all on target. 

Sane has six goals in his last seven matches for club and country but is not even a certain starter given the depth of talent available.

Lyon, who have conceded eight goals in their four Champions League matches, are a pleasure to watch with boss Bruno Genesio almost forced to go on the attack because his squad is stocked with offensive power.

Genesio's men have won four of their last five Ligue 1 matches, although Friday's 1-0 derby success over St-Etienne was rare in the fact that they kept a clean sheet for only the second time in ten games.

OL have recently reverted to a three-man defence but it remains to be seen whether it will bring long-term results.

Lyon leaked five times at Paris St-Germain last month to further highlight their lack of defensive discipline, but they showed at the Etihad that they are a slick counter-attacking unit.

World Cup winner Fekir's influence is on the wane with the inconsistent Memphis Depay putting in some sizzling shows for Lyon and Holland to become their main man in attack.

Depay, Fekir and midfield pair Houssem Aouar and Tanguy Ndombele are a sight to behold when in full flow, however, City should still prove too good.

Manchester City to win & over 2.5 goals

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