Champions League Second Leg Preview: Olympique Lyonnais vs. FC Bayern Munich

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Champions League Second Leg Preview: Olympique Lyonnais vs. FC Bayern Munich

Date: 27th April, 2010

Venue: Stade de Gerland, Lyon.

Let us rewind to the first leg. Franck Ribery and Jeremy Toulalan were both sent off on either side of the half. Bayern lost Danijel Pranjic for the second leg due to a yellow card he picked up during the game. The card was his third of the campaign. Bayern dominated and won 1-0 via another Arjen Robben thunder strike (which took a deflection off Thomas Muller). Lyon might consider themselves lucky to still be in this tie.

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Lyon did not have to play this weekend. Their Ligue 1 match was postponed till after the second leg to allow Les Gones to prepare for the second leg. Louis Van Gaal was not a happy man when this announcement was made, and very few can blame him. The French will thus be much fresher than Bayern.

The regulations are very strict in Germany where the DFB will not take any excuses as far as league matches are concerned. Bayern thus played Monchengladbach during the weekend. They drew 1-1 at Borussia Park. Marco Reus opened the scoring, while Miroslav Klose equalized late in the second half.

Bayern still have the lead at the top of the Bundesliga. However, due to Schalke's 1-0 victory over basement dwellers Hertha, Bayern's lead had been cut down to zero points and a superior goal difference.

Recent Results:

Lyon:

Bordeaux 2-2 Lyon

Lyon 1-1 Lille

Bordeaux 1-0 Lyon

Rennes 1-2 Lyon

Lyon 3-1 Bordeaux

Bayern:

Gladbach 1-1 Bayern

Bayern 1-0 Lyon

Bayern 7-0 Hanover

Leverkusen 1-1 Bayern

Man United 3-2 Bayern

 

Team News:

Lyon— Cris may not start the match due to a hip injury he picked up in Munich. He will definitely be in the matchday squad. Jeremey Toulalan is suspended due to the red card.

Probable Starting Line-up : Lloris- Revelliere, Cris, Boumsong, Cisokho, Delgado, Pjanic, Kallstrom, Makoun, Bastos- Lisandro

Bayern— Bayern face an uphill task considering the rising number of ill and injured players in the squad. Funnily enough, both Daniel Van Buten and Martin Demichelis were injured in the same match against Gladbach in the weekend. They both made the trip but might not start.

That leaves Holger Badstuber and Anatoliy Tymoschuk as centre-backs. Guess what? Tymoschuk was unable to make the trip to Lyon due to an illness. Miro Klose finally found some form against Gladbach. He made the trip, but is currently suffering from a cold. He did not train at the Gerland on Monday.

On a more positive note, Hamit Altintop trained with the team in Gerland and seems to be fit. Also, Mark Van Bommel and Holger Badstuber will both be available following their suspensions. Franck Ribery and Danijel Pranjic are both suspended.

Probable Starting Line-up : Butt- Lahm, Badstuber, Demichelis, Contento- Robben, Van Bommel, Schweinsteiger, Muller- Olic, Klose/Gomez.

 

Previous (Competitive) Results:

2009-2010 Champions League Semifinals:

Bayern 1-0 Lyon

2008-09 Champions League group stages:

Lyon 2-3 Bayern

Bayern 1-1 Lyon

2003-04 Champions League group stages:

Bayern 1-2 Lyon

Lyon 1-1 Bayern

 

A Few Quotes

This is what Mark Van Bommel and Bastian Schweinsteiger had to say about the match.

Mark Van Bommel:

"We always have respect for our opponents.We know Lyon didn't play well during the first game, and I'm sure they want a better performance. They play at home but it won't change anything for us before the game. We won 1-0 in the first game, so we have a little advantage. The whole team have to defend."

Schweinsteiger:

We really want to win this game and go though to the final. We have a small advantage, but we know it is not finished yet. We played last weekend and have some injured players. It was away but we can't say we are tired; there's a final at stake."

"The most important thing is not to concede goals. Lyon play well at home, but we are confident in our defenders. Bayern are not only Franck Ribéry or Arjen Robben. We are a team and we'll give everything against Lyon."

Prediction

I always have a tough time writing this part of the previews. Bayern are unpredictable, and Lyon proved to be as well in the first leg. Lyon haven't lost any of their first legs so far; they were however at home in all their first legs. Bordeaux did manage to score at the Gerland.

Looking at history, in 2001, Bayern were hammered at the Gerland 3-0. Ironically, they won the Champions League that year. A repeat of that scoreline will bundle Bayern out. Lyon have players who can trouble Hans Jorg-Butt even from the half-way line such as Kallstrom.

Bayern however, have been mentally very tough in this season's Champions League. Bayern are not looking good in terms of injuries. They have played without many important midfielders in this season's Champions League, but Ribery's absence cannot be overlooked. On the other hand, Robben's presence may outweigh Ribery's absence.

That being said, this is the first time that Bayern might have to play with a defence lacking both Van Buyten and Demichelis.

Bayern do have the advantage from the first leg. If Bayern score twice, the tie could be settled. Bayern have scored twice in all their away games in the knockout phases. Bayern are also different from Real Madrid in many ways. Their mental strength is very different than that of Madrid.

Real missed plenty of chances at the beginning of the game in the round of 16 at the Bernabeu. Bayern have a knack of missing simple opportunities. Will Bayern pay for their missed chances?

Bayern, in my opinion, will need the away-goal magician, a certain Arjen Robben to solve their problems again. And if he doesn't do it, Miro Klose or Mark Van Bommel will. Who knows?  Schweini might have a go as well. If Bayern are overconfident, they can book tickets to a wonderful final at the Bernabeu. They can cheer for Barcelona or Inter in the final.

If Bayern and Louis Van Gaal get it right, the story could be a different one.

This is a tough one to predict. All the odds are against Bayern. So what do you think?

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