Lyon vs Barcelona Betting Picks and Championship League Wagering Odds
When Lyon and Barcelona clash on Tuesday in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 matchups, it will be just the first meeting between these two soccer clubs since 2009. Barcelona holds the head to head advantage, winning four of the six Champions League fixture and will likely add to that total once again this year. Barcelona topped Group B with 14 points (W4, D2) while turning in a +9-goal differential. Lyon were very fortunate to progress out of the group stage as they only won one of their six games, while drawing the remaining five fixtures.
As a football club, Lyon has never won a European title, but the seven-time Ligue 1 champions have been runner ups in the 2009-10 Champions League competition as well as the 2016-17 edition of the Europa League. To say they are in above their element in this matchup with the almighty Barcelona football club would be an understatement.
As for Real Madrid, what can be said that hasn't already been said about the five-time Champions League winner? Yes, we understand that the nucleolus of the team is a full year older, but they are running rampant in La Liga and Leo Messi is playing like the Messi we've grown accustom too. It helps that the rest of the team is once again loaded with super stars and so the drop off or lack of quality/chemistry has not affected the La Liga leaders.
As it currently stands, Barcelona is -700 favorites to advance to the quarter-finals. If you believe that Barcelona have what it takes to win their sixth Champions League title, you can get a piece of them at +500 which is second favorite behind just Manchester City. If you love backing high priced underdogs, Lyon is the team you want. They are +450 to qualify and +20000 to reach the summit of the European competition.
First Leg: Tuesday February 19 @ 3:00 pm
Second Leg: Wednesday March 13 @ 4:00 pm
It's going to be a long and often frustrating 180 minutes for the French squad, but at the very least they can take solace in the fact that they are gracing the Round of 16 for the first time in more than seven years.
Lyon come into this fixture with just one loss over their last nine fixtures. This run includes an impressive home win over league leaders Paris Saint Germain 2-1 on their home soil. During this run, they've shown the ability to be able to score as they have notched at least two goals in six of the nine games, while holding their opponent to one goal or less eight times. They are going to need to turn in two outstanding defensive performances against Barcelona if they are to have any chance at pulling off the upset.
From a lineup perspective, Lyon will be without their captain, Nabil Fekir for the first leg of this tie. The 25-year old Fekir will be missing through suspension and the absence of his 11 goals in all competitions will be sorely missed. Another key issue arises in midfield as Tanguy Ndombele is struggling for match fitness due to an ankle injury, while defender Jason Denayer was substituted early in Lyon's last match against Guingamp. The goal scoring responsibilities like likely fall on the shoulders of Manchester United flop, Memphis Depay. Depay has scored six times this season for Lyon while contributing with 13 assists.
Probable Starting XI: Lopes; Marcal, Marcelo, Denayer; Mendy, Aouar, Ndombele, Tete; Depay, Dembele, Cornet
The Spanish Giants are looking at a very likely La Liga and Copa Del Rey double this year but would likely trade both of those trophies away if it meant hoisting the coveted Champions League award. Barcelona come into this game in fine form as they are unbeaten over their last six fixtures. However, three of the last four games have been draws and the goal scoring has seemed to have dried up.
The Catalans don't seem too concerned however as they have progressed past the Round of 16 in 12 of their last 14 attempts. It should be noted that Barcelona have won just seven of their last 19 Champions League away fixtures, so if the stars are not aligning for Barcelona, it could make the return leg at the Camp Nou even more important.
From a lineup perspective, the Spanish outfit seem to have issues on the back end as Thomas Vermaelen is unavailable after picking up a calf problem in their latest game against Valladolid. Furthermore, Samuel Umtiti is also a doubt to feature in the first leg as he tries to battle back from a knee injury. In attack, the likes of Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo and Clement Lenglet will get back in the lineup after being rested in the team's last games. And lastly, the ever present, Leo Messi will be in the lineup looking to add to his historic Champions League goal scoring total.
Probable Starting XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, Vidal, Rakitic; Dembele, L Suarez, Messi
Lyon vs Barcelona Predictions
Lyon will take solace in the fact that they've already beaten a world class team (PSG) on their home soil over the last month. Should Lyon pull off an upset in leg one, it will still take a world class effort for them to get a result at the Camp Nou, which is why we just don't see a path for progression for Lyon. I'd also rather not lay -700 with Barcelona to advance, so I'd look to side with the 'over' in both the first and second leg. You may have to a pay a little bit of a premium to grab over 2.5 (-188 in the first leg) but I see plenty of goals being scored in both games.
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