Manchester City will aim to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2016 as they take on Lyon tonight at Lisbon’s Estadio Jose Alvalade.
Having completed a 4-2 aggregate victory over Real Madrid in their delayed round of 16 tie last week, Pep Guardiola’s side now face into a do-or-die single-leg clash against a Lyon side who have troubled them before, winning at the Etihad Stadium last season and holding City to a draw in France.
Sergio Aguero remains the only notable injury absentee, although Benjamin Mendy is available again, having served his suspension last Friday (as per WhoScored).
Our predicted Manchester City line-up for tonight’s clash shows two changes from the team that started last week’s win over Real Madrid, along with a reshuffle in attack:
First-choice goalkeeper Ederson is a guaranteed starter between the sticks, while the centre-back partnership of Aymeric Laporte and Fernandinho is likely to be retained after limiting Real Madrid to only four shots on target last week.
Kyle Walker also seems to have Guardiola’s trust at right-back, although there could be a change on the other side now that Mendy is available. Joao Cancelo switched from his usual right-back role to the left flank last week but, with the Frenchman a more natural fit for that role, he seems likely to come back into the team.
Rodri looks set to reprise his role at the base of the midfield, while the creative mastery of Kevin De Bruyne makes him a near-certain starter. With City needing a positive result on the night, though, having been able to afford a draw last week, Ilkay Gundogan may drop out for the more attack-minded David Silva, who could (but hopefully won’t) make his final appearance for the club tonight as his farewell tour continues.
Guardiola could opt for the same three personnel in attack, albeit in a different composition from last Friday. The manager sprung a surprise by deploying Phil Foden as a false nine against Real Madrid and could move him back to the left flank, a role with which he is more familiar, although his much-lauded performance a week ago should see him keep his place in the starting line-up.
Do you think Phil Foden will again start in a 'false nine' role against Lyon?
Gabriel Jesus began on the left wing last week but he could swap with Foden and go to centre-forward to give City a more conventional focal point of attack, with the in-form Raheem Sterling set to continue on the right flank. His goal against Zinedine Zidane’s men was his 11th since the football season resumed in mid-June, so the England winger is likely to get the nod on the right ahead of Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez, who have 21 between them for the season.
Guardiola’s options are plentiful; it’s just a matter of him identifying the line-up that he feels is best-placed to get the job done on the night, now that there are no second chances in this revamped Champions League format.
Man City fans, is this the line-up that you expect to see against Lyon tonight? What changes do you anticipate from last week? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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