FC Barcelona – Olympique Lyonnais: Preview
Lyon’s adventure in the Champions League this season is still in everyone’s minds.
Bruno Genesio’s men surprised Manchester City with a win (1-2) at the Etihad Stadium followed by a draw (2-2) in Lyon during the Group Stage.
The 0-0 draw with FC Barcelona in the first leg of this round of 16 was also surprising. The French side showed us once again, that it is not afraid of facing prestigious sides in European competitions.
Tomorrow’s second leg at the Camp Nou puts the “Gones” as they are called in France in an outsider position. However, the public would certainly not be surprised if Nabil Fekir and his teammates made it a difficult night for Ernesto Valverde’s men.
Lyon would not be stepping into the unknown if they came to qualify tomorrow. The French side played in the semi-finals of the Champions League against Bayern Munich during the 2009-2010 season (lost 4-0 on aggregate). Alongside this performance, Lyon have reached the quarter-finals three times.
Olympique Lyonnais have shown a lack of consistency all season in the Ligue 1 and the 2-2 draw against Strasbourg this weekend is a perfect example. Genesio’s men were 2-0 up after 52 minutes played but Strasbourg managed to make their way back with two goals scored by Ajorque.
Bruno Genesio stated in his press conference that his team will have to take risks if they want to hope for the qualification.
Nabil Fekir said: “Barcelona are favourites.
“But in the Champions League we can be outstanding, some teams have done it recently.
“We are aware it will be a difficult match but everyone in the team is ready to give 100%.”
The trajectory of Barcelona’s season in La Liga has been slightly more positive than tomorrow’s opponents’. The Catalans are top of the league with 63 points and prepared tomorrow’s fixture in the best possible way by beating Rayo-Vallecano 3-1 at home.
Looking at the squads, the French Side will see former Manchester United wing back Rafael Da Silva return as he was still injured for the first leg. Team captain Nabil Fekir will also be available after he was suspended for the first leg. His teammate Martin Terrier said:
“When Nabil is on the field, we know what to expect, he’s a great player who gives us reassurance.
“He has already shown his importance on the European scene.”
Ernesto Valverde definitely agrees with Terrier.
“Fekir is the most important player in their team from an attacking point of view.
“He can change the match to himself.”
Brazilian centre-half Marcelo is doubtful have he suffered an injury during the meeting with Strasbourg this weekend.
Barcelona will have to do without Rafinha who is still injured (knee). Dembele and Vermalen are still doubtful.