Champions League

Will Juventus Manage To See Off Lyon?

The French side travel to Turin today to face Juventus. Lyon won the first leg 1-0, and the crucial clean sheet meant that Juventus have no away goal. Juventus have just completed their 9th title win in a row, and will be looking to claim the Champions League, which would define how successful Maurizio Sarri’s first season in charge of the Old Lady has been.

It will take on more importance, because despite the Serie A title win, it seems that Sarri’s future at the club is under review. However, winning the top tournament in Europe for the first time since 1996 when it was known as the European Cup would go some way to securing Sarri’s future. Juventus will be looking to go one step further than they did in 2015, when they lost to Barcelona and in 2017, when they lost to Real Madrid.

However, to even continue in the competition they will need to have a good second leg after losing 1-0 in France back in February. Juventus did have a good goalscoring season as the side scored 6 more goals than in the league last season with 76 goals. However, with Ronaldo scoring 31 and Dybala scoring 11, those two players are responsible for over half of Juventus’ goals in the league, which shows their reliance on those individuals.

Lyon stand in their way and those that think that the French side will be swept aside by Juventus may have to think again. This Lyon side managed to take PSG to penalties only last week when they lost the Coupe de la Ligue final to a team that are regarded as one of the best in Europe.

Lyon have an array of talent such as with Dutch forward Memphis Depay, Maxwell Cornet and French forward and former Celtic player Moussa Dembélé. They will be looking for Dembélé to get the goals as the forward has made up 38% of Lyon’s goals in the league as he scored 16 in the 28 league games that Lyon played in Ligue 1 last season. There are reasons to be positive for Lyon because they have scored in eight of their last nine away Champions League matches. They are also facing a team that have had their worst defensive season since 2011 in the league as Juventus have conceded 43 goals in the league this season. This could be important because an away goal could be crucial for Lyon to progress to the next round.

Another interesting aspect of the game with be if Lyon are up to speed or if Juventus are fatigued. Ligue 1 was suspended and the season brought to a close back in March, so the game last week against PSG was the first competitive game they had play since the 8th March, so they may be not up to speed, however Juventus have completed their season but it meant playing a large amount of games in a short time period to complete and their season. They played 14 games in the league and cup between the 12th June and 1st August to complete their season.

Juventus will go into the game without defender De Sciglio and winger Douglas Costa and the MVP of Serie A for the 2019/20 season, Paulo Dybala will face a late fitness test to see if he has recovered from a thigh injury. Youssouf Kone will miss the game for Lyon and Tete and Marcelo are doubtful for the game, however after missing the first leg in March, Depay will be available for the second leg.

The team that wins the tie and goes through will be either facing Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid or English side Manchester City, they also play this evening with City 2-1 up going into the game in Manchester this evening.

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