Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: UEFA Champions League: Lyon vs Bayern Munich Preview

UEFA Champions League: Lyon vs Bayern Munich Preview

 Lyon vs Bayern Munich Preview

It's France against Germany in both legs of the UEFA Champions League semi-finals with the German champions, Bayern Munich, being overwhelming favourites against a Lyon side who come off the back of dumping Juventus and Manchester City out of the competition.

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Sports 

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Bayern have looked incredibly superb, claiming undoubtedly the result of the tournament, smashing Barcelona 8-2 in the quarter-finals, while Lyon will just hope to continue using their underdog tag to their advantage as they look for a third successive upset.

UEFA Champions League semi-final | Wednesday 19 August | Jose Alvalade Stadium | 21:00

To win (90 mins)
Lyon 19/2
Draw 11/2
Bayern Munich 2/9

Lyon
There’s been plenty of surprises already in the UEFA Champions League thus far, and only a fool would rule out the possibility of yet another one when Lyon face Bayern Munich.

Despite finishing seventh in a Ligue 1 table that was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the French giants have proven that they are much better than what their domestic league table suggests.

Under Rudi Garcia, Lyon have looked tactically organised, superb in their build-up and defensively sound. In fact, in their 3-1 win over Manchester City, much of the focus was on their opponents and Pep Guardiola’s team selection, rather than actually giving credit where it was due. Should he do the unthinkable, Garcia will be only the second French manager to lead a French team into a Champions League final following Didier Deschamps with Monaco in 2004.

Lyon continue to go under the radar and love playing with very little pressure at all. Their 3-5-2 formation allows them to defend in numbers make it compact in central areas, while the midfield trio of Maxence Caqueret, Bruno Guimaraes and Houssem Aouar have the ability to get out of trouble in tight spaces and get Lyon on the ascendency.

Its crazy to believe that Caqueret is just 20, while Guimaraes and Aouar are only 22 years old.

Lyon also have Dutch international, Memphis Depay, who has taken his career to the next level again after failing to live up to the hype at Manchester United, and Moussa Dembele off the bench who has shown in the past that he is more than capable of scoring an important goal or two.

Despite the quality that Lyon possess from back to front, Aouar will be the key man for Garcia’s side. He covers the most ground and its usually his final ball which sets the attackers through on goal. He’s got seven assists in 14 appearances in the Champions League and will have his targets set on another one against Bayern for sure.

Bayern Munich
Best team in the world? Surely! Bayern Munich have done everything right this season, claiming a domestic double as the Bavarians set their sights on repeating the feat they achieved in 2013 where the club won the treble under Jupp Heynckes.

Like it or not, similarities have to be drawn between Bayern’s past Champions League winning team and this current one. If you weren’t convinced by the German champions all this time, that result against Barcelona, where they won 8-2 will surely set you straight.

The pressing from the front and intensity throughout the team is reminiscent of Heynckes’ team and should Bayern go all the way, Hans-Dieter Flick will achieve what Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti failed to do and bring home the UEFA Champions League.

Robert Lewandowski is the star man for Bayern, but in terms of importance, no player is ranked ahead of another. Each player plays a key role in how Bayern go about their business.

In the full-back positions, Joshua Kimmich and Alphonso Davies are arguably two of the brightest full-back pairings in world football with age on both of their side’s. Centrally, Bayern also have a perfectly balanced midfield in Leon Goretzka affording Thiago Alcantara and Thomas Muller the freedom to play their football in advanced areas, which often sees Goretzka go unnoticed by many football lovers and pundits.

In attack, the deadly pace and trickery of Serge Gnabry in and around the best striker in world football, Lewandowski, has proven too tough for any opposition in the Champions League this season. The Polish striker has netted 14 times in the competition and has scored against every opposition Bayern have faced in the Champions League this season.

It has become a norm for him to score and you certainly can’t bet against him doing it again here.

Verdict: Bayern Munich Win & Both Teams to Score (12/10)
You’d have to go back years and years in the past to find a team as good as this Bayern Munich side. They’ve won 20 matches in a row and you get the feeling that this could be the start of a new dominance in European football. They’re that good. Because of how high they push up the pitch, though, Lyon could exploit the gaps they tend to leave in behind, but that’s as far as it goes. I simply can’t look at anything but a Bayern Munich victory, perhaps taking them to Win & Both Teams to Score looks the way to go at 12/10.

Written by Jesse Nagel for Hollywoodbets 

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