Since taking over at the Etihad in 2016, Guardiola has clinched Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup trophies, but the one that has eluded this City team is ‘the big ears’ – the Champions League trophy.
City faced Lyon twice in the 2018/19 group stage of the competition, with the visitors running out 2-1 victors at the Etihad, while the two teams drew 2-2 in Lyon. This will be the third meeting between the two sides in the competition – strangely enough, City haven’t faced a side more times in the Champions League without coming away with a victory.
If that is anything to go by, it won’t be an easy task for City on Saturday night.
Sergio Aguero has been included in City’s squad for the final stages of the competition, but the Argentine striker is still in rehabilitation after having surgery. He remains very unlikely to feature on Saturday, and is even said to be ‘resigned‘ to missing the remainder of the European campaign.
Benjamin Mendy was forced to miss City’s home tie against Real Madrid but is now available after serving his suspension.
As for Lyon, former City defender Jason Denayer has recently picked up a groin injury, while Maxwel Cornet also has a thigh injury. However, the pair have trained with the squad ahead of travelling to Lisbon and are likely to be available.
Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, Mendy; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Foden, Jesus, Sterling.
Lyon: Lopes; Denayer, Marcelo, Marcal; Dubois, Caqueret, Guimaraes, Aouar, Cornet; Depay, Dembele.
City booked their place in the quarter finals by knocking 13-time champions Real out of the competition. City won 2-1 in the first-leg at the Bernabeu back in February, before recording the same margin of victory in Manchester to secure a 4-2 aggregate victory.
Guardiola’s side finished second in the Premier League, 18 points astray of Liverpool. Domestically, City won the Carabao Cup in March with a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa, but were also knocked out of the FA Cup in the semi final stage to eventual winners Arsenal.
Lyon only finished seventh in Ligue 1 as the season was cancelled following the suspension of all major sporting events in France during the early stages of lockdown.
In Europe, however, it’s a different story. Lyon travel to Portugal to face City off the back of an aggregate victory on away goals against Serie A champions Juventus. A Cristiano Ronaldo double couldn’t prevent the French side from advancing in the competition, with City likely to favour the prospect of facing Lyon instead of Ronaldo and co.
Here’s a breakdown of how the two sides have performed in their last six fixtures.
Manchester City 2-1 Real Madrid (7/8)
Manchester City 5-0 Norwich City (26/7)
Watford 0-4 Manchester City (21/7)
Arsenal 2-0 Manchester City (18/7)
Manchester City 2-1 Bournemouth (15/7)
Brighton 0-5 Manchester City (11/7)
Juventus 2-1 Lyon [2-2 aggregate] (7/8)
PSG 0-0 Lyon [PSG win on penalties] (31/7)
Gent 2-3 Lyon (22/7)
Lyon 2-1 Celtic (18/7)
Lyon 0-2 Rangers (16/7)
Lyon 1-0 Nice (4/7)
Both sides will be travelling to Lisbon full of confidence following two emphatic victories in the round of 16 stage. Lyon should be familiar with Guardiola’s side after getting two positive results in this competition against them last season, but that could play into the Catalan tactician’s preparation.
We’ve all seen how forensic Guardiola is when preparing for these big games, and he will have lots to pick up on when analysing the meetings between the two sides last season.
Looking at the squads available to both sides, City should have too much quality for Lyon and will fancy themselves to book their place in the semi finals with a convincing victory. That win against Real Madrid could spark the momentum that’s needed if City are to add a first UEFA Champions League trophy to their illustrious collection of silverware.
Prediction: Manchester City 2-0 Lyon