Competition/Round: 2018/19 UEFA Champions League Season – Matchday 1
Date/Time: Manchester City vs Olympique Lyonnais – Wednesday, 19 September 2018, 20:00 (UK & Nigeria); 15:00 EST, 12:00 PST (USA); 00:00 IST (India)
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Referee: Daniele Orsato
Assistant Referees: Lorenzo Manganelli, Fabiano Preti
Fourth Official: Giorgio Peretti
TV Info: BT Sport 4K UHD (UK); Galavision Cable Network (USA)
Live Stream: BT Sport Live (UK); Fubo TV (US)
Radio: BBC Radio Manchester (UK)
After a series of entertaining matches throughout the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League season, Europe’s most prestigious club competition is once again underway. Manchester City were paired with Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk, French club Olympique Lyonnais and German side TSG Hoffenheim in Group F. Whilst the Ukrainians are familiar opponents, Lyon and Hoffenheim are unknown. Nonetheless, the Blues will be ready to take on these new challenges as they seek to win the Champions League for the first time in their history.
City’s first test in this group will be on Wednesday, as they will play host to Lyon. The Mancunian club recently overcame English opposition Fulham at home. Whilst it was a routine victory, the Blues were hardly at their best, squandering several opportunities to score. Moreover, they uncharacteristically turned over the ball on several occasions, and they were lucky to keep a clean sheet. Should they have any desire to win the Champions League this season, they will need to seriously improve their performance.
Olympique Lyonnais, meanwhile, have struggled. Following the start of the 2018/19 League 1 season, les Gones have only won two of their opening five matches. Moreover, Lyon has been involved in a series of low scoring matches, and this has been a detriment to their performance. City are known for scoring goals, and if the Frenchmen have any hope of earning a result in England, they will need to be in top goal-scoring form.
Manchester City were handed another blow over the weekend as Benjamin Mendy picked up a knee injury. Moreover, Sergio Agüero and Fabian Delph were withdrawn from the match against Fulham as a precaution, and it is unknown if they will start in this match. Kevin De Bruyne and Claudio Bravo are still unavailable due to their respective injuries.
Olimpique Lyonnais, on the other hand, are relatively healthy, with only Amine Gouiri sidelined with an injury. The spotlight, however, is on former Blue Jason Denayer, who was unable to break into City’s first team. The young Belgian was recently sold to the French side this summer, and he will surely want to put on a strong display in an attempt to outshine his former employers.
Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Danilo; B. Silva, Fernandinho, D. Silva; Sterling, Jesus, Sané
Manager: Mikel Arteta (acting); Pep Guardiola will serve his touchline ban after being sent off in the match against Liverpool last season.
Lopes; Rafael, Marcelo, Denayer, Mendy; Tousart, Alvaro; Traore, Fekir, Aouar; Dembélé
Manager: Bruno Génésio
Manchester City have started their season brilliantly with four victories and one draw in five matches. Moreover, they won their opening three home games by a combined score of 11-2. They have been ruthless against their opponents, and their fans would not expect anything less than another dominant performance at home.
Olympique Lyonnais, on the other hand, have had a shaky start to their 2018/19 campaign. Whilst it is still early in the season, les Gones have collected only one point out of a possible six when traveling on the road. Nonetheless, the Frenchmen will hope to bounce back and earn a result as they travel to England.
Whilst anything can happen, given their current form, it seems as if the Blues will earn their first victory in the UEFA Champions League this season. Les Gones will test the hosts with their speed and ability, but ultimately, the home team will prevail.
Manchester City 2-1 Olympique Lyonnais