20 February 2019
Olympique Lyonnais are set to take on one of the leading candidates to win the Champions League trophy as they welcome Barcelona to the Groupama Stadium for the first leg of the CL last-16 tie.
Apart from an unlucky loss to Nice, the hosts have clinched six victories in their last seven competitive outings, scoring 2+ match goals five of those games. Les Gones have entered this fixture carrying back-to-back home wins that have both ended with the identical 2-1 scoreline in their favor. But, with his team set to face-off one of the best offensive sides in Europe, Bruno Genesio should be worried about the fact his players have failed to preserve a clean slate in four successive home matches ahead of this massive CL showdown. Even in the Champions League group stage, Lyon have failed to overcome their defensive problems, allowing 11 goals on an average of 1.83 goals conceded per match.
The visitors come into this encounter off the back of a narrow 1-0 home win over Real Valladolid looking to shrug off the criticism over their recent displays. The Catalan giants have gone through a minor crisis that has seen them playing out three consecutive draws across all competitions. Atypically for Barcelona, they have failed to score over 1.5 goals per match in their last three competitive clashes, even struggling to hit the net against Athletic Bilbao during that period. What’s more, Ernesto Valverde’s men have pulled off just one victory on their previous four road trips (W1, D1, L2), failing to score twice in the process. However, the Blaugrana have never lost to Lyon in the Champions League, securing four wins in seven H2H meetings with the French outfit (W4, D3).
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