18 September 2019
For the second time in history, Olympique Lyonnais and Zenit St Petersburg will face-off in the UEFA Champions League (CL) group stage, as the French side welcome the Russian giants to the Groupama Stadium for the opening match of Group G.
The hosts have qualified for their 16th CL group stage appearance after finishing third in the Ligue 1 last season. Regular CL contestants in recent years, Lyon have managed to go past the group stage last year even though they’ve won just one of six matches in the first phase (W1, D5). Notably, all three of their home games in that sequence have ended with the same 2-2 scoreline after which they’ve played out a goalless draw with Barcelona in the round of 16. What’s more, Les Gones have suffered just one defeat in their last 14 European home matches (W7, D6, L1) although they’ve pulled off only one triumph in their last five H2Hs with Russian sides (W1, D1, L3).
Meanwhile, the visitors will appear in the CL group stage after a three-year absence having claimed their sixth Russian Premier League title last term. Although they’ve successfully negotiated their Europa League group stage campaign in 2018/19, Zenit are winless in their last nine European trips (D2, L7). Also, four of their five EL away games last term have featured under 2.5 goals (D2, L3), with Zenit scoring one goal or less each time. However, the Lvy can rely on the fact they’ve beaten Lyon in both of their CL H2Hs in 2015/16, as well as, the fact they’ve dodged failure in their last two visits to France (W1, D1).
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