Manuel Veth –
Lyon vs Leipzig – Tuesday, December 10, 20:00GMT/21:00CET – OL Stadium, Lyon, France
For Lyon it will be all or nothing on the final day of the group stage. Lyon have seven points, level with Zenit and three ahead of Benfica. OL will go through if they beat Leipzig, in which case they would also clinch first place, or if they draw and Zenit lose at Benfica; a defeat would eliminate them from the competition – and from Europe altogether if Benfica defeat Zenit.
The French side has been hot and cold all season and in October brought in Rudi Garcia to replace head coach Sylvinho. But even under Garcia results have been hot and cold. The best news are Lyon still can reach all their goals this season. OL are sixth in the Ligue 1 and remain in touching distance to the international spots.
In the Champions League a result against RB Leipzig will likely be enough to go through. But then there is also the flipside that Lyon were poor against Zenit on matchday 5. They also did not convince in their 2-0 win over RB Leipzig on matchday 2. The German side were always in control but gave away two goals for the French to record an unlikely win.
Lyon, however, might be lucky that they will face Leipzig at just the right time. The Red Bulls easily beat Hoffenheim on matchday 14 of the Bundesliga and remain just one point behind league leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach.
“We got off to a good start,” Julian Nagelsmann said after the Hoffenheim game. “But we didn’t defend well after taking the lead and allowed Hoffenheim into the game. The second half was better because we had more control over the game.”
Under the guidance of Julian Nagelsmann RB Leipzig are now the likeliest side to capture an inform Gladbach. That, in turn, could mean that Nagelsmann will somewhat rotate his side on Tuesday against Lyon, especially as Leipzig has struggled with injuries this season.
An opening then for Lyon to secure a win and first place in the group. Those who have watched Leipzig this season know that Nagelsmann always plays for the win, Tuesday will be no different.
Lyon vs Leipzig – Players to look out for:
Memphis Depay #10 – Olympique Lyon
Memphis Depay scored twice on Saturday in Lyon’s 4-0 win over Nimes Olympique. With nine goals in Ligue 1 this season Depay is the club’s second-best scorer behind top striker Moussa Dembélé. Depay had to be taken off the pitch in the second half with an injury to his thigh. Hope is that Depay will be fit for Lyon’s crucial game on Tuesday.
Patrik Schick #7 – RB Leipzig
Patrik Schick has finally arrived at RB Leipzig. The Czech striker on loan from Roma struggled for playing time when he first arrived in Germany. But one week ago against Paderborn he got his first start and scored his first goal. On Saturday he started once again and assisted once in Leipzig’s win.
Lyon vs Leipzig – Match Stats
- Despite defeats at Benfica and Zenit this season, Lyon have lost only four of their last 17 European matches (W6 D7).
- The French club have won only one of their last four home games against German clubs but have won seven of the 13 such contests overall (D2 L4).
- Leipzig have won five of their 11 UEFA Champions League fixtures (D2 L4).
- Before this season’s successes, Leipzig had won only three of their 12 away European matches (D4 L5).
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Lyon vs Leipzig – 1-3
Lyon vs Leipzig – Lineups
Lopes – Rafael, Denayer, Andersen, Tete – Caqueret, Thiago Mendes – Aouar, Depay, Traore – Dembélé
Head Coach: Rudi Garcia
Mvogo – Mukiele, Upamecano, Ampadu – Demme, Laimer – Nkunku, Forsberg – Schick, Werner
Head Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others, contributes to Forbes.com and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently splits his time between Victoria, BC, and Munich, Germany. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.