After the French Football Federation granted their wish of postponing their weekend fixture to give them adequate time to prepare for Tuesday’s Champions League semi final return leg fixture against Bayern Munich, Olympique Lyon will definitely want to make their ‘unfair’ advantage over their opponents count.
On the other hand, Bayern Munich who were in action on Saturday against Borussia Monchengladbach failed to extend their lead at the top of the Bundesliga table after they drew 1-1 at the Borussia Park. Bayern coach Luis Van Gaal fielded a full strength squad with key players Robben, Ribery, Olic, Badstuber, Scheiwnsteiger, Van Buyten, Demichelis and Philip Lahm all featuring in the starting line up. This might very well prove to be the deciding factor when these two sides face off tomorrow.
Luis Van Gaal definitely took a huge gamble and despite their 1 goal advantage, Lyon could prove to be more than what the Germans can handle. The good news for Bayern is that midfield maestro Mark Van Bommel and defender Holger Badstuber will be available after missing the first leg due to suspension. The bad news however is that Bayern will be without Frank Ribery and Danijel Prajnic both out through suspension.
Considering all these factors, Claude Puel’s boys should therefore feel very confident in front of a sold out 41,000 crowd at the Stade Gerland. The only notably absentee in the Lyon squad will be Toulalan who received 2 yellow cards and a subsequent sending off after committing rather foolish fouls. Sydney Govou and Lisandro Lopez are expecting to lead Lyon’s onslaught with Cissokho being their central point man tasked with stringing the crucial passes.
I see this game ending 2-1 in favour of Bayern Munich thereby allowing them to progress through to the final 3-1 on aggregate however this is just my opinion.
Photo credit: from Alvaro Isidoro