UEFA Champions League 2019: Lyon Vs Zenit Match Preview, Expectations

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UEFA Champions League is all set to return. Last year's champions Liverpool will fight to retain their crown while the rest of the teams will go for glory

Written By Abhishek Shetty | Mumbai | Updated On:
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The most prestigious competition in club football returns today. The UEFA Champions League is back and only the group stage has got all the fans really excited. Liverpool ended last season on a real high after they managed to defeat Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League final in Madrid. Thirty-two teams will face each other to be crowned as the kings of Europe. The group stage will start on Tuesday night and there are some interesting matches to look out for. From the early matches, Lyon will be hosting Zenit on Tuesday for their Group G clash.

Lyon vs Zenit: Preview 

The 18/19 Russian Premier League winners Zenit will be traveling to Lyon Olympic Stadium to play their first UEFA Champions League match of the season. Lyon who finished third in Ligue 1 last season shocked everyone after beating Manchester City in their opening match of the 18/19 season. The Les Gones will look to dominate Zenit, as Sergei Semak's side are making their first Champions League appearance after the 2015/16 season. Lyon's coach and former FC Barcelona player Sylvinho has gathered a young squad. With players like Memphis Depay and Houssem Aouar, the French side will look to go all out in their clash against the Russian Champions.

Lyon made some shocking moves in the recent summer transfer window by allowing the likes of Ferland Mendy, Nabil Fekir and Tanguy Ndombele to leave for different clubs. Zenit gave a positive boost to their side with decent signings like Vyacheslav Karavaev, Yordon Osorio and Malcolm from Barcelona. Although, Malcolm will not be traveling to France because of a hip injury. Lyon's skipper Jason Denayer has recovered from a foot injury that he suffered during the International break.

Also Read: UEFA Champions League Group E Preview: Liverpool & Napoli Favourites

What to Expect

Zenit's attackers will look to feast on the vulnerable Denayer-less defence of Lyon, however, the French side reimburses their shaky defence with a strong forward line up of Depay, Moussa Dembele, and Bertrand Traore. The dangerous trio will be making life difficult for the Russian side. The hosts have faced Zenit twice before and have lost both the matches. That was four years ago, but still, a positive for Zenit to take in their away game. 

Also Read: UEFA Postpones Champions League Talks As Clubs, Leagues Row

Lyon drew 2-2 in all three of their home matches last season while Zenit have not won any of their last nine away European matches (Lost 7, Drawn 2). Lyon managed to win only one of their past five matches against a Russian side. Zenit have won one match out of their last six away games against a French side. (Won 1, Drawn 1, Lost 4). It will be an interesting match between the French and Russian side. The other two teams in this group are Benfica and RP Leipzig.

 

Expected Line-up:

Olympique Lyon -

  • Lopes – Dubois, Andersen, Denayer, Koné – Mendes, Tousart, Aouar – Memphis, Dembélé, Traoré

Zenit St. Petersburg -

  • Lunev – Smolnikov, Ivanovic, Rakitskiy, Santos – Ozdoev, Kuzyaev, Barrios – Driussi, Dzyuba, Erokhin

The match will be aired in India on the Sony network and Sony LIV  from 10:25 pm onwards

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