Everywhere you look, Juventus is on top of the table. The Italian powerhouse tops the tables both in domestic competition and in Group H of the UEFA Champions league.
They will certainly look to keep it that way on Wednesday night when they host the very uncomfortable French team – Olympique Lyon. The first fixture between these two teams ended with Juventus taking all 3 points away, but it could have been much different, considering that Lacazette missed a penalty in the 35th minute of the first half. It was Cuadrado who scored in the 76th minute of the match, giving his team a very important lead which turned out to be the final score!!!
Will this be just another day in the office for the Old Lady??? I don’t think so… Despite the fact that Juventus has dominated the Serie A with nine 9 wins and 2 losses, the Italian side has failed to dominate the Group H, although they have remained unbeaten with no goals conceded yet. Namely, Juventus has failed to defeat Sevilla at home in the opening round (0:0), and struggled to defeat Lyon away (0:1). Their only comfortable win came against Dinamo Zagreb (who became a punch bag), away with 0:4 in the second round. However, at home, Juventus is always a favorite to win. In their last 7 games at home, they have won 6 games with only 1 draw, while scoring 19 goals and conceding just five!!! A slight boost for the hosts could be the last match in Serie A when they defeated the big rival Napoli with 2:1!!!
For this match Coach Allegri will not be able to count on the suspended Lemina, while Chiellini (tigh), Dybala and Pjaca (calf) remained sidelined with injuries!!!
Lyon suffered two very unfortunate back-to-back losses, first away to Sevilla (1:0) in the 2nd round, and two weeks ago at home 0:1 to Juventus. It seems like, once again, their big plans are falling apart and that they will not be able to reach the knockout stage, despite showing a respectable performance on the pitch.
Despite being expected to challenge the 2nd spot in the group, Lyon is currently ranked 3rd with 4 points behind the top two teams Juventus and Sevilla who both have collected 7 points!!! Lyon has lost 3 of their last 5 games, and if they want to get back on the right track, they will need at least 1 point from this match. In the domestic competition Lyon has been very disappointing this season, as they are currently ranked at the 8th spot with only 16 points in 11 games and 13 points behind the leaders Nice!!! So far this season, Lyon has not played well in away games, as they have lost 4 out of their last 7 matches. However, small hope for the visitors will be the great form of their striker Alexandre Lacazette who has already collected 9 goals in the national league. If they want to have even the smallest chance of winning points tonight, they will have to find a way to provide Lacazette with open looks. Jallet (back) and Valbuena (shoulder) are the only two missing players for the matchup against Juventus!!!
I think this one is pretty easy to predict, although I expect a tough battle!!! Juventus is still a great favorite to win this match despite the fact that their biggest summer signing Dybala is not ready to go tonight. This match could turn out to be a low scoring one since both teams would be satisfied not to lose, so I expect tough defensive play on both sides, and both teams to use counter attacks a lot!!!
Juventus expected lineup: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Benatia; Dani Alves, Pjanić, Marchisio, Khedira, Alex Sandro; Mandžukić, Higuaín.
Olympique Lyon expected lineup: Lopes; Mammana, Nkoulou, Diakhaby; Rafael, Darder, Gonalons, Tolisso, Rybus; Fekir, Lacazette.
Juventus vs Lyon
UEFA Champions League – Group H
Date: Wednesday, 2nd November, 2016,
Kick-Off: 20:45 CET,
Venue: Juventus Stadium, Turin.