Lyon VS Sevilla Prediction
Sevilla suffered a home defeat by Juventus and this seriously threats their Champions League future, when on Wednesday evening Sevillistas will face Lyon in a direct scuffle for the second Group H position. Their 1-3 loss by the Italian “Old Lady” was first one of Jorge Sampaoli’s side in the 2016-17 UEFA Champions League, so another one may knock them out from the competition, but under certain circumstances. Such a scenario definitely spoils dreams of any pretender for the UEFA Europa League trophy, since we all know that tournament became an easy target for the Andalusian club. However, Sevilla’s aim is reaching the next level and this merely means position in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.
Lyon vs Sevilla – Team News and Match Preview
Hosts from Lyon strive to cause an upset and spoil all aspirations of The Andalusians, as well as of all other Europa League participants. And if “Les Gones” manage to win against Sevilla with more than a goal margin, they will secure themselves a place into the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 draw, otherwise they’ll have to satisfy with a position in a knockout phase of the second major European competition.
Unfortunately Lyon couldn’t enjoy to a proper warm-up for the crucial Champions League decider on Wednesday night, since their weekend Ligue 1 fixture has been suspended. That happened when on Saturday evening “The Kids” had a clash against Metz at the “Stade Saint-Symphorien”, but it was abandoned after a firecracker exploded underneath Lyon’s goalkeeper Anthony Lopes in a moment he was receiving treatment. Hosts Metz were already ahead 1-0 when the incident occurred, and although match officials and local authorities held discussions for more than half an hour, the game didn’t continue.
Before that unfortunate round 16 fixture, Lyon had another midweek engagement away from home, which has ended in a completely different way. Last Wednesday, 30 November 2016, “The Canaries” from Nantes and Lyon have met at the “Stade de la Beaujoire – Louis Fonteneau”, where Bruno Génésio’s men were extremely convincing and they won 0-6.
These results keep Lyon at the sixth position with 25 points out of 15 games, but they still have to wait for an official decision of the French Football Federation regarding the incident in Metz.
Meanwhile, Sevilla head to France as the third-placed side in Spanish La Liga, where The Sevillistas are virtually best performing team except both leading sides – Real Madrid and Barcelona, having won 27 points in 14 rounds. This places them on seven points from Real Madrid and on just a point behind Barca, although Sevilla lost its visit to Granada on Saturday afternoon. A missed opportunity which could have climbed them above Barcelona, so Sevilla’s head coach Jorge Sampaoli and everyone in the club can surely regret about that. Nevertheless, they must carry on and forget last weekend’s result as soon as possible if they want to become one from all sixteen clubs that will be featured in the 2016-17 UEFA Champions League 1/8 finals draw on 12 December 2016.
Head-to-head record and Stats: Lyon vs Sevilla
Apart from Sevilla’s narrow success over Lyon at the “Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán” on 27 September 2016, both sides have two more friendly matches in their head-to-head history. Of course, we simply cannot compare importance of their past Champions League encounter with those friendlies, but we must highlight that even in them Lyon couldn’t score against its Spanish opposition.
First match was in end of July 2009 and it has been decided by a winning goal from Uruguayan striker Javier Chevantón. At the same time Francois Clerc and Jean II Makoun from Lyon have both been sent off, which shows there was a charge in that game.
Five years later, 22 July 2014, Lyon and Sevilla met on French turf and game has ended without any goals in.
Most important from all three previous fixtures was the aforementioned success of “The Rojiblancos”, where French striker Wissam Ben Yedder has scored the only goal in first minutes of the second half, after a combination between him and his attacking partner Luciano Vietto. This victory marked by a clean sheet for the record-winning UEFA Europa League champion provides excellent advantage to the Spanish team and Lyon finds itself in a really delicate situation.
Lyon vs Sevilla – Betting Prediction and Possible Lineups
Lyon have one last chance to claim its Round of 16 position and “Les Gones” are filled with enthusiasm to accomplishing that milestone. Last time Lyon participated in the Champions League’s elimination phase was in season 2011-12, when French team has been surprisingly eliminated by Cypriot APOEL Nicosia in the 1/8 finals. Since then Lyon is not the same club which we all remember from first decade of the 21st century, but they can dream for an European resurrection after Alexandre Lacazette’s winning goal against Dinamo in Zagreb last round – 0-1 for Lyon.
At the same time when Lyon won in Croatia, Sevilla lost to Juventus at home, but the Andalusian club had some serious reasons to complain from referee of that game Mark Clattenburg. We can say that experienced English arbiter will remember that match as one of its weakest and most controversial appointments.
Now except injured duo Benoît Trémoulinas and Michael Krohn-Dehli, Jorge Sampaoli cannot rely to a suspended Franco Vázquez, who has been sent off after only 36 minutes on pitch against Juventus. Even more, Jorge Sampaoli was also sent off in that game and he won’t be near the touchline on Wednesday night. Passionate Argentine manager will have to find an alternative method to instruct his assistants Juan Manuel Lillo and Íñigo Domínguez, but first of all he must think about appropriate starting formation here. Vázquez is one of the most important and consistent first-team players for Sevilla this season and his absence calls for some swaps. We won’t be surprised if Sevilla starts with a centre-back trio and also a different formation compared to the 4-2-3-1 used against Granada last Saturday. Thus Adil Rami, Gabriel Mercado and Nico Pareja can cover that line, while Sergio Escudero and Mariano are expected to operate on both flanks.
Matías Kranevitter and captain Vicente Iborra are competing for a starting position next to Frenchman Steven N’Zonzi in heart of Sevilla’s midfield, but there’s an opportunity they both to be included in the starting XI. This can happen if Sevilla starts with more defensive-minded midfield and if their formation is 3-5-1-1. It looks like a good option if Samir Nasri is not ready to begin from the outset, since experienced midfielder has missed Sevilla’s last five matches but has travelled with the group for his homeland. Anyway, Sampaoli can choose the 3-4-2-1 formation even if Nasri is not ready to start, which can open place for Vitolo and Pablo Sarabia as a replacement of Franco Vazquez. Ganso, Joaquin Correa and Hiroshi Kiyotake can also be options here, although we don’t expect any of them in the starting lineup.
Luciano Vietto and Wissam Ben Yedder are both options Sevilla has up front and Vietto is the one who starts more often, but Ben Yedder has scored a goal against Granada, once again entering as a substitution, as well as winning goal over Lyon in the first leg.
Portuguese goalkeeper of Lyon Anthony Lopes is a huge doubt for the match after he was hit by a firecracker thrown from the stands at the weekend. This could require rotation between the sticks and the 26-year-old Mathieu Gorgelin should be set for his just seventh appearance for Lyon, also first one from January. Defenders Emanuel Mammana, Nicolas N’Koulou and Christophe Jallet are all doubts here but expectations are all of them will miss another round. In that case Lyon’s coach should name a defensive quartet featuring someone from Maciej Rybus or Jérémy Morel at the left-back, Rafael from the right side and a centre-back duo with Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and 19-year-old Mouctar Diakhaby, who shows decent efforts so far.
Bruno Génésio should be content with fact he has full squad available in midfield and attack, so we can expect similar formation to the one from Nantes. Nabil Fekir wasn’t in the starting squad back then but we believe one of the hot prospects of French football can be reintrodued to Lyon’s starting formation, as he can start next to experienced Mathieu Valbuena and top goal scorer Alexandre Lacazette.
Final conclusion, Betting Odds and Prediction
Sevilla gained very serious European experience in the past decade and winning of five Europa League (UEFA Cup) trophies in space of 10 years is something truly remarkable. Anyhow, Sevilla’s main ambition is to leave a sign in the UEFA Champions League as well, which goes through a positive score in Lyon. Well, to be honest, Sevilla will reach out the Round of 16 even if they lose by a goal, so they can play that game with confidence and we believe Jorge Sampaoli’s side can earn the whole set of points here.
For more safety we’ll add this bet into our betting slip with the Asian Handicap 0 (Draw No Bet) on Sevilla, as we believe they know how to react and possibly capture Lyon on counter-attacks.
It’s true, Sevilla have lost on all three previous visits to France (against PSG and Lille) for competitive fixtures, but in our humble opinion current Lyon is not that strong for a Champions League breakthrough.
Venue: “Parc Olympique Lyonnais”, Décines-Charpieu.
Referee: Jonas Eriksson from Sweden.
Possible starting lineups of Lyon and Sevilla
Olympique Lyon: Anthony Lopes – Maciej Rybus, Mouctar Diakhaby, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Rafael – Corentin Tolisso, Maxime Gonalons, Sergi Darder – Mathieu Valbuena, Nabil Fekir, Alexandre Lacazette. (4-3-3)
Sevilla FC: Sergio Rico – Gabriel Mercado, Adil Rami, Nicolás Pareja – Mariano, Steven N’Zonzi, Matías Kranevitter, Sergio Escudero – Vitolo, Pablo Sarabia – Luciano Vietto. (3-4-2-1)