Barcelona host Lyon on Wednesday in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 clash, with the scores deadlocked at 0-0 from the first game.
La Blaugrana were unable to score an all-important away goal, and must be wary of a Lyon side brimming with attacking potential in the likes of Nabil Fekir, Houssem Aouar and Memphis Depay.
But after seemingly returning to form – including two wins over Real Madrid in both the league and cup – Barcelona will fancy their chances of booking their passage into the quarter-finals of the Champions League in midweek.
Check out 90min’s preview of the game below.
Where to Watch
Barcelona’s biggest worry heading into Wednesday surrounds the availability of Ousmane Dembele, after the club confirmed that the winger had suffered a slight hamstring strain in his left leg during the clash against Rayo Vallecano on Saturday. The Catalan giants will also be without former Arsenal centre-back Thomas Vermaelen (calf), whilst Rafinha remains a long-term absentee.
For Lyon, doubts remain over captain Marcelo after the Brazilian seemed to pick up a leg injury during his side’s Ligue 1 tie against Strasbourg. In a big boost for manager Bruno Genesio however, talismanic forward Nabil Fekir will return from suspension to face Barcelona, with Lyon knowing an away goal would completely change the nature of the tie.
Head to Head Record
The two sides have met on seven occasions in their history, with Lyon failing to win any of them. Their Spanish counterparts have dominated the fixture, with four wins and three draws to their name. However, in an impressive performance in the first leg, the French side showed a resilience to keep out the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
Anthony Lopes had an excellent game in the Lyon goal, with the visitors unable to convert any of the 25 shots they had. Genesio’s men almost claimed a famous win when Martin Terrier’s long-range driver was tipped onto the bar by Marc-Andre ter Stegen,
Since the goalless first leg last month, Barcelona have clicked into gear domestically, rattling off five successive victories in La Liga and Copa del Rey. The Catalans overcame a spirited Sevilla side 4-2, before doing the double over arch-rivals Real Madrid in El Clasico.
Ernesto Valverde’s side claimed a famous 3-0 win at the Santiago Bernabeu to clinch a cup final place at the expensive of Los Blancos, before beating them once again just a few days later.
Lyon on the other hand have endured a mixed bag since their first meeting with Barcelona. Les Gones slipped to a 2-0 defeat to struggling Monaco immediately after the first leg, before bouncing back with a 3-1 win over Caen in the French Cup quarter-final. Genesio’s side then thrashed 10-men Toulouse 5-1 in the league, but come into the midweek Champions League game off the back of a 2-2 draw with Strasbourg in which they had led 2-0.
Here’s how each team has performed in their last five games:
Despite producing a spirited display at the Lyon Olympic Stadium, Bruno Genesio’s side head to the Camp Nou on Wednesday knowing that Barcelona will be overwhelming favourites to get the job done. Despite the potential absence of winger Ousmane Dembele, both Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are unlikely to forget their shooting boots at home as they did in the first leg.
However, with the return of mercurial forward Nabil Fekir, Lyon’s dynamism and pace on the counter-attack may just see them score an away goal and make things more difficult for the home side. But, when it’s all said and done, Barcelona should have enough to seal their place in the last eight of the Champions League.
Prediction: Barcelona 3-1 Lyon