The second leg of the hotly anticipated R16 clash between Juventus and Lyon is almost here. Lyon stunned the Bianconeri in France winning 1-0 and are now in a strong position to qualify for the quarter-finals. I'll outline below where I feel the value lies.
- In the first leg, OL and Juve played out a very tight contest with Juve registering 0 shots on target and generating a measly 1.16xG. Most of which (0.53xG) came from the Higuain chance below.
- Since that meeting it can be argued that Juventus have declined as a team too.
- Juve's chance creation in the UCL has been a particular concern all season. We saw this against Atletico in their two group games as well as the first leg with Lyon
Atleti 1st game (0.89 xG)
Atleti 2nd game (0.35xG)
Lyon 1st leg (1.14xG)
- The only UCL game this season in which Juve generated a respectable xG score was in their match with Lokomotiv Moscow (away) in which they generated 2.32 xG. One important point here though is that 0.87 of that total came from the Lokomotiv keeper spilling the ball and Ramsey tapping in from the goal line.
- Juventus will be tasked here at breaking down an organised deep lying defence which won't be an easy task. For those of you that watched PSG-Lyon yesterday you will know just how good they can be at neutralising the opposition when they need to.
- Of teams left in the competition, these two are the worst chance creators. Juve have scored 12 times off 9.7 xG while Lyon have scored 10 goals off 6.8xG. We shouldn't expect fireworks in this game.
- Team news: Dybala is a doubt for this game, without his creativity in the final 3rd they will be severely hampered . Elsewhere they will be without Khedira, De Sciglio, Chiellini and Douglas Costa
- Juve's Champions League form: Juventus massively overperformed their xG so far. In their opening game they drew 2-2 with Atletico but lost the xG (1.7-0.89), against Leverkusen they scored 3 goals off 1.14xG, against Lokomotiv they deserved their 2-1 win (xG 1.69-0.51), away to Lokomotiv they were dreadful although they won 2-1 (xG 2.11-2.32). At home to Atleti they won 1-0 despite generating just 0.35xG. Away to Leverkusen they won 2-0 generating just 0.59xG. In a lot of these games Dybala's creativity was to thank for the xG overperformance. If he misses out here Juve could be in serious trouble.
- Things just haven't clicked for Sarri at Juve; he's not entirely to blame the players at the club don't massively suit his system, in my opinion. With deadwood sold and fresh faces to come in the summer, we can hope for better next season, but at the moment they look a weak team without an identity
- It can be argued that OL have not seen enough competitive action since the COVID lockdown, but they did look imposing in defence against PSG in the Coupe de la Ligue final yesterday (FT 0-0). They have also played 5 friendlies against decent opposition between the 4th July-24th July. With that in mind match sharpness shouldn't be a huge problem
- Overall in the UCL under Rudi Garcia they have been very good at restricting opposition chances. Against Benfica they allowed 3 goals in two match but their underlying 1.33xGA is very encouraging from a defensive standpoint.
- Against Zenit they lost 2-0 (In Russia) but only allowed 0.87xG and only two attempts inside their box
- Against RBL they gave up a huge 3.8xG but the game was complete chaos after RBL being awarded two early penalties and pulling into a 2-0 lead
- Lyon's success at preventing opposition chances hasn't just been in the UCL either, they rank 3rd best in Ligue 1 and Lyon’s average xG per shot faced is currently 0.09 according to Wyscout, which is the lowest in Ligue 1
I expect a very similar performance to the 1st leg, Lyon will play with 5 at the back and flood the middle of the pitch as they look to break up Juve's forward progression. We can also expect Lyon to look to slow down the pace of the game from the 1st minute. This should mean plenty of time wasting and plenty of fouls.
Under 2.5 Goals at 2.2 with Unibet - 2 units