UEFA Champions League Preview: Bayern Munich v. Lyon

UEFA Champions League Preview: Bayern Munich v. Lyon

  • Posted by Geoff Reid
  • On April 21, 2010
  • Bayern Munich, Geoff Reid, Lyon, UEFA Champions League

By Geoff Reid

Bayern Munich vs Lyon From The Allianz Arena, Munich
This semifinal won’t get as much headlines as the other one that just took place yesterday, but it sure is just as intriguing. Bayern Munich looked dead in the water just before half time at Old Trafford against Manchester United until Ivica Olic pulled one back before the break. After Rafael’s sending off, all the momentum was with the Bavarians and it was an incredible fight back. Lyon on the other hand deserve to be here after coming through a group that included Liverpool and Fiorentina, knocking Real Madrid out in the last 16, as well as winning the all French quarter final against Laurent Blanc’s Bordeaux.

Bayern have nobody injured or listed as doubtful, however, captain Mark van Bommel and Holger Badstuber are both suspended for this one. Danijel Pranjic is also one yellow card away from missing the second leg. Van Bommel’s calming influence and experience will be missed for sure, but most of the side have played in matches of this importance. Besides, if a player cannot get motivated enough for a Champions League semi final first leg then you shouldn’t be playing football. FC Hollywood have been conceding goals and Lyon can score them so this will be a situation that concerns Louis van Gaal. The idea would be for Bayern to score as many goals as possible at home to give themselves a nice cushion for the away leg in France. With players like Frank Ribery, Arjen Robben, Mario Gomez, Olic, and Philipp Lahm, scoring shouldn’t be a problem. Miroslav Klose has always been clutch in the biggest matches for club and country in the past and you just feel if he gets a chance in this match, he will make the most of it.

While Bayern don’t have much injury worries, Lyon on the other hand have plenty of worries in their squad. Francois Clerc (knee), Joan Hartock (ruptured achilles), Mathieu Bodmer (hamstring), and Jean-Alain Boumsong (calf) all miss the first leg. Jean II Makoun (groin) and Lisandro (ankle) are questionable while nobody is suspended. There are also a good number of players will miss the second leg should they be booked: Aly Cissokho, Cesar Delagdo, Maxime Gonalons, Kim Kallstrom, Cris, Miralem Pjanic, and Jeremy Toulalan. What all this boils down to is Lyon have absolutely nothing to lose. They will be the underdogs and it seems to have been that way all through the tournament. Manager Claude Puel has said they do have to be careful with all these players one booking away from suspension but it won’t determine how they’ll play. After all these years of only getting so far in the knockout phases before crashing there’s nothing to say the French side can’t go all the way and be this season’s surprise team.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 2-2 Lyon. I see goals in this one, partly because Bayern have leaks in their defense but also because Lyon aren’t the most solid at the back either. Both teams know how to score goals and this result will suit the French side nicely.