It’s been a challenging few weeks for Olympique Lyonnais. Recent poor domestic form culminated in the sacking of Brazilian Manager Sylvio Mendes Campos Junior (Sylvinho). French Manager Rudi Garcia was subsequently hired to take over the coaching reins of the club. The former Olympique Marseille Coach was tasked with turning around the fortunes of the 7 time French Ligue 1 Champions, whose league campaign has nosedived as the season progressed.
The new Manager will take solace in that his first official match will be in Europe where the French side have gotten more joy. Lyon will be travelling to face Portuguese side SL Benfica in a Matchday 3 UEFA Champions League Group G clash at the Estadio da Luz on Wednesday, October 23rd. Lyon have made a good start to their European Campaign after results against FC Zenit Saint Petersburg, who they drew with 1-1 at home and RB Leipzig who they impressively beat 2-0 away.
Rudi Garcia will be seeking to rejuvenate his squad as they face a potentially difficult Benfica side, that are desperate to get off the mark after disappointingly losing their first two games of Group G.
Lyon will be confident going into their match against Benfica having defeated them in 3 out of their four meetings.
Coach Garcia will be counting on striker Memphis Depay to provide that cutting edge in Lisbon, the Portuguese capital. The Dutchman has done well so far in Europe scoring 2 goals from 2 games. French forward Martin Terrier has also been on target this season and will be expected to provide that necessary support for Depay upfront. Club captain Belgian Jason Denayer will be expected to help keep things tight at the back against the marauding Aguas strikers.
Another win for Lyon would take them to 7 points and further boost their chances of getting out of the Group stage.
A good European campaign will be just what the doctor ordered as Lyon will hope it rubs off on their stalled league season.
As for their hosts, they are currently pointless languishing in last place. Benfica coach Bruno Lage will be under pressure to pick his struggling side up as they seek their first European win of the season.
We wait to see if Lyon can weather the Benfica storm when the match kicks-off Wednesday evening at 8 PM.
Olympique Lyon are available at 3.24 to win, Benfica are fancied at 2.23 to claim the victory
Written by: Ayotunde Omolayole