Lyon's road win over CSKA Moscow, along with the fact, that they did not surrender a goal, will have them in pole position to see off the Russian side as they head back to France for the second leg of this Europa League clash.
Stade des Lumieres, Lyon, France 15 Mar 2018 8:05 pm (GMT)
Key Stat: Lyon forced Akinfeev into seven saves, keeping it closer than it otherwise could have been.
Expert Verdict: An old issue for CSKA Moscow popped back up in the first leg: not being able to keep a clean sheet. That could well be the end of their European journey now as well as they head to France trailing by a goal and knowing that it will take at least one to get to extra time. The Russians were not great in attack against Serbian side Red Star Belgrade, and their chances to pearce their French hosts.
Bruno Genesio has only an issue to winger Nabil Fekir at the moment. It was thought that he could have returned by now, but his fitness is still improving currently, and they might feel that they can make it to the quarterfinals without risking him.
Despite being without Fekir again potentially, Lyon still have a very fearsome front three. It must be said that the defence and midfield look a little suspect against bigger teams, but the forwards are some of the best on offer in this competition. One of the men is experienced Europa League campaigner Bertrand Traore. The former Ajax man got to the final last year and jumped into the spotlight by helping them there. He has four goals in the competition this season, and remains one to watch.
Lyon have two wins, two draws, and a loss in their last five matches:
1-0 home win vs Caen
0-1 win at CSKA Moscow (UEL)
1-1 draw at Montpellier
1-0 loss at Caen (Coupe de France)
1-1 home draw vs St. Etienne
Defenders:Tete, Marceloa, Morel, Marcal
Midfielders:Ndombele, Tousart, Aouar
Forwards:Traore, Depay, Diaz
Viktor Goncharenko is without a couple of defensive options in the form of right back Mario Fernandes and center back Viktor Vasin for this difficult task away in France.
One major positive that CSKA got in the transfer window was the re-arrival of striker Ahmed Musa. The Nigerian, who left from Leicester some time ago, has returned home to Moscow, and they will be hoping he recaptures the form he used to show for them. He was one of the most explosive players in Europe just a couple of years back, and they will need him to get to that level if they want to overcome and advance.
CSKA have three wins, a loss, and a draw in their last five matches:
0-3 win at Akhmat Grozny
0-1 home loss vs Lyon (UEL)
1-0 home win vs Ural
1-0 home win vs Red Star Belgrade (UEL)
0-0 home draw vs Esbjerg (Friendly)
Defenders:Nababkin, Ingashevich, Alexei Berezutski
Midfielders:Kuchaev, Golovin, Natcho, Dzagoev, Milanov
The first leg in Moscow last week was the first meeting that these two teams had had against each other. Lyon will be taking a 0-1 lead back to France, along with that crucial away goal of course, courtesy of Marcelo's strike in the middle of the second half.
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Lyon are at 4/6 to win, a draw is at 5/2, and a CSKA Moscow win is at 9/2.
Lyon, like so many teams in this competition, are going to start feeling desperate to win. Without a victory in this tournament, they have a good chance of once again missing out on the Champions League. It's been a while since they have been in the premier tournament, and even longer since they were a decent threat in int. They've either got to win here, or improve their league form to ensure they get back. CSKA are one of four sides battling between second and fifth in the Russian league currently. They are all quite a way back from Lokomotiv, but CSKA will not want to give up just yet in either competition in hopes of getting back to the UCL.
Lyon and CSKA have had differing paths to get here. Lyon began in this tournament itself in the group stages after they went fairly deep into the last edition of the competition. They would win a group, in very impressive fashion, over the likes of Everton and Atalanta to see themselves into the round of 32. They then overcame a tough challenge in the form of Villarreal by a score of 4-1 on aggregate to get here. CSKA have had a long road to get here. It started in the Champions League where they won two playoff ties just to make the group. From there, they would finish in third place behind Manchester United and FC Basel. This saw them given what should have been a comfy tie with Red Star Belgrade, but they made tough work of it to win 1-0 on aggregate.
Lyon have had a great record at home across all competitions so far this term. The French side have ten wins, six draws, and just two losses. They don't necessarily always win, but they are tough to beat there and it should serve them very well in regards to this particular game. As for CSKA, they have 11 wins, four draws, and four losses away from home this season. They had began the season with four wins in a row and six out of seven without losing, but since then they have lost four of the last 11 while winning just four times. They will need a win here to have any hope of moving forward.
A no for both teams to score is set at ¾ at Ladbrokes.
Lyon haven't enjoyed the greatest of form in the new year to date, but they have a goal to their advantage here and don't have to do anything spectacular to win. They take advantage of a CSKA side that fell behind early.