Preview - CSKA Moscow vs Lyon - March 09 2018

Started by Harry85, Mar 08, 2018, 07:13 AM

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Harry85

Europa League Round Of 16 First Leg
CSKA Moscow vs. Lyon
Friday, March 9th , 2018
02:00 am (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Arena Khimki

CSKA Moscow:
Last five matches form: L L D W W
EL Average goals per match: 0.5
EL Average goals against per match: 0.0
EL Top Scorer: Alan Dzagoev (1)

Lyon:
Last five matches form: D W D L D
EL Average goals per match: 1.90
EL Average goals against per match: 0.6
EL Top Scorer: Bertrand Traoré (4)

CSKA Moscow face a serious defensive headache here, with the Berzutski twins and Viktor Vasin all doubts ahead of this game.

Lyon may not be quite as capable as usual to take advantage of CSKA's defensive woes however as the French sides attacking dynamo Nabil Fakir himself looks set to miss out.

CSKA would appear to arrive in the better form having won their last two. They haven't been great at home in Europe to date though, losing two of their three Champions League Group games. A drop to the Europa League should be easier in theory, but sitting fourth in Ligue 1, Lyon are enjoying a solid season and will provide a stiff test.

Lyon lost at Atlanta, but have otherwise performed with great credit on their travels in this competition, recording excellent wins at both Everton and Villareal.

CSKA's main strength at home has been their defensive solidity. A total of just two goals conceded in their last eight matches is an impressive stat by any measure. With all those injuries at the back, we would be surprised were they to record a clean sheet here though.

 Even without Fakir, Lyon still offer plenty of attacking threat through the likes of Memphis Depay, Mariano and Bertrand TraorĂ©.

A tough one to call overall but Lyon look to have fewer problems than the home side coming into this and look marginally the more likely winners.

Prediction: CSKA Moscow 1-2 FC Lyon

Harry85

Half time: 0 - 0
Full time: 0 - 1
Shots:  12 - 13
Shots on target: 7 - 6
Corner Kicks: 4 - 3
Possession: 58% - 42%

Four booked here with CSKA's Kirill Nabakin and Bebras Natcho, and Lyon's Lucas Tousart and Gnaly Maxwell Cornet getting on the wrong side of referee Antonio Mateu.

Little to split these two sides on the night, both in general play and the final score line. Evenly matched across most of the key stats, CSKA had one defensive lapse and Lyon didn't and that was the difference in the end.

The home side did start the better, forcing Anthony Lopes into two saves inside the opening twenty minutes.

Other than a Sergei Ignashevich header in the 40th minute, both sides were largely restricted to efforts from range as the defences came out on top. 0-0 at half-time.

Little changed after the break with the first six efforts on goal in the second half coming from outside the box as both teams struggled to find a way through.

The decisive moment of this match came in the 68th minute, and for a side who pride themselves on their defence, CSKA Moscow will likely be disappointed that it emerged from a set-piece situation. Memphis Depay swinging in a corner from the left and Marcelo rising highest at the far post to head into the top corner.

Moscow did make a late push for the equaliser, but a well saved header from Fedor Chalov and a wide effort from Bibras Natcho were as close as they came.

Away goals can be so crucial in these close ties and as such Lyon will be delighted with this result. CSKA were the better side at times though and will head to France next week with realistic hopes of turning this around.

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