Manchester City are set to take on Olympique Lyonnais at the José Alvalade Stadium hoping to secure a place in the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League with a win on Saturday night. The Mancunian giants managed to earn a well-deserved 4-2 aggregate victory over Real Madrid in the previous round, but Lyon could prove to be a tricky test for them this weekend.
The League Cup champions are desperately trying to end their wait for the Champions League crown, so Pep Guardiola will undoubtedly name a strong squad that can get the job done away in Portugal. After missing out on the FA Cup, Man City should be well-motivated to win this tournament, but need to avoid complacency versus Rudi Garcia’s men if they are to keep their European dreams alive this season.
Pep Guardiola is expected to stick with the 4-3-3 formation as he asks his players to dominate the ball and cook up a few promising opportunities to score in the final third. However, it will be easier said than done based on Lyon’s incredible performance against Juventus in the last round.
Here are three ways how Man City boss Pep Guardiola can tactically outwit Lyon in the Champions League quarterfinals.
Give De Bruyne The Freedom To Act As A Free-Flowing Attacking Midfielder
Kevin De Bruyne found a lot of joy during the 90 minutes versus Real Madrid last weekend. He enjoyed the freedom of playing as a free-flowing attacking midfielder even though he ended the night without a goal or an assist to his name.
A player of De Bruyne’s quality could prove to be the key deciding factor in the game if he is given the license to join in on the attack at every chance he can get. The Belgian will carry most of the creative workload in midfield, so Guardiola might as well use him in the opposition half as it will allow him to be more productive in the decisive end of the pitch.
Encourage Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden To Get To The Byline
Both Sterling and Foden enjoyed an excellent outing versus Los Blancos, so they will be in high spirits heading into this weekend. Man City should consider letting them run wild out on the flanks where the dynamic duo can use their pace to get to the byline and create a lot of headaches for the opposition.
Stick With Gabriel Jesus Up Top Even If Sergio Aguero Is Passed Fit
Jesus has been enjoying the best season of his playing career and was instrumental behind Man City’s dominant win over the Madrid outfit. Therefore, Guardiola should stick with him in the attacking third as he could end up doing most of the damage up top.
If Aguero can win the race against time to be fit for this clash, then Guardiola should consider naming him on the bench rather than using him from the start of the match. Jesus’ pace could cause plenty of problems for the Lyon defenders this weekend, so it makes sense for the Mancunian club to deploy the Brazilian striker down the middle so that he can once again harass the opposition using his high pressing and intelligent running.
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