Real Madrid host Lyon, on Tuesday, October 18, in a Group D game, in the Champions League. Real Madrid have been in sparkling form, recently, with successive wins against Espanyol and Betis, in the La Liga.
Gonzalo Higuain was the hero of those games with hat-tricks in both matches. Higuain who had a poor start to the season was a replacement for Karim Benzema, absent owing to injury, in both the games. With Benzema due to return from injury, manager Jose Mourinho has the luxury of having two in-form strikers at his disposal.
While Real Madrid will be hard to beat, Lyon have been a bogey team, having beaten them three times in the last five years, in the Champions League.
Lyon were the dominant team of the French Premier League (Ligue 1) over most of the first decade of this century, having won the league title on seven occasions, but they have since been outshone by teams such as Lille, Marseille and Bordeaux. The French team are currently Group D runners up to Real Madrid and in heir recent form, have won two of their last three games, against Dinamo Zagreb and AS Nancy-Lorraine, while losing the one to Paris Saint-Germain. By contrast, Real Madrid have won their last three matches in a row, against Ajax, Espanyol and Real Betis.
Ahead of the game, Lyon’s Clement Gardner is ruled out owing to injury, while a late call could be taken on Lisandro Lopez. For Real Madrid, the cloud of injury hovers over Ricardo Carvalho, Sami Khedira and Nuri Sahin. Midfielder Lassana Diarra is certain to miss the game after picking up an injury against Real Betis.
Real Madrid will rely on an in-form Higuain whose past record against Lyon has not been outstanding, and the striker would want to redeem that record.
For Lyon, the key man could be Yoann Gourcuff, and the visitors will need all of Gourcuff’s creativity in midfield, if they are to make a match of it at Bernabeu. Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has had an excellent record against Real Madrid, in the past, and the Frenchmen will rely on Lloris to keep the likes of Kaka, Ronaldo and Higuain from scoring.
Real Madrid are overwhelming favourites to win the game, in front of their home fans, given the kind of form they are in, currently.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.