Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Champions League Draw - Lyon v Bordeaux

There will be a French team in the semi-finals, this much we know. And whether that club plays Bayern Munich or Manchester United, be prepared for WWII jokes aplenty as well as ironically worn berets and striped black and white shirts.

The first leg will be in Lyon, just as it was when they played Real Madrid. Bordeaux won't underestimate Lyon in the way Madrid did though. Both sides are relatively attack-minded and strong through the middle of the pitch. Some might give Lyon a slight edge as they have been to this stage of the Champions League relatively recently, but most of the those players have long since left the club.

Gourcuff runs things from the middle for Bordeaux, and if Lyon can shut him down, they will shut down Bordeaux. I like Chamakh, I think he is a good striker, but he is not the type to create too much for himself, he will be dependent on service from the midfield. I favor Lyon in this match-up. They shut down Kaka over two legs, and he does a lot of the same things Gourcuff does.

Another interesting thing in this tie will be what type of formation Lyon play. They have a lot of attacking talent, and could certainly play with two, or even three up top if they want to. That is unlikely though. I feel like these matches will show us a lot of possession in the opponents half for both clubs, but few good chances created. I think Lyon will win the first match at home, although Bordeaux might snatch an away goal. Regardless, I think Lyon will hold on in Bordeaux and advance to the semi-final.

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