Lyon and Monaco need Champions League wins
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Lyon are to host Juventus as Monaco travelled to Russia to face CSKA Moscow in two of the six Champions League group stage matches on Tuesday. But Wednesday’s match between Barcelona and Manchester City was to be the most decisive for the tournament.
Lyon are welcoming back star striker Alexandre Lacazette as they play at home against Juventus Turin.
Juve are three points clear at the start of the set, but Lyon expressed hope Lacazette’s return after a five-week injury recovery could give them the edge.
“Alexandre Lacazette is an important player, he’s our leader up front,” said captain Maxime Gonalons. “He can make a difference at any moment of the game, just like Nabil Fekir. When this kind of player gets injured, it becomes difficult for us.”
Lyon will be hedging their bets on Lacazette and Fekir keeping them on course for Group H qualifications.
“We’ll try to put Lacazette in the best position for him to be the most effective,” Gonalons said.
Monaco serene ahead of Moscow match
In Group E, Monaco were hoping for an easier game as they were eager to build their three-point tally against CSKA Moscow.
Monaco are unbeaten in the group following wins against Tottenham Hotspur and Bayer Leverkusen and could see themselves taking a big step towards qualification in Moscow.
“This match is key especially after the first two matches in this competition and going into the final three in the group,” said striker Valère Germain. “This confrontation against CSKA Moscow might take us to the next round.”
Man City and Barcelona under pressure
Manchester City are coming to the Camp Nou for Wednesday’s match against Barcelona.
City has four points, two less than Barcelona, which won both of its games and is on a 12-match winning streak at home in the Champions League.
The team got off to a great start under former Barca coach Pep Guardiola, with 10 straight wins, but it’s coming off a three-game winless streak that has put pressure on its new coach.
Barca central midfielder Andres Iniesta sees the hallmarks of his former coach’s playing style in one of the toughest teams to beat in Europe.
“Guardiola's teams are a reflection of what he wants and, despite the short period in which he has been in command, City already carries his identity, his ball-possession style," said Iniesta, who played under Guardiola for four years.
“Manchester City is a top candidate to win this tournament. It's part of a very small group of clubs that can win it.”
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