Lyon v Manchester City Tuesday, 19:45 GMT Live on BT Sport 3
City strong favourites to win
Lyon may have inflicted a rare defeat on Manchester City when they won 2-1 the first time these two sides met in this season's group stages in September but there's no reason to believe history will repeat itself in Lyon on Tuesday evening.
The Ligue 1 outfit's surprise triumph at the Etihad Stadium owed more to City playing poorly on the night than anything else. Yes, Lyon performed well - and with greater attacking energy than many expected - but there's a gulf in quality between these sides whatever metrics you might care to use to measure the gap.
Lyon lie second in Ligue 1 but are 15 points behind runaway leaders PSG. This is a good guide to how far behind City they might be if they played in England. Bruno Genesio's side laboured to a 1-0 win over local rivals St Etienne in the league on Friday night, and have rarely played well over 90 minutes in the league this season. They also dropped points in their first two Champions League home games against Shakhtar Donetsk (2-2) and Hoffenheim (2-2).
With this City side, lightning doesn't strike twice. Pep Guardiola's visitors may be too short to tempt you to back them at1.45 - but that's no reason to support Lyon.
Unders the value selection
The goal line is set at 3.5 Goals - unders the slight favourite at 1.94 - because both sides favour open, attacking football. City's prowess in the final third is well-known, and Lyon's attacking qualities are frequently on show for regular Ligue 1 followers, who'll be aware that manager Genesio encourages his players to get into the opposition half in good numbers.
The jewel in Lyon's crown is France international Nabil Fekir - but at the time of writing he's not a certain starter. Fekir picked up an injury against St Etienne at the weekend, and latest reports suggest he might start on the bench. Without Fekir, Lyon would be less inventive and penetrative in the final third, even though they would still be able to call upon the considerable talents of Memphis Depay, Bertrand Traore, Houssem Aouar and Moussa Dembele.
Fekir has rarely played to his potential this season, but his talismanic value to his side is considerable. It may be worth waiting to find out whether the one-time Liverpool target is named in Lyon's starting line-up before making a selection in this market.
Visitors boast underrated defence
Many bettors will find Manchester City too short at 1.45 in the Match Odds market and instead look for other ways to make the visitors pay. One option is to back City to win without conceding a goal.
At first glance this looks an unappealing choice, for two reasons. The first is that City are still instinctively associated more with their attacking talents than defensive strength. The second is that Lyon have found the net in 15 of their 18 (83%) games in all competitions this season.
Of arguably greater interest than Lyon's scoring stats, however, is the fact that City have kept clean sheets in 13 of their 20 (65%) games in all competitions. They have done so against better teams than Lyon in the Premier League this season, and will work hard to do so on this occasion. Their chances ofwinning to nil will be improved if Fekir's out, of course, so team news is worth taking into account in this market as well.
Lyon's back three a potential weakness
Manchester City are fully capable of winning a game like this by a couple of goals, which throws up the Asian Handicap as a good betting option. They've won 14 out of 20 (70%) games by two or more goals this season and will continue to attack rather than sit back and defend if and when they take the lead.
Lyon have only the seventh-best defensive record in Ligue 1 despite sitting second in the table. Expected to use a 3-5-2, the hosts' back three will almost certainly comprise Jason Denayer, Marcelo and Jeremy Morel. All three are good footballers, but collectively, they hardly constitute a back line built to quell a City side in full flow. For a full guide to Asian Handicap betting, click here.