Lyon vs Hoffenheim – Wednesday, November 7, 20:00GMT/21:00CET – OL Stadium, Lyon, France
After a dramatic 3-3 draw two weeks ago Lyon and Hoffenheim go at each other again. Lyon were knocked off top spot in the section by Manchester City on matchday three despite twice leading at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena in Sinsheim.
Bertrand Traoré gave the visitors a 27th-minute lead and, though Andrej Kramarić turned the match on its head with goals either side of half-time, second-half strikes from Tanguy Ndombele (59) and Memphis Depay (67) looked to have given Lyon a second successive away win.
Instead Hoffenheim substitute Joelinton rescued a point in added time, keeping the German side in touch with the top two. That result in Hoffenheim was followed by a 2-1 win against SCO Angers and a 1-1 draw against Girondins Bordeaux.
“That was a warning; we have to be better organised against fast-paced Hoffenheim. We can’t afford to play the same way in the Champions League,” Olympique Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas told the media. “it wasn’t a great performance,” head coach Bruno Genesio said. “It was one of our worsed games in a long time. We were poor without the ball and not much better with the ball. It is a miracle that we collected one point,” Genesio added.
Hoffenheim, in the meantime, had mixed results since facing Lyon. Hoffenheim were defeated 2-1 by Eintracht Frankfurt and then lost 2-0 in the DFB Pokal to Leipzig before dismantling Leverkusen 4-1 on the weekend. Against Leverkusen Hoffenheim heavily rotated his side and head coach Julian Nagelsmann is convinced that as a result, Lyon will have a hard time figuring out his Hoffenheim side.
“The scouts will have gotten very little information on how we play from this match,” the head coach said with a smile on his face. Hoffenheim were tactically variable and were impossible to play against at times. “If we play like that we can win there,” Nagelsmann added.
Three points for Hoffenheim would mean that die Kraichgauer would move past Les Gones in Group F. Die Kraichgauer need to conserve their form from the Leverkusen match if they can do that they should have enough to collect their first Champions League victory.
Lyon vs Hoffenheim – Players to look out for:
Nabil Fekir #18 – Olympique Lyon
It was the only positive news on a difficult evening for Olympique Lyon in the 1-1 draw against Bordeaux. The attacking midfielder is a key player for Lyon. Targeted by Liverpool ahead of the season the 25-year-old World Cup winner has scored two goals and two assists in seven games this season. On paper, those numbers are not fantastic but his 18 goals and seven assists in 30 Ligue 1 games during the 2017/18 season shows that Fekir is a dangerous player.
Ishak Belfodil #19 – Hoffenheim
Ishak Belfodil has finally arrived in Hoffenheim. The 191cm tall Algerian national team striker had some trouble adjusting to Nagelsmann’s complicated setup at the beginning of the season and then also had some problems with discipline, which earned him a one-match suspension by the club. But that seems in the past now as Belfodil scored twice against Stuttgart on the weekend. Surprisingly fast and with an ability to play several positions up front Belfodil was a hot commodity on the transfer market this summer and Hoffenheim have done well to secure his services for just €5.5 million.
Lyon vs Hoffenheim – Match Stats
- OL have lost two of their last three home games against German clubs – although they beat Schalke 1-0 in the most recent, in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League group stage – but have won seven of the 12 such contests overall (D1 L4).
- Lyon were UEFA Champions League semi-finalists in 2010 and are in the group stage for the 15th time – more than any other French club.
- Die Kraichgauer have won only one of their 11 European matches, home and away. Having lost the first four, they have been beaten only twice in the last seven.
- Hoffenheim are the 13th German club to feature in the UEFA Champions League – a joint competition record with Spain. They are one of three newcomers to the UEFA Champions League group stage this season, alongside Crvena zvezda and Young Boys.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Lyon vs Hoffenheim – 1-3
Lyon vs Hoffenheim – Lineups
Lopes – Mendy, Denayer, Marcelo, Rafael da Silva – Tousart, Ndombelé – Aouar, Fekir, Traoré – Depay
Head Coach: Bruno Genesio
Baumann – Adams, Vogt Bicakcic – Kaderabek, Grillitsch, Schulz – Demirbay – Kramaric, Joelinton, Belfodil
Head Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Andrew Flint is an English freelance football writer living in Tyumen, Western Siberia, with his wife and two daughters. He has featured on These Football Times, Russian Football News, Four Four Two and Sovetski Sport, mostly focusing on full-length articles about derbies, youth development and the game in Russia. Due to his love for FC Tyumen, he is particularly interested in lower league Russian football and is looking to establish himself in time for the 2018 World Cup. Follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMijFlint.