Hexagoal Ligue 1 Trophy

Memphis Depay key for Lyon against Barcelona

Publish on 19/02/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS


Olympique Lyonnais will look to Memphis Depay to compensate for the absence of the suspended Nabil Fekir in Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League Last 16 first leg against Barcelona.

Tuesday, 19 February

UEFA Champions League, Last 16, first leg

Groupama Stadium, Lyon

 Olympique Lyonnais - FC Barcelona 

With Fekir sidelined, Depay will be the creative focus of a Lyon side that was below-par in their last Ligue 1 Conforama outing: the underwhelming 2-1 win over En Avant Guingamp.

The seven-time French champions in the knockout stages of Europe's elite club competition for the first time in seven years, and face a Barca side that has only ever been eliminated twice at this stage.

But like their opponents, Bruno Genesio’s side went through the group stage unbeaten, and showed in taking four points from two group-stage meetings with Manchester City that they can handle the big occasion.

"Manchester City and Barcelona are two attack-minded teams. We produced two good games against City, and we can do it again against Barcelona even though they are a bit different with a superstar," Genesio said.

"You need a balance when you play Barcelona; you need organisation, discipline and to put them under pressure each time you have the ball at your feet."

While Fekir's absence is enforced, the Lyon boss is hoping centre-back Jason Denayer and midfielder Tanguy Ndombele will shake off knocks to play.

Ndombele, who earlier this season earned his first senior cap for France, has been one of OL's stand-out performers with his displays even attracting the attention of the Barca squad.

"They asked me which youth academy Ndombele was at," the blaugrana’s French centre-back Clément Lenglet explained.

"There were also quite a lot of questions about the very good young players Lyon have and the system they play with three at the back."

Probable teams

Lyon: Lopes; Dubois, Marcelo, Denayer, Mendy; Tousart, Ndombele; Traoré, Depay, Aouar; Dembélé

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitić, Busquets, Vidal; Dembélé, Messi, Suárez