FC Bayern Munich is still missing two steps to triple. After the historic 8-2 victory over FC Barcelona in the quarter-finals, Bayern are considered top contenders to win the Champions League.
That alone shows the starting position before this game – at least on the betting market. Because before the semi-final game Bayern vs. Lyon, the betting odds speak a clear language in favor of the German double winner.
The fact that the role of favorites on paper in this modified tournament with only one knockout game on neutral turf does not necessarily have to have a lot of expressiveness, was already clear when Atletico Madrid or Manchester City were eliminated.
Who knows, maybe Bayern are doing harder than expected against Lyon, after all, this completely surprising city shot out of the competition beforehand.
That Olympique Lyon is the clear underdog in this semifinals, make it clear before Lyon vs. Bavaria also the odds of bookmakers – but of course the outsider role of the French is not surprising.
After a completely mixed season, the Lyonnais finished the (prematurely) French league in seventh place, thus missing out on international business. This was also missed through the Ligacup back door, after the forced break in the final of the Coupe de la Ligue, Lyon lost the final against Paris Saint-Germain very close on penalties, with a final victory OL would have made it into the Europa League.
The last chance to play internationally next year is to win the Champions League. Two wins separate Lyon from the title, but now you have to pass the mighty Bayern first. But the outsider role, it is apparently Lyon extremely well, as the surprise successes in the previous two knockout rounds show.
Nobody expected anything from the French, and yet they surprisingly threw the Italian record champions Juventus Turin out of the competition (1: 0, 1: 2) in the round of 16 thanks to the away goals rule (1: 0, 1: 2) before a real coup in the 3: 1 against Pep Guardiolas in Manchester City Quarterfinals succeeded.
The 3-1 success certainly sets the course against Bayern, because against City Lyon played tactically smart, stood compact behind, lurked for opportunities and switched to winning the ball at lightning speed. Lyon City countered three times in an exemplary manner – and that Bayern are open and vulnerable at the back was just shown in the early stages of their game against FC Barcelona. So this tactical plan could work again.
Bayern Munich :
A look at the results and the incredibly strong run, and you understand immediately why Bayern Munich is a big favorite with betting providers, in the semifinals as in the entire CL tournament: Munich has been unbeaten in 28 competitive games, the last defeat is dated on December 7th, a 1: 2 in the Bundesliga at Borussia Mönchengladbach.
So the team of coach Hansi Flick walked unbeaten in the league in the second half to the championship title (16 wins and one draw from 17 games), was able to preserve this strong form even after the league ended and transfer it to the Champions League.
Because the performance against FC Barcelona at 8-2 in the quarter-finals was nothing short of impressive. A statement victory that underpins the ambitions of Munich: The second triple in the club’s history is to come, Lyon is therefore only a transit station in the semi-finals. Against Barça everything was right at Bayern, the pressing, the running strength, the unpredictability in the attack and of course the exploitation of chances.
Bayern are only the second team to have won all nine Champions League games so far, a feat that only FC Barcelona in 2002/03 achieved.
But Bayern OL must not underestimate, of course, otherwise they could end up like Manchester City or Juventus, who also failed as favorites against the brave French, who had nothing to lose and won everything.
It is to be expected that coach Flick will again rely on the identical starting eleven from the victory over Barcelona. The only question mark is on the front left of the wing: Will Ivan Perisic start again, or will Flick let the faster and more dribbling Kingsley Coman take on his compatriots?