Nicholas Mendola

www.twitter.com/NicholasMendola
Manchester City - Lyon
Photo by VI Images via Getty Images

Manchester City – Lyon: How to watch, start time, prediction, odds

Leave a comment

Manchester City – Lyon: The stakes are a bit higher when Lyon begins its latest quest to fluster Manchester City.

Lyon meets Man City in the Champions League quarterfinals less than 22 months after taking four of six points off City in the 2018-19 UCL group stage.

[ MORE: Matuidi moves to MLS ]

City star Kevin De Bruyne missed both of those matches, and was the difference in the Real Madrid tie after a quiet group stage. He’ll have to make things happen without Sergio Aguero.

Lyon’s Houssem Aouar will be the focus of Guardiola’s attention and perhaps affection, the playmaker potentially leaving the Ligue 1 side after the tournament.

Lisbon is the scene for both clubs’ bids at a second UCL semifinal berth this century.


How to watch, stream Champions League: Barcelona – Bayern Munich

Dates: Saturday August 14, 3pm ET kick off
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
How to watch: CBS Sports
Live updates: UCL here at NBCSports.com & Europa League here at NBCSports.com


What they’re saying

Bernardo Silva on Man City’s readiness: “Everyone is fit and super motivated. We couldn’t be better to be honest. Beating Madrid gives you a boost in terms of confidence. You don’t need motivation for these games; It’s the quarter-final of Champions League. We are fighting for a huge thing. Everyone is focused to do their best and help the team.”

Lyon’s Bruno Guimaraes on the City test: “We have a very high level opponent ahead of us, but we, too are a good team. After all, if we want to progress in this Final 8, we have to beat opponents like Manchester City, even though they are a very strong club and play great football. We can bring ourselves to their level, we have already done so in the past.”


Odds and ends (Full quarterfinal round odds)

Lyon beat City 2-1 at the Etihad on Sept. 19, 2018 before drawing 2-2 at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais two months later. Ivorian international Maxwell Cornet scored three of Lyon’s four goals.

DraftKings has Man City has the favorites to win the whole tournament, so it’s no surprise to see the Premier League giants with minus-305 odds. Lyon are +750 underdogs.


Prediction

Lyon can play at a frantic pace and will hope to keep City’s possession game off-kilter. But if Pep Guardiola’s men falter it seems unlikely to be over these 90 minutes. De Bruyne stars in a 2-0 win.

Series of coronavirus positives across many La Liga clubs

La Liga coronavirus
Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images
Leave a comment

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) __ It looks like Spain’s soccer league finished just in time.

The league ended three weeks ago with Real Madrid winning the title and club directors breathing a sigh of relief that the decision to resume the competition after a four-month stoppage due to the coronavirus pandemic was the right one.

The second division was not so lucky. A major outbreak on one club on the final day of the season threw the competition into chaos that was resolved only weeks later.

But after a short summer holiday, the first-division clubs are detecting a smattering of infections after their players returned to action for the preseason.

[ MORE: Matuidi moves to MLS ]

The latest club to be stricken was Real Valladolid, which announced on Thursday that a member of its team or staff had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

That came a day after Athletic Bilbao said six players had also been infected. They identified themselves on social media.

The group included Bilbao striker Inaki Williams, who said he was without symptoms and “staying at home until I get over the virus” and can rejoin the team.

Real Betis forward Loren Moron has announced he, too, tested positive, and Osasuna said coach Jagoba Arrasate was also infected.

The most recent cases are coming out as clubs screen their teams and staff on return to practice before starting the preseason.

But cases have also cropped up in teams still in competition for important titles.

Atletico Madrid had a huge scare when Angel Correa and Sime Vrsaljko tested positive as the team was set to travel to Portugal for the Champions League final eight. The rest of their teammates tested negative and were able to travel. The club does not rule out that the forward and defender could join the team later if they recover quickly.

[ MORE: Reyna scores for Dortmund ]

Barcelona, for its part, had already said one player not with the team set to play in the Champions League had tested positive.

Sevilla also had a player test positive before it headed to Germany to dispute the Europa League.

Real Madrid forward Mariano tested positive just before it visited Manchester City in the Champions League round-of-16, which it lost.

Strict hygiene, limits on player socialization, and testing allowed the league to finish the last 11 rounds of the competition in June and July.

The uptick in cases came amid a second surge in the virus that causes COVID-19 in Spain, making it the most worrying hot spot in Europe.

The new Spanish league is supposed to start in September, but a calendar has not been announced yet.

VIDEO: USMNT youngster Giovanni Reyna scores in start for Dortmund

Giovanni Reyna news
Photo by David Inderlied/picture alliance via Getty Images
Leave a comment

In Giovanni Reyna news, the latest American phenom at Borussia Dortmund is beginning his first full season with the first team the way he finished last season.

[ MORE: Matuidi moves to MLS ]

The Austrian Bundesliga competition wasn’t up to the challenge on Wednesday, as BVB hammered SCR  Altach 6-0.

Reyna started alongside high-profile English import Jude Bellingham and club starts Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho, delivering a goal when he combined with two of the three to open the scoring

Haaland then scored twice and a 3-0 halftime lead was doubled by Thorgan Hazard, Emre Can, and Julian Brandt. Jadon Sancho started for BVB, days after club director Michael Zorc said the Manchester United target would not be sold.

[ MORE: Sancho alternatives for Man Utd ]

Reyna appeared in 18 of 20 matches for BVB after debuting for Lucien Favre in a Jan. 18 win over Augsburg. He finished with a goal and two assists in just over 400 minutes, including a goal against Werder Bremen in the German Cup and an assist versus PSG in the Champions League.

It’ll be a challenge for him to collect starts on a team as deep as BVB, but this is a fine beginning to the campaign.

Cup news: League Cup begins in September, no replays in FA Cup

League Cup news
Photo by Richard Calver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Leave a comment

The domestic treble is still an option for the clubs of the Premier League despite the late start to the 2020-21 season.

The League Cup and FA Cup are both back for the congested new season of English football, albeit with significant changes to each competition.

[ MORE: Matuidi moves to MLS ]

The former will jam four matchdays into September, while the latter has eliminated replays.

There’s also news regarding the Community Shields for men and women.

League Cup news

Premier League clubs will be busy early in their seasons.

League Cup action begins on Sept. 5 and Premier League teams will enter the competition days after the top flight’s Opening Day.

Chelsea and Man City may even play a League Cup game before they return to PL action if the Champions League clubs are given another week to prepare for the league’s Sept. 12 start.

Rounds two, three and four will then be played on consecutive midweeks, starting on September 15 and 16.

PL teams will enter the competition in those rounds depending on their 2019-20 league position, and that could see some PL teams play seven times between Sept. 12 and the first week of October.

There will only be one-legged semifinals this season, and the first-round draw will be held on Aug. 18.

FA Cup news

The FA Cup will begin its extrapreliminary rounds, also on Sept. 5, with 44 clubs from the top three divisions not participating until the third round proper in early January.

There will be no replays in this year’s tournament, which amplifies the chances for upsets on the way to the May 15 final at Wembley Stadium.

Arsenal beat Chelsea to win its record 14th FA Cup this past season.

FA Cup news
Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick AUbameyang and Alex Lacazette celebrate after the FA Cup Final (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Community Shield

The FA also announced that its going to stage a special doubleheader of women’s and men’s silverware when the Community Shields are awarded on Aug. 29 at Wembley.

FA Women’s Super League champions Chelsea challenge Women’s FA Cup holders Manchester City three hours before FA Cup winners Arsenal tangle with Premier League champions Liverpool.

World Cup winner Matuidi reunites with Beckham at Inter Miami

Matuidi to Inter Miami
Photo by Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Playing Inter Miami just got a whole lot more difficult, as David Beckham’s brought an old teammate to South Beach.

The first-year MLS club confirmed the capture of the World Cup winner on Thursday, the 33-year-old coming to Florida with four Ligue 1 titles and three Serie A scudetti.

[ VIDEO: PSG stun Atalanta with late goals ]

Matuidi arrives on a free transfer despite playing a key role for Juventus this season, playing 45 times with a goal and two assists.

The 84-times capped French midfielder has nine goals for his country including a marker against Switzerland at the 2014 World Cup. He started four times when Les Bleus won the 2018 World Cup, including three of four knockout round matches (He was suspended for the fourth).

IMCF boss Diego Alonso has big plans for the Frenchman:

“He’s a versatile player who can play in several positions, be it centrally or out wide in midfield, and he’s even played as a full-back for Juventus,” Alonso said. “That speaks to his ability. We are very happy with what he can provide for us on the pitch. Off the field, all the reports we received are exceptional. He’s a great guy, a great professional that will help us improve.”

Don’t be surprised if Matuidi produces plenty of offense despite his reputation as a good-tackling midfielder with a great read of the game. He regularly scored 5-6 goals per season with PSG before going to Juve, where he scored seven times in three seasons.

Not like-for-like but look at how Blerim Dzemaili, a bit more offensive-minded in Serie A, became a monstrous threat at Montreal Impact.

Inter is 0-5 to start the MLS season, with Wil Trapp and Rodolfo Pizarro the key pieces as Diego Alonso has used four different formations in five outings (3-5-2, 4-3-3, 5-4-1, and 4-2-3-1 twice).

It’s been a few years and plenty of miles on the legs since Matuidi was at PSG, but take a look at his goals in this video. He’s such a smart player and finds dangerous spaces. The strength and size of MLS defenders can be a big challenge for some, but players with the savvy to navigate the final third are threats to provide double-digit goals and assists.