Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Women’s Champions League clash between Lyon Women and Juventus Women, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
The most successful team in Women’s Champions League history will have to overturn a first-leg deficit if they are to reach the semi-finals, with Lyon Women trailing 2-1 ahead of Thursday’s second leg encounter with Juventus Women.
The Italian Champions came from behind at the Allianz Stadium to ignite hopes that they can become only the second Italian side to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Lyon have won a record seven Champions League titles, but if they are to keep their hopes alive of adding to that tally this season, then they must come from behind to beat Juventus.
Despite scoring first in Turin, an Ellie Carpenter red card ignited a Juventus comeback, but with the deficit just one, Lyon will be aiming to utilise home advantage to progress to the final four.
With no game at the weekend, Sonia Bompastor‘s side have had a week to reflect on their first-leg performance, and the Lyon boss will now look to mastermind a victory on Thursday.
After exiting at the quarter-final stage of the Champions League last season, the Lyon squad will try to use the risk of consecutive last eight eliminations as a motivational tool on Thursday.
The hosts can also take inspiration from the fact that they have won all of their competitive home games this season, with Lyon conceding just three goals in their 13 home matches this season.
Juventus surprised many with their first leg victory in Turin, as the Italian champions demonstrated their winning mentality to come from a goal down to beat the seven-time Champions League winners.
Catarina Macario gave Lyon an early lead before a red card for Carpenter offered Juventus a way back into the contest, and it was an opportunity that they were not going to pass up.
A victory in the Derby d’Italia followed at the weekend, as Juventus claimed a 3-1 victory over Inter to keep them on track for a fifth consecutive league title.
Not only will Juventus head to France buoyed by four consecutive victories in all competitions, but they will take confidence from the fact that they are yet to lose away from home in the Champions League this season.
Lyon Women Women’s Champions League form:
Lyon Women form (all competitions):
Juventus Women Women’s Champions League form:
Juventus Women form (all competitions):
After being given her marching orders in the first leg, Carpenter is suspended for the reverse fixture.
Damaris Egurrola announced on Tuesday that she was switching her international allegiance from Spain to the Netherlands, and after being selected in the Dutch squad for the upcoming international fixtures, the Lyon midfielder will now turn her attention back to club matters.
Meanwhile, Macario will be looking to contribute in the final third, having scored four goals in Europe this term.
As for Juventus, Matilde Lundorf and Lina Hurtig dropped to the bench at the weekend, with Joe Montemurro attempting to manage the workload of his squad, but the pair are expected to return to the starting lineup on Thursday.
After featuring as a substitute in the first leg, Arianna Caruso could come into the side for the trip to France.
Girelli will once again lead the line for the visitors with the forward aiming to add to the five goals that she has already scored in the Champions League this season.
Lyon Women possible starting lineup:
Bouhaddi; Cayman, Buchanan, Renard, Bacha; Egurrola, Mbock, Macario; Cascarino, Malard, Hegerberg
Juventus Women possible starting lineup:
Peyraud-Magnin; Lundorf, Gama, Sembrant, Boattin; Junge-Pedersen, Grosso, Caruso; Hurtig, Cernoia, Girelli
We say: Lyon Women 2-0 Juventus Women
Lyon have never lost back-to-back Champions League matches and after beating Juventus 3-0 at home in the competition last season, we think that the hosts will demonstrate that they possess the quality to overturn the first-leg deficit.