International Champions Cup: Chelsea vs Lyon – Lineups, Preview and Prediction
Chelsea and Lyon meet at Stamford Bridge as both sides draw lines under their ICC pre-season campaigns.
Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley
20:05 BST, Tuesday 7th August, Stamford Bridge (Chelsea, London)
Chelsea must quickly dust themselves off after Sunday afternoon’s Community Shield loss to Manchester City as they prepare to welcome Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyonnais to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening.
It will be the final game in the competition for both sides as the start of their respective domestic campaigns nears. The two teams also have a win and a loss each so far in the tournament, with Chelsea’s only victory coming against Inter Milan on penalties, while Lyon won an entertaining game with Benfica, 3-2.
Maurizio Sarri makes his managerial debut in the Premier League away to Huddersfield Town this weekend, while Lyon will meet Amiens at home. This is the last opportunity for both teams to make any adjustments.
Last Time Out
Chelsea 0-2 Manchester City [FA Community Shield]
A brace from Sergio Aguero handed Chelsea and new boss Maurizio Sarri their first defeat of the new season. It was a game in which both sides struggled to deal with the energy-sapping heat, though Pep Guardiola will walk away the much happier of the two managers as Manchester City dominated possession and the flow of the game.
City took the lead when the fearless Phil Foden wandered through the dark blue lines before finding Sergio Aguero on the edge of the box, with the Argentine finishing into the bottom corner.
The goal was Aguero’s 200th for City, and he added the 201st shortly after half-time when Bernardo Silva’s through ball was finished in trademark style by the number ten.
The defeat will be an early indicator as to just how far Chelsea may be off the pace this season after managing only one shot on target through 17-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Inter Milan 1-0 Lyon [International Champions Cup]
The French side also come into this fixture on the back of a defeat. The Ligue 1 outfit were beaten 1-0 in Lecce by Serie A giants Inter Milan, having failed to threaten their opponent’s goal.
Lautaro Martinez scored the only goal of the game after the attacker was set up by Dalbert Henrique shortly after half time. Lyon fired 11 shots towards Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic, but couldn’t find a way through.
Sarri played a near-full strength side against the Premier League champions on Sunday afternoon, which will be a cause for concern given how comfortable Manchester City appeared to be.
Chelsea are still missing star man Eden Hazard as he finishes his extended break after his World Cup exploits, though the Blues will be eager to get confidence back on track before kicking off their domestic campaign in a matter of days.
With most Chelsea first-team players having featured heavily on Sunday, Sarri will look to make a host of changes.
Callum Hudson-Odoi may be given the opportunity to carry on an impressive pre-season, though N’Golo Kante, Olivier Giroud and Thibaut Courtois join Hazard in the list of players yet to return to action.
Memphis Depay will hope to return to the starting XI after having a place on the bench for the clash with Inter Milan.
Dominican forward Mariano Diaz will look to continue building his fitness and match sharpness before the Ligue 1 season gets underway while ex-Manchester United full back Rafael will hope to feature in defence.
Key Battle: Davide Zappacosta (Chelsea) vs Memphis Depay (Lyon)
With regular right-back Cesar Azpilicueta having played on Sunday in the Community Shield, it is likely that stand-in Zappacosta will start this one.
The Italian hasn’t hit the heights since arriving at Stamford Bridge, finding his game time limited under ex-boss, Antonio Conte. In contrast, Depay is enjoying a renewed run of form in France after an underwhelming spell in Manchester.
Depay is one the focal points of this Lyon side and his pace and trickery causes problems for defences in Ligue 1. If Chelsea are to get anything from this one, Zappacosta will have to keep a close eye on the winger.
New Chelsea, new issues?
Manchester City comfortably beat Chelsea on Sunday and the relative ease will be a concern to new boss Sarri — and it may highlight how far the Blues have got to go to catch up with the Premier League’s pacesetters.
One stat in particular will stand out for Chelsea fans: they only had one shot on target. Senior players were missing and some less experienced were drafted in, but the nature of the performance will leave the backroom team scratching their heads.
Sarri is trying to implement his preferred 4-3-3 system, overhauling the 3-4-3 used by Antonio Conte, but his players appear to be having trouble adjusting. With only one match left to get it all right, can the new manager pull out all the stops in time?
Prediction: Chelsea 1-1 Lyon
On paper, Chelsea should have too much quality for this Lyon side, though having played only 48 hours before this game kicks off, there will be some tired bodies and minds in amongst the side. Sarri will switch up his starting XI, but the negativity following Sunday’s defeat will spread throughout the entire squad and Chelsea may take a while to get going again on Tuesday.
Depay and Mariano will look to take advantage of a weakened Chelsea defence and have the potential to cause problems throughout.
Chelsea and Sarri haven’t got long to get to grips with their desired style and formation, though the backroom team may be wise to focus more on the performance more than the result on Tuesday – it could well be a draw. 1-1.
If you want to read more football content, make sure you follow us on Twitter @realsportgoals