Lyon vs. Liverpool Preview and Pick

Lyon vs. Liverpool, Champions League, Stade Gerland, Lyon, France 2:45 PM EST Wednesday November 4, 2009
By Jason Green of

Match Odds: Lyon is the home favorite in this match posted at 2.35 with Liverpool the away underdog posted at 3.00 with a draw at 3.30.
Over/Under: 2.5

In this big Champions league match Liverpool is in France to take on Lyon to try to get back in Group E. Even though Liverpool recently had a huge win over Manchester United in the English Premier League they are in jeopardy of not making it to the knockout phase of the Champions League. Liverpool has lost 2 matchs in a row since the Man U win and they need to win this match to improve their chances of making it out of the group. Currently Liverpool only has 3 points in Group E with Lyon leading with 9 points and Fiorentina with 6 points. Even a draw will not help the Reds much, as Liverpool has to win this match.

Lyon is flying high as the surprising Group E leader and they shocked Liverpool at in England in their last Champions League match winning 2-1. They are also playing well in the French first division, as the currently sit only 2 points behind Bordeaux. Lyon has played stellar in the Champions League so far scoring 7 goals and only allowing 1 while the Liverpool offense has been stagnant in CL play with only 2 goals in 3 matches.

Lyon can assure themselves a spot in the knockout phase with a win in this match. Liverpool is in big trouble if they lose, as it will be very hard for them to progress even if they win their next 2 CL matches. If Fiorentina beat Debrecen in the other Group E match on Wednesday night Liverpool will head to the UEFA Europa League rather than the Champions League where they have been impressive in the past few years. The one positive thing for Liverpool is the fact that in their last 4 matches in France they have won them all.

Lyon Recent Form:
10/31/2009 Saint-Etienne 0 Lyon 1 (France League 1)
10/24/2009 Nice 4 Lyon 1 (France League 1)
10/20/2009 Liverpool 1 Lyon 2 (Champions League)
10/17/2009 Lyon 0 Sochaux 2 (France League 1)
10/3/2009 RC Lens 0 Lyon 2 (France League 1)

Liverpool Recent Form:
10/31/2009 Fulham 3 Liverpool 1 (English Premier League)
10/28/2009 Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1 (League Cup)
10/25/2009 Liverpool 2 Manchester United 0 (English Premier League)
10/20/2009 Liverpool 1 Lyon 2 (Champions League)
10/17/2009 Sunderland 1 Liverpool 1 (English Premier League)

Both striker Kim Kallstrom and GK Hugo Lloris will play in this match even though both have minor groin injuries. Both Jean-Alain Boumsong, Mathieu Bodmer, and Anderson are all out for this match due to injuries. Brazilian star Michel Bastos did not play in the last match against Liverpool because he was not match fit, but he should start in this match.

For Liverpool the big loss is captain Steven Gerrard, who will miss this match due to a groin injury. Even though Fernando Torres may need surgery for his injury he will start in this match and the Reds will need his offense. Alberto Aquilani has a virus and his status will be a match-time decision and Martin Kelly is out with an ankle injury. Glen Johnson has an injured calf, but he should be available for this match.

Miralem Pjanic is an exciting playmaker for Lyon and the Reds have to mark him and not let him loose around the goal.

For Liverpool it is do-or-die so they will come out firing in this match. A draw is useless for them so they will push up on offense to try to put pressure on Lyon. Fernando Torres was the hero in the Manchester United match and he needs to play well in this match.

Lyon may drop back on defense, but Liverpool also has to worry about the counter-attack since their defense will be exposed.

Solid Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt has been struggling lately and he needs top break out of his offensive slump and this is the perfect match to do it.

Lyon G Hugo Loris has to have a big match since Liverpool will come out firing.

Jason’s Pick: No Gerrard an injured Torres and a streaking Lyon may look like a Lyon win. However, I have seen Liverpool came back from the dead many times in Champions League play and I see them doing the same this time around and winning this match. I see them breaking out of their goal-scoring slump, as I think they will win 3-0 or 3-1.