Lyon v Manchester City – Champions League opener in focus

Manchester City host Lyon in their Champions League opener on Wednesday.

Here, we take a look at their Group F opponents.

Current form

Lyon, pictured at Everton last season, have had a mixed start to the new season (Peter Byrne/PA)

Lyon earned another shot at the Champions League after finishing third, behind Paris St Germain and Monaco, in Ligue 1 last season. They have had a mixed start to the new campaign, winning two, losing two and drawing once in their opening five fixtures. They sit seventh in the table, eight points behind leaders PSG.

Champions League experience

Lyon faced Liverpool in the Champions League in 2009 (Nick Potts/PA)

Les Gones have never played City but are a familiar name in the Champions League. This is their third appearance in the group stages in four seasons and their 15th overall, more than any other French side. They reached the semi-finals in 2010 after seeing off Liverpool and Real Madrid but have not got through to the knockout stages since 2012. They beat Everton 2-1 away and 3-0 at home in last season’s Europa League.

Notable players

Memphis Depay had an unsuccessful spell at Manchester United (Martin Rickett/PA)

World Cup-winner Nabil Fakir is Lyon’s prize asset. The attacking midfielder, who made six substitute appearances in France’s victorious campaign in Russia this summer, has been a long-term transfer target of Liverpool. Their ranks were also bolstered with the signing of striker Moussa Dembele from Celtic last month. Memphis Depay and Rafael are known to English audiences after their stints at Manchester United, while Bertrand Traore moved from Chelsea. Defender Jason Denayer was signed from City in the summer having never made a first-team appearance at the Etihad Stadium.

The younger Mendy

Ferland Mendy faces his brother’s team (Adam Davy/PA)

Another noteworthy player is 23-year-old Ferland Mendy. Like City’s 24-year-old Benjamin – no relation – Ferland is also a left-back. Ferland, who was signed from Ligue 2 club Le Havre last year, scored his first goal for Lyon with an 88th-minute equaliser in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Caen.

The manager

Bruno Genesio is in charge of Lyon (Nigel French/PA)

Bruno Genesio, 52, was born in Lyon and spent the majority of his playing career, as a midfielder, with his hometown club. He helped them to promotion to Ligue 1 in 1989. He began coaching with youth club L’Arbresle in 1997 and later moved to Villefranche. He guided Besancon from the amateur ranks to Ligue 2 before taking up a role at Lyon under Gerard Houllier in 2006. He has stayed at the club since and was promoted to first-team coach in 2015. He took them to the Europa League semi-finals in 2017.

- Press Association

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