MX23RW : Sunday, October 17 00:34:23| >> :600:104623:104623:
Sep 30, 2021 at 5.45pm UK at Stade de Gerland
Toko Ekambi (64', 71'), Aouar (86')
Palmieri (6'), Caqueret (35')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Preview: Lyon vs. Brondby - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Lyon and Brondby, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Lyon will be looking to claim their second successive win in Group A when they host Danish outfit Brondby in the Europa League on Thursday night.

The two sides meet for the first time since 1997-98 when Les Gones secured a 7-3 aggregate victory in the first round of the UEFA Cup.

Match preview

Lyon's Moussa Dembele celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates in August 2021© Reuters

Lyon claimed all three points in their opening group game when they beat Scottish Premiership champions Rangers 2-0 at Ibrox earlier this month.

Karl Toko Ekambi broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute with a brilliant strike from outside the area before James Tavernier put the ball into his own net 10 minutes after the break.

Since that victory, Lyon have claimed just four points from a possible nine available in Ligue 1. Peter Bosz's men suffered a 2-1 defeat away against league leaders Paris Saint-Germain – conceding in the 93rd minute – before beating Troyes 3-1 on home soil and drawing 1-1 with 10 men against Lorient in their most recent match last weekend.

Les Gones now turn their attention back to the Europa League, a competition in which they have won 14 of their 19 matches at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais.

Lyon have also won all four of their matches in major European competitions against Danish opposition and they are expected to continue that run on Thursday against Group A outsiders Brondby.

Brondby boss Niels Frederiksen pictured in May 2021© Reuters

Competing in their first major European competition since 2008-09, Brondby claimed a point against Czech outfit Sparta Prague in the opening group game after both sides played out an uneventful goalless draw.

The reigning Danish Superliga champions have made a poor start to their title defence, winning just two of their first 10 league matches so far this season, with their most recent victory coming last weekend against Aalborg, a 2-1 win on home soil.

At such an early stage in the season, Niels Frederiksen's men currently languish in eighth place and are already 13 points behind league leaders FC Midtjylland.

Their form needs to improve quickly if they are to climb the Superliga table, however they face a challenging encounter in Europe on Thursday against Lyon, who are one of the favourites to win the Europa League this campaign.

Brondby have lost nine of their last 10 away games in major European competitions and they are also winless in each of their last four games against French opposition.

Lyon Europa League form:
  • W

Lyon form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D

Brondby Europa League form:
  • D

Brondby form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Lyon's Jerome Boateng during the warm up before the match on September 19, 2021© Reuters

Lyon centre-backs Jerome Boateng and Jason Denayer are both ruled out with respective knee and muscle injuries, so Sinaly Diomande and Damien Da Silva are expected to start.

The hosts will also be without Moussa Dembele (calf), Islam Slimani (muscle) Tino Kadewere (muscle), Lenny Pintor (knee) and Jeff Reine-Adelaide due to injury.

Left-back Emerson Palmieri was sent off against Lorient last weekend, but the Brazilian is able to play on Thursday, with right-back Leo Dubois expected to start on the opposite side.

Attacking midfield trio Xherdan Shaqiri, Lucas Paqueta and Houssem Aouar are all set to play in behind lone striker Toko Ekambi.

As for Brondby, centre-back Rasmus Wikstrom is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines as he is suffering with a shoulder injury.

Paraguayan left-back Blas Riveros, who has been ruled out since November 2020 with a ruptured knee ligament injury, remains unavailable for selection though the 23-year-old is closing in on a full recovery.

Striker Mikael Uhre, who is the club's top goalscorer so far this season with eight strikes in 14 appearances, is expected to lead the line up front alongside Simon Hedlund.

Lyon possible starting lineup:
Lopes; Dubois, Diomande, Da Silva, Emerson; Caqueret, Guimaraes; Shaqiri, Paqueta, Aouar; Ekambi

Brondby possible starting lineup:
Hermansen; Borkeeiet, Maxso, Tshiembe; Bruus, Slimane, Radosevic, Frendrup, Mensah; Hedlund, Uhre

SM words green background

We say: Lyon 2-0 Brondby

Despite an inconsistent domestic run in recent weeks, and having several first-team players out injured, Lyon should be strong enough to beat Brondby on Thursday night.

The Danish visitors are enduring a poor run of form at present and their fortunes are unlikely to turn in France.

Top tip

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Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar pictured on January 9, 2021
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