Lyon vs Barcelona: What to expect from last-16 Champions League first leg

Athletic Club v FC Barcelona - La Liga

Barcelona have been handed a favourable draw in the last 16 of the Champions League, with Lyon standing between them and a place in the quarter-finals.

The Catalan club, who are seven points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top of LaLiga, are aiming to win the trophy for a sixth time and their first since beating Juventus 3-1 at the end of the 2014-15 season.

Motivation will not be an issue for Ernesto Valverde’s side, who have had to watch their ‘El Clasico’ rivals Real Madrid be crowned champions of Europe in each of the last three seasons.

Lyon are currently third in Ligue 1, 16 points behind leaders Paris St Germain, and are looking to do well in the Champions League.

We take an in-depth look at both sides ahead of the clash.

Barcelona to win after leading at half-time

Barcelona travel to Lyon in great form in LaLiga, with their 1-0 home win over Valladolid on Saturday their ninth in their last 11 matches.

They won Group B with ease, taking 14 points from a possible 18, and finished six points clear of runners-up Tottenham.

Valverde’s side found themselves leading at half-time in four of their six group games and were level in the other two while Lyon trailed at the break in two of their games.

FC Barcelona v SD Eibar - La Liga

Barcelona and Roma are the only teams to have scored twice within the first 10 minutes in their group games and an early goal should set the Nou Camp side on their way to what should be a straightforward victory over two legs against a side they have beaten four times and drawn twice with in their six previous Champions League meetings.

Lionel Messi to be anytime scorer

Despite missing a penalty against Valladolid, Messi is having another tremendous season in front of goal.

Lyon will have their work cut out to stop the 31-year-old from adding to his 30 goals in 30 games this season.

Only Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski (eight) has scored more than Messi’s six Champions League goals in this season’s competition and he will be fancied to add to that total on Tuesday.

Athletic Club v FC Barcelona - La Liga

Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals to be scored

Both teams to score happened in all six of Lyon’s Group F games, with five of those ties producing three or more goals.

The French side got their campaign off to a winning start by beating Manchester City 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium and followed that up with five successive score draws.

Four of Barcelona’s six matches saw both them and their opponents score in Group B, with Tottenham the only team to score in both ties including a 4-2 win for Valverde’s side at Wembley in October.

Lyon’s group games produced a total of 23 goals at an average of 3.8 goals a game, which is why we think both teams will score with more than 2.5 goals scored.

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