Manchester City will take on Lyon in the quarter-finals of the Champions League at the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon on Saturday, and will be hoping to reach the last-four stage of the continental competition for the second time in their history.
In the Round of 16, the Citizens knocked out 13-time European champions Real Madrid over two legs, while Lyon edged out Italian champions Juventus on away goals rule.
On that note, let us assess which five players could make a difference in Saturday’s quarter-final clash.
#1 Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Kevin De Bruyne has been a revelation for Manchester City since joining from Wolfsburg in 2015. The Belgian international topped in assists, shot-creating actions per 90 minutes, assist conversion rate, and key passes in the 2019-20 Premier League season.
The 28-year old is the best all-around offensive player in the English top-flight as he can score goals, create goalscoring opportunities, and be a part of the build-up of plays in an extremely efficient manner.
De Bruyne, who is vital to Manchester City’s chances of progressing further in the Champions League, scored 13 goals and provided 20 assists in the Premier League. On the European front, he has netted once and set up two more in six outings.
#2 Memphis Depay (Lyon)
Memphis Depay has rejuvenated his career at Lyon after a torrid spell with Manchester United. The Dutchman has been the star player for a young Lyon side, who have exceeded expectations in the Champions League.
The 26-year-old was on target against Juventus in Turin and helped his side knock out the Old Lady on away goals rule in the Round of 16.
Depay would have to perform in a similar manner if Lyon are to stand a chance against the mighty Manchester City. The Netherlands international has six goals in as many Champions League appearances this season.
#3 Rodri (Manchester City)
Manchester City paid £62.6m to bring in Rodri from Atletico Madrid last summer and he has been worth every penny. The Spaniard’s statistics are a testament to his relentless work rate as a defensive midfielder.
The 23-year old tops Manchester City’s squad in terms of tackles won and interceptions made in the middle of the park.
Typically, most players require at least one full season to get comfortable and used to Pep Guardiola’s system. However, Rodri seamlessly transitioned into a Manchester City player and has started seven Champions League games in his debut season at the Etihad.
#4 Houssem Aouar (Lyon)
Houssem Aouar is one of the most talented midfielders in the world right now and has been vital in helping Lyon reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Aouar is a versatile attacking midfielder who can play anywhere in midfield, and has been praised for his excellent technical ability and calmness on the ball.
The 22-year-old has been on the radar of several top European clubs and a good performance against Manchester City will further enhance his reputation.
The French Under-21 international has been in stellar form in the Champions League, scoring one goal and providing three assists in six appearances.
#5 Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Raheem Sterling had a brilliant season in the Premier League where he scored 20 goals for the first time in his career. The former Liverpool man was a major factor behind Manchester City eliminating Real Madrid in the Round of 16 as he scored a vital goal in the second leg at the Etihad.
The England international, who will be looking to continue his good form with another brilliant performance against Lyon, has scored six goals and provided two assists in eight Champions League appearances in the present campaign.