05 April 2005

Champions League preview: Lyon vs. PSV Eindhoven

...also known as "the other Tuesday game." But with so much attention on the Liverpool-Juventus game, I thought it worth looking into this matchup.

How did these teams get to the quarterfinals? Lyon clearly have been dominant this year. They blew through the group stage, winning Group D with a 4-1-1 record. They then destroyed Werder Bremen in the octofinals, winning 0-3 at Bremen before destroying the desperate Germans 7-2 in Lyon. PSV have been less impressive. They were second in Group E with a 3-1-2 record. In the round of 16 they defeated an off-form Monaco, winning 1-0 at home and 0-2 away.

Lyon and PSV Eindhoven are similar teams in many ways. Both have recently dominated their domestic leagues. Currently they're both first; Lyon leads Lille by 13 points and PSV leads AZ Alkmaar by 10. Both teams lead their leagues in goals scored and goals against. Lyon has 43 for and 17 against in 31 matches, so they're winning games by an average score of 1.4 - 0.5. That's good, but PSV is stunning: they have an amazing 72 for and 13 against in 27 matches. That's an average score of 2.7 - 0.5. Simply amazing. However it probably speaks more to the quality of opposition in the Eredivisie than anything.

So both teams are comfortable at home, but will be looking to establish their European credentials with this tie. Based on their previous CL performance, Monaco have to be considered the favorites. But PSV are certainly capable, and I'll be pulling for Damarcus Beasley to represent the quality of the American players abroad. Should be an interesting match.

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