So, they may not have Alexandre Lacazette, but that doesn’t mean Olympique Lyon doesn’t have any teeth.
The Ligue One side parted with the striker in a club record €60 million transfer deal to Arsenal earlier this month, but did pick up Real Madrid forward Mariano for €8 million as a fill-in for the potent Lacazette. Not that Mariano is comparable to Lacazette, he can be potent on the pitch when given the tools.
Lyon is coming off a 2-0 friendly win over AFC Ajax last week before coming into Nanjing for the International Champions Cup matchup with Inter Milan early Monday morning.
Maxwel Cornet provided the first goal for the French side in the first half while Anime Gouriri picked up a second half goal for the win.
One thing of note: Lyon finished fourth in their league last year behind Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain and Nice. For what that’s worth, they were nine points adrift of third-place Nice and nearly 30 points off of league champs Monaco.
While it is still early in the preseason, the movement of players like Cornet and Gouiri could present issues for the Nerazzurri as Inter tries to find answers for a weak backline.
For Inter, the 1-1 draw to Schalke 04 might have been a bit of a wake-up call that there are still holes left to shore up on both sides of the ball.
While Jeison Murillo had a stunning strike on the ball to level the game in the second half:
Breakdowns in the defense led to Schalke’s goal to take the lead midway in the second half in Changzhou early Friday morning. With the expectation that Mariano will play on Monday against Inter, it isn’t a question of if Inter’s defense will be tested but more about how often it will be.
Offensively, against Schalke Ivan Perisic was anemic and other parts of the offense seemed lackadaisical and out of rhythm. That can be expected early in the preseason. I would like to see Borja Valero and Milan Skriniar get a little more time on the pitch to expedite the gelling process.
If nothing else, Spalletti should use the game to really gauge the needs of the team with time left in the mercato. This would mean four games under the belt which should provide some issues transfers could address.
This game will be a little different as it will be available to watch across the globe on various streams and channels which you can see below.
It will be a short time between this game and when the Nerazzurri take on Bundesliga champs Bayern Munich in Singapore.
Location: Nanjing Olympic Sports Center (Nanjing, China)
Time: 2:05 p.m. CEST (6:05 p.m. in Milan, 8:05 a.m. on the U.S. East Coast)
TV/Streaming: ESPN Deportes USA, ESPN3, WatchESPN, beIN Sports Connect, Premier Sports. Click here for more details on streaming.
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