Bilbao plays host to the 2023-24 UEFA Women’s Champions League final. We look ahead to Saturday’s game with our Barcelona vs Lyon prediction and preview.

Barcelona vs Lyon Stats: The Quick Hits

  • The Opta supercomputer rates Barcelona as big favourites for this, winning 67.8% of the pre-match simulations.
  • Barcelona are chasing a historic quadruple after winning the Liga F, Copa de la Reina and Supercopa de España trophies.
  • Lyon are targeting a record-extending ninth Champions League crown in Bilbao, with their eight titles double that of any other team.

Match Preview

The quadruple is in sight for Barcelona as they head to Bilbao for Saturday’s UEFA Women’s Champions League final.

The Catalan giants completed the domestic treble in emphatic fashion last weekend, routing Real Sociedad 8-0 to secure the Copa de la Reina, having earlier won the Supercopa de España as well as clinching the Liga F title for a fifth successive season.

Jonatan Giráldez’s team are sure to face a stern test against Lyon, however. The two sides have developed a fierce rivalry due to Barcelona challenging the French club’s continental dominance in recent years, with this the Catalans’ fourth straight appearance in the Champions League final. They lifted the trophy in 2021 and 2023 but were beaten by Lyon in 2020.

This will be their fifth appearance in the final, with only Lyon (11), Eintracht Frankfurt and VfL Wolfsburg (six each) featuring in more (also five for Umeå IK).

Lyon are also the only side to ever enjoy a longer run of successive Women’s Champions League final appearances, reaching five in a row between 2016 and 2020 and lifting the trophy on each occasion.

Sonia Bompastor’s side boast a fearsome array of attacking talent and lead the scoring charts for this year’s tournament, netting 36 times from a competition-high total of 34 expected goals (xG), while they have also attempted the most shots, firing off 256 overall (Barça are second with 223).

Barcelona have been more clinical from fewer opportunities, though, netting 34 times from 27.6 xG and posting a shot conversion rate of 15.3% to Lyon’s 14.1%.

The French champions have the competition’s leading goalscorer for 2023-24, with Kadidiatou Diani finding the net eight times in 10 appearances. Diani has scored almost twice as many goals as the underlying data suggests she might be expected to, with those eight efforts coming from a figure of 4.5 xG.

Kadidiatou Diani xG map

Barcelona’s Salma Paralluelo, who starred in Spain’s triumphant 2023 Women’s World Cup campaign, is second to Diani with six goals in this season’s tournament. She has also outperformed her total xG of 4.6 and is a high-volume shooter, with only teammate Caroline Graham Hansen matching her 35 shots in this edition.

Hansen has five goals to her name in this season’s Champions League, also adding five assists. Those figures are identical to those registered by Ballon d’Or winner Aitana Bonmatí, with no other player matching their 10 goal involvements apiece.

Hansen and Bonmatí both rank among the most creative players in this season’s Champions League, though it’s Lyon’s Selma Bacha who leads the way for chances created with 32. Hansen (29), Bonmatí (24) and Mariona Caldentey (20) all rank in the top five, though Paris Saint-Germain’s Sakina Karchaoui is second with 30.

Selma Bacha chances created

Lyon have received a major boost ahead of the game with Ada Hegerberg returning to fitness following a two-month injury lay-off. The 2018 Ballon d’Or winner has scored five times in this season’s competition and is aiming to become the first player to score in five Women’s Champions League finals, her previous four all coming for Lyon.

Hegerberg also has five Champions League goals against Barcelona as one of three current Fenottes players to net against them in the competition, alongside Dzsenifer Marozsán (twice) and Eugénie Le Sommer (once). Patri Guijarro and Alexia Putellas are the two Barça players to have scored versus Lyon in the Champions League.

Barcelona vs Lyon Head-to-Head

This will be the third time Barcelona and Lyon have faced each other in the final of the Women’s Champions League, with Lyon and Wolfsburg the only pair of clubs to meet more often on this stage (four times).

The French side won the previous two final meetings between the teams by an aggregate score of 7-2, triumphing 4-1 in 2019 and 3-1 in 2022.

It will be the fifth Champions League meeting between the teams overall, having also tussled twice in the 2017-18 quarter-finals; Lyon have a 100% winning record in their encounters.

Recent Form

Barcelona made light work of their Champions League group before beating Norwegian side Brann to set up a repeat of last season’s semi-final against Chelsea.

The Catalan giants suffered their first competitive home defeat since February 2019 in the first leg, going down by a 1-0 scoreline, only to roar back with a 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge in the reverse fixture.  

Lyon, meanwhile, are unbeaten in this season’s Champions League, overcoming Benfica and domestic rivals PSG in the previous knockout rounds.

Barca have conceded just eight goals in the 2023-24 Champions League, the joint-best figure in the competition along with Chelsea, only allowing opponents to create a cumulative total of 5.4 xG in their 10 games.

Lyon have also shipped more goals than the underlying data suggests they should, conceding 10 times from expected goals against (xGA) figure of 7.2.

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 2,000 domestic women’s football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off on Saturday, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Women's Opta Power Rankings

Barcelona vs Lyon Prediction

Despite Lyon’s stellar record in Champions League finals and their head-to-head advantage, the Opta supercomputer considers Barcelona firm favourites after they won 67.8% of the 10,000 pre-match simulations inside 90 minutes.

From the same sims, Lyon are assigned a 19.8% chance of taking the final to extra-time and potentially penalties, though they snatched victory in the regulation 90 minutes in just 12.4% of projections in what is likely to be coach Bompastor’s last game at the helm before she succeeds Emma Hayes at Chelsea.

Barcelona vs Lyon prediction

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