The 2020 UEFA Women's Champions League final is set: It will be Olympique Lyonnais against VfL Wolfsburg in San Sebastian, Spain. Two of Europe's most talented teams will meet under the lights at the Anoeta Stadium on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, exclusively on CBS All Access. Lyon are going for their seventh UWCL crown, while Wolfsburg are in the final for the fourth time against Lyon, and looking for their third title.
But how did each team get here, how do they line up, who should you keep an eye on, and who has the edge? Let's have a look at the tale of the tape for this showdown.
How they got here
When play resumed in August, Lyon's quarterfinal match kicked off against another German side in Bayern Munich. It was closely contested battle with the French side ultimately eking out a 2-1 win. In their semifinal, Lyon took on domestic league rivals, Paris Saint-Germain. It was another tight matchup between familiar foes, with Lyon breaking through and securing a 1-0 victory.
On the other side, Wolfsburg had to play Glasgow City in their quarterfinal, with the Germans winning comfortably, 9-1. In their semifinal, Wolfsburg faced 2019 Champions League runners-up Barcelona, where both teams battled in a narrow match, with Wolfsburg ultimately defeating their opponents 1-0.
We've seen Lyon operate in a 4-3-3 as of late, but there is some fluidity in that formation. This has constantly been the team to beat for a reason as the talent they have on their roster is strong all over including a world class outside back in Lucy Bronze and intelligent midfielders in Saki Kumagai and Dzsenifer Marozsán. However, during these knockout rounds is where Lyon has shined brightest with players like Amel Majri and Wendie Renard breaking through on goal for Lyon. The team has had one less day of preparation to prepare, but their ability to raise their level at any moment is what sets them apart from so many.
For Wolfsburg we have seen them typically play a 4-4-2 formation that allows them the close space when needed and counter when the opportunity presents. Against Barcelona we saw the team concede possession a bit in an effort to get the ball in dangerous spaces, with players like Alexandra Popp and Fridolina Rolfö heavily involved. The team will want to try and match the tempo early if they are to frustrate Lyon on the ball.
Players to watch
For Lyon, they have to find someone to replace Nakita Parris up top now that she will miss the final due to a red card suspension. The team made a signing for Parris' English national teammate Jodie Taylor, but it's likely Majri who will get the extra attention from Wolfsburg players.
For Wolfsburg, it's Pernille Harder with her unbelievable knack for finding the back of the net. She's been integral to Wolfsburg's success, and notched her eighth hat trick during the quarterfinal against Glasgow City before ending her day with a fourth goal.
Who has the edge?
Goalkeeper: Friederike Abt of Wolfsburg and Lyon's Bouhaddi are well-known goalkeepers, but each have experienced some questionable moments in this tournament. They each need to sharpen their own senses individually, but extensive finals experience could come into play here. Edge: Lyon
Defense: This one's close because both teams are great in the center, and Wolfsburg's Dominique Janssen did a good job of slotting in the back line with Lena Goessling nursing an injury. Goessling could be good for the final, and that will help slow Lyon's attack. For Lyon, they got crafty outside backs in Bronze and Karchaoui, but the center paring of Buchanan and Renard is tall task for any attack. Edge: Lyon
Midfield: This is a tough call. Both teams have so many quality players and so much depth. The German club has a strong veteran in Popp and a rising star in Ingrid Syrstad Engen. For Lyon, a midfield with Marozsan and Kumagai now has the former Wolfsburg player Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir, whose experience could prove vital. Edge: Lyon
Forwards: Lyon will be without Parris due to red card suspension which could mean Majri stays an option top for Lyon ahead of the final with Cascarino as well. It's never smart to go against a top scorer in Harder, who has an equally talented top line parter in Ewa Pajor. Edge: Even
Manager: Jean-Luc Vasseur has been with Lyon since last June as has the opportunity to win his first UWCL title. Stephan Lerch has been with Wolfsburg for eight years, and recently announced that he would move on from the club in 2021 order to seek new challenges, perhaps we will see players push with something extra for their coach in the final. Edge: Wolfsburg