Yet Athletic Bilbao are a pale shadow of the side which illuminated this competition last year, with injuries, departures and disagreements all taking their toll.
Marcelo Bielsa's men lie just above the relegation zone in La Liga, with Saturday's capitulation at Valencia, where they conceded twice in the last two minutes, their fifth defeat in all competitions this season.
Indeed they are yet to win in this season's Europa League having drawn 1-1 at home with Israeli outfit Ironi Kiryat Shmona before going down with barely a whimper 3-1 at Sparta Prague in their second match in the tournament.
The price of 29/10 (3.90) offered by Marathonbet for an away win this evening then looks optimistic at best.
A far better bet is to back a victory for Lyon with the price of 51/50 (2.02) looking extremely generous and not only because Athletic arrive at the Stade Gerland in disarray.
While this may not be the Lyon side of a few seasons back they possess enough talent and confidence to overcome the Basques. Far from the domestic nightmare currently being suffered by their opponents this evening, Lyon have begun the season strongly sitting in third place just a point off top spot.
They have lost just once this season in Ligue 1 and have won both games played so far in the Europa League.
Furthermore strikers Lisandro Lopez and Bafetimbi Gomis are in fine scoring form having netted 11 goals between them in all competitions so far.
For all the above reasons then, you would expect Lyon to be odds-on to win, so the price of 51/50 (2.02) on them claiming all three points is simply too good to resist and should be backed at all costs.
For a value bet, back Lyon to win both halves available at the attractive looking price of 5/1 (6.00).
|Lyon to win at 51/50 (2.020 with Marathonbet
||Lyon to win both halves at 5/1 (6.00) with Marathonbet|
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Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on radio and TV in London and Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.