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UEFA Champions League

  • 14 February 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Stade de Gerland, Lyon
  • Referee: P. Tagliavento
  • • Attendance: 32010
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Champions League Preview: Olympique Lyonnais - APOEL

Champions League Preview: Olympique Lyonnais - APOEL

Panoramic

The Champions League returns with the unfancied Cypriots aiming to continue their incredible run in the competition when they visit les Gones in the first leg at Stade Gerland


PROBABLE LINEUPS

LYON


Lloris
Reveilliere, Kone, Umtiti, Cissokho
Briand, Gonalons, Kallstrom, Bastos
Lisandro Lopez, Gomis

APOEL


Chiotis
 Poursaiditidis, Jorge, Kaka, Oliveira
 Morais, Pinto
 Charalambidis, Marcinho, Manduca
 Ailton

Lyon coach Remi Garde has no pressing injury concerns ahead of their Champions League Round of 16 first leg clash against APOEL Nicosia.

Despite a shock 2-1 defeat to Caen in Ligue 1 on Saturday, Kim Kallstrom is expected to regain his place in midfield after the Sweden international was left out at the weekend due to suspension. Dejan Lovren's achilles problems continue to hinder his anticipated return to the first team, with youngster Samuel Umtiti ready to deputise.

It's been little over two months since les Gones performed the greatest of escapes by thrashing Dinamo Zagreb 7-1 to sneak into the last 16 at the expense of Ajax in Group D.

Bafetimbi Gomis, who scored the competition's fastest-ever hat-trick on matchday six, will lead the attack, alongside Lisandro Lopez.

For APOEL, the incredible journey continues. The Cypriot side, minnows in the group stage, spectacularly topped Group G ahead of three of their last four Europa League winners in Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit St Petersburg and Porto.

Ivan Jovanovic's men are at full-strength in what is arguably the biggest match in their history. Brazilian Ailton, who has three goals in this season's tournament, will lead the line from the front.

Former Chelsea midfielder Nuno Morais will anchor the side in midfield, with Gustavo Manduca set to continue his record of starting every Champions League game for Tuesday's visitors.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Olympique Lyonnais hit back from a goal down to beat Dinamo Zagreb 7-1 to move into the last 16 for the ninth straight season.
  • Remi Garde's men will be seeking to qualify for the quarter-final for only the second time in six years, and the first since 2009-10.
  • At this stage of the competition, Lyon have only fallen once at the Stade Gerland, beaten 2-0 by AS Roma in 2006-07. 
  • Les Gones have bowed out of the tournament at this stage in four out of the last five seasons.
  • This will be the first ever meeting between Lyon and APOEL.
  • APOEL, the first Cypriot side to reach the last 16 of the Champions League, topping Group G with nine points ahead of Zenit St Petersburg.
  • Ivan Jovanovic's men have drawn all three of their away games in the group stage. 
  • The Nicosia-based club have also only conceded just three goals in six away games in the Champions League this season (including qualifiers), keeping three clean sheets in the process.
Mweene; Nkausu, Sunzu, Himoonde, Musonda; Chansa, Lungu, Sinkala, Kalaba; C. Katongo (c), Mayuka

Players to watch

B. Gomis

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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  • 0
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The usually maligned France international has burst into form in 2012, with five goals in his last six appearances. The 26 year old also notched a majestic four goals in his side's previous game in the competition, rendering him a definite one to watch. A handful up front for any defender, Gomis' vision for goal and physical nature might just prove to be APOEL's undoing.

Aílton Almeida

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The Brazilian striker has scored half of APOEL's goals to propel them to an unlikely last 16 clash against the French giants. The 27 year old has proved too hot to handle for much of Europe's established top sides and will look to add to his goal tally against a Lyon team whose defending has been questionable lately.

Editor's Prediction

Experience counts at this level and Lyon, who have qualified for this stage for the ninth straight season, will be tipped as the overwhelming favourites. The Cypriots, for all of their attacking football are yet to win away in the competition proper this season.

With a tantalising second leg in prospect in Cyprus on March 7, the onus will be on APOEL to restrict Lyon in the first leg, before doing damage at GSP in three weeks. However, with Gomis in form for the hosts, expect a comfortable victory.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Olympique Lyonnais

APOEL

Wins
1
0
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Olympique Lyonnais LYO
Olympique Lyonnais Olympique Lyonnais
Draw
APOEL FC APL
APOEL FC APOEL
68%
18%

Top 3 Predictions

Olympique Lyonnais LYO
2 - 0
APOEL FC APL
Olympique Lyonnais LYO
2 - 1
APOEL FC APL
Olympique Lyonnais LYO
1 - 1
APOEL FC APL

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