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UEFA Champions League

  • 22 February 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • Stade de Gerland, Lyon
  • Referee: W. Stark
  • • Attendance: 40299
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Lyon - Real Madrid Preview: Lisandro Lopez ruled out as Emmanuel Adebayor prepares for Champions League bow with Mourinho’s men

Lyon - Real Madrid Preview: Lisandro Lopez ruled out as Emmanuel Adebayor prepares for Champions League bow with Mourinho’s men

TEAM NEWS

Lyon

Lisandro Lopez is the big absentee for the hosts, having injured his hamstring at training last Thursday. Ederson is still recovering from a ruptured hamstring, but he’s closing in on action and could be ready to play early next month. Hugo Lloris has overcome illness to be named in the squad.

Real Madrid

Emmanuel Adebayor could feature in this encounter for Real as he is eligible to play, while Iker Casillas will return from a domestic ban to keep his place in goal.

Jerzy Dudek and Gonzalo Higuain remain absent due to injuries.

Step up a level


Olympique Lyonnais are probably the side in world football with the best historical record when it comes to playing Real Madrid. On six occasions the sides have met, yet the Spaniards have never before come out on top, making the Ligue 1 side their undoubted bete noire. Yet on Tuesday OL meet an entirely new beast when Jose Mourinho’s men travel to the Stade Gerland.

The Rhone Valley side famously eliminated Madrid from this stage of the competition last season, having come into the game in seemingly innocuous league form. Claude Puel’s men approach the fixture in similarly middling style on this occasion, though a superb Friday night victory over Nancy should certainly be regarded as very real cause for optimism.

Lyon crushed the Lorraine side 4-0, though it did take them a period to finally breakaway. Once they were fully in their stride, the home side looked imperious, with Jimmy Briand’s superb overhead kick capping a memorable evening.

Having seen his team impress before only to fall flat in the following match, Puel is certainly not counting any chickens. “Real Madrid are a different calibre of opposition but it's good to have prepared for that game by taking the three points in this one,” he explained, according to the LFP’s official website.

It was a strong run to the Champions League semi-finals that allowed Puel to keep his job after a mediocre league campaign last term, and with pressure again on his shoulders, the former Lille boss will hope to ensure the Lyon’s hold over the their Spanish visitors is maintained as that would win him more valuable credit in the eyes of the home support.

Get over the jinx

Real Madrid continue to chase their illusive 10th European crown, but head coach Jose Mourinho is doubtless aware that his club need to take one step at a time, particularly since recent history portrays them as knock-out round flops in the Champions League. Historically Europe’s greatest club, they’ve been mediocre on the continent in recent years, falling at the last 16 stage every year since 2004, when French club Monaco eliminated them in the quarter-finals.

Each year they’ve come back seemingly stronger, but on this occasion they have really thrown everything at their European charge, reinforced by a new band of Galacticos, but perhaps most importantly the presence of habitual winner Mourinho, who has worked his magic previously with Porto and Inter.

With Barcelona continuing to dominate La Liga, many pundits see Europe as Real's best chance to end their lengthy trophy drought, but Real Madrid’s achievement of 60 points from 24 La Liga matches should certainly not be overlooked. Three of those were garnered at the weekend, when Levante were beaten 2-0.

At home under Mourinho they’ve been flawless, but on their travels things have been a little more complicated for Real. Defeats have by no means been commonplace, and with the mentally tough Portuguese at the helm, they certainly won’t go to the Stade Gerland with any fear. Indeed, Madrid’s dreadful record at the venue (three defeats in three visits) is only likely to serve as motivation to earn a positive result.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
25Hugo LlorisGoalkeeper
3CrisDefender
5Dejan LovrenDefender
13Anthony RéveillèreDefender
20Aly CissokhoDefender
6Kim KällströmMidfielder
9Michel BastosMidfielder
8Jérémy ToulalanMidfielder
8Yoann GourcuffMidfielder
18Bafetimbi GomisStriker
19César Fabián DelgadoMidfielder
30Rémy VercoutreGoalkeeper
-Lamine GassamaDefender
15Pape DiakhatéDefender
15Miralem PjanicMidfielder
21Maxime GonalonsMidfielder
-Jérémy PiedStriker
7Jimmy BriandStriker
1Iker CasillasGoalkeeper
2Ricardo CarvalhoDefender
3PepeDefender
4Sergio RamosDefender
17ArbeloaDefender
14Xabi AlonsoMidfielder
7Ángel Di MaríaMidfielder
11Mesut ÖzilMidfielder
6Sami KhediraMidfielder
7Cristiano RonaldoStriker
10Emmanuel AdebayorStriker
1AdànGoalkeeper
12MarceloDefender
33Raúl Albiol Defender
8KakáMidfielder
6Lassana DiarraMidfielder
25Esteban GraneroMidfielder
9Karim BenzemaStriker
Players to Watch
Michel Bastos
Michel Bastos
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Michel Bastos is a player who has reportedly attracted the attentions of Real Madrid in the past, and he will be a player of vital importance to OL on Tuesday. Though he is recognised on the international stage as Brazil’s left-back, he operates in a more advanced role for his club, either on the left of right. While his defensive attributes will no doubt come in handy, it’s his long-range shooting that could be decisive.
Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Karim Benzema will inevitably get much of the focus whenever he returns to Lyon. The Real Madrid striker grew up in the area and came through OL’s youth system before being the subject of a huge transfer to Real 18 months ago. Has struggled to really get going in Spain, but under Jose Mourinho he has shown signs of improvement, registering at the weekend. His record in the Champions League stands up with the best, notching 17 goals in 29 games with OL and Madrid.
Prediction
Tuesday would appear to be likely when Lyon’s hold over Real Madrid is broken. Madrid are a totally different team under Jose Mourinho, and though the Spaniards would probably see a draw as a sufficient result, they should be expected to take a win back to the Bernabeu.
Editor's Prediction

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