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Olympique Lyonnais’ central defender has stated that he believes Barcelona will have the strength to overcome their Bavarian counterparts in Europe’s elite competition. The pair play the first leg of their quarter-final clash this evening.

Olympique Lyonnais’ players are in a rather unique position to judge the merits of Barcelona’s Champions League tie against Bayern Munich as they have played both sides in the competition this season. OL plundered a home draw against Barca in the knock-out stages and an away point in Munich during the group phase, but they lost their other fixtures against the heavyweights.

French international central defender Jean-Alain Boumsong, who has been a regular in the centre of the Lyon defence this term, feels that the Spanish side will have too much for Franck Ribery & Co. over two legs, although he does anticipate a tight encounter.

“For me, Barcelona are the favourites because of their offensive potential, which allows them to score at any moment,” he explained to L’Equipe. “Barcelona often have the ball and use their opponents.

“But the Germans seem to be better organised, more compact, more homogenous and more of a unit than Barca. The Catalan offensive players must remember to contribute defensively, or Barcelona will be weakened. The weak point of the Catalans is obviously their propensity to concede goals.

“If Bayern can take their chances in the Nou Camp and can resist Barca, they may come back with a good result.”

Boumsong still has regrets over Lyon’s failure to convert their chances against Barca, stating, “I still think we had the chance to go 3-0 up against them in the first leg. Even in the return game, we could have got back to 4-3 after being 4-0 down.”

The defender and his Lyon colleagues must simply focus on qualifying for the Champions League next term. Although they lead Ligue 1, their position in the top three is not necessarily secure as there are four other sides within four points of them at the summit of France’s top division.

Robin Bairner, Goal.com


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