Quarter-final, first leg – Kick-off: 20-45 (CET)
Claude Puel and Laurent Blanc will not be lacking motivation when Lyon meet Bordeaux in the first all-French Champions League tie.
The coaches agreed ambition and desire could give their respective sides the edge.
“I’m expecting an even match,” said Puel. “Bordeaux have an advantage as they’re at home in the second leg. This is the European Cup and you can’t compare it to the league matches we’ve played against Bordeaux, although those games are always hard fought. Their defeat in the League Cup hardly gave me any more ideas as to how they play; every match is different.”
“My squad has ambition and haven’t eased off after knocking out Real Madrid. The important thing was to get to the quarter-finals. Now we’re more focused on getting into the semi-finals – and why not the final? – than the name of our opponents.
“It doesn’t matter if they’re a French club or not. Champions League matches are generally open because the away team always come to score. I’d take 1-0 or 2-0, even 2-1 – the important thing is to give ourselves the opportunity to get through in the second leg.”
Puel will be without injury absentees Francois Clerc, Jean-Alain Boumsong and Joan Hartock.
Blanc, meanwhile, said that despite last week’s League Cup final defeat to Marseille, his players had bounced back and were looking forward to tonight’s game.
“You don’t need to make a long speech to motivate your players for a match like this,” he said. “Of course we were down after losing the League Cup final but we quickly threw ourselves into this game. The players want to prove themselves. The two teams know each other very well. We expect a big game against a team that eliminated Real Madrid.
“At European level there is a big gap between Bordeaux and Lyon at the moment. Of course on 13 December we won in the league [1-0 in Lyon] but the two teams are in different situations now. The objective would be the same even if we had been drawn against a foreign team – to qualify for the last four of the competition. English and Italians are used to that, there could be some spice between two French teams in the UEFA Champions League.”
Blanc is without the injured trio of Marc Planus, Abdou Traore and Gregory Sertic, while Alou Diarra is suspended.