Bayern Munich have been urged to look no further than Lyon’s exploits in this season’s competition as proof that they represent a genuine threat to their hopes of reaching the Champions League final.
Referring to Lyon’s victories over Liverpool and Real Madrid, Louis van Gaal’s assistant, Andries Jonker, said Bayern would not underestimate the French outfit.
“We had a good training session and all the players are fit,” he said. “We didn’t have any problems at all. Lyon have a very good team – they have beaten Liverpool and Real Madrid. They are very organised and their defence is always compact. We will try to play our game as we always do.
“It will not be an easy game for Lyon, who have seven players [one booking away from suspension], but we will not try to provoke yellow cards, that is not Bayern München’s style.
“[Suspended captain] Mark van Bommel is a very important player for us, but we have others who can replace him. We have won games without Mark and will find a good solution without him.”
Claude Puel, meanwhile, played down his team’s journey by road to Munich.
“The trip was not a problem – we are used to travelling and now we know the French and the German landscape a little bit better,” he said. “Why should the semi-final be the end for us? We are expecting two games against strong opponents and we have to try our very best. Everything is possible now, not only for Bayern but also for us.
“We have many players who have to be careful because of yellow cards, but we will not change anything because of this. If we have to substitute a player that will not be a problem, we can do that.
“Bayern and ourselves have had very similar seasons. The autumn was a critical time but we’ve become better and better these last few months. Bayern have got a lot of individual class and character, but so have we. It is 50-50.”