Having been held to consecutive draws in their opening two matches, Lille coach Claude Puel is desperate for his side to start winning games, starting with the visit of AEK on Tuesday.
“We face AEK home and away and these games are vital,” he said. “On the last day we travel to Milan so we need to secure qualification beforehand. We have to take off in this group and tomorrow would be the perfect time.”
“This Athens team are very strong tactically and generally better than two years ago. They’ve impressed me. They defend well, plus they have good technique going forward.”
Back from suspension, Peter Odemwingie should boost Puel’s atttacking options, but fellow forward Nicolas Fauvergue misses out with a calf injury and Yohan Cabaye is a doubt.
For AEK, Traianos Dellas, Panagiotis Lagos, Gustavo Manduca and Stavros Tziortziopoulos are unavailable, but defensive midfielders Emerson and Akis Zikos return and coach Lorenzo Serra Ferrer hopes they can have an impact.
“Lille are creative but we’ll try and make life difficult for them,” he said. “First and foremost we’ll be looking to defend tightly”.
“When we lost to Milan we showed them too much respect,” the coach added. “We appreciate Lille, but now we need to show less respect. Basically, we have to be more ambitious.” Having not played at the weekend, they should at least have the fresher legs.
Tony Sylva; Matthieu Chalmé, Efstathios Tavlaridis, Nicolas Plestan, Milivoje Vitakic; Jean II Makoun, Stéphane Dumont; Kader Keita, Mathieu Bodmer, Grégory Tafforeau; Peter Odemwingie.
Stefano Sorrentino; Nikolaos Georgeas, Evangelos Moras, Bruno Cirillo, Ifeanyi Udeze; Emerson, Akis Zikos; Vassilios Lakis, Júlio César, Dániel Tözsér; Nikolaos Liberopoulos.
var dc_UnitID = 14;
var dc_PublisherID = 6184;
var dc_AdLinkColor = ‘blue’;
var dc_open_new_win = ‘yes’;
var dc_isBoldActive= ‘no’;