Group E Kick-off: 19-45 (BST)
After three successive defeats, Rafael Benitez has called on Liverpool to lift the gloom at Anfield by beating Lyon in Champions League.
Liverpool trail their French opponents by three points after losing to Fiorentina on Matchday 2 and though Fernado Torres is still injured, Benítez is hoping the return of skipper Steven Gerrard will help put Saturday’s defeat Sunderland behind them.
Lyon, who have won both their games so far, also come into the match on the back of a domestic defeat and coach Claude Puel believes “it’s a good chance for both teams to bounce back”.
“You can guarantee that if we win against Lyon the mood will change,” said Benitez. “When you are not winning, to play another game quickly and have the opportunity to change things is the best thing. I have a lot of confidence because we are a good team.
“We have some problems with injuries but the squad is good enough to win some games. A positive result would be massive for our confidence. The Champions League is a different competition and the players know the fans will be behind them, so it can be a big boost for us.
“[Steven Gerrard] has been training, so I think he’ll be available. We’ve been having problems with injuries all season so having Gerrard fit is big for us. [Fernando Torres] is still not ready. Lyon are a good team with good players and experience in the Champions League so we know it’s going to be a tough game.”
Puel will be looking for his side to bounceback from their surprise 2-0 home defeat to Sochaux.
“We must start well; we know it can be dangerous not to do so in important games,” said the Lyon coach. “We do have one or two problems defensively as far as injuries are concerned, but we’ve got enough players to cover that.
“It’s important we play our own game and try to impose our style. We know we can play at a high standard. We’re kind of all square in a way, as we’re both coming off defeats at the weekend, so it’s a good chance for both to bounce back.
“I’d rather have come here with Liverpool in the midst of an excellent run, as they’re almost obliged to win. It makes our task more difficult but motivates us more as well. Even if Torres doesn’t play they’ve got plenty of people who can come in and do an excellent job, like Benayoun, Babel, Riera, Kuyt and many others.
“We’ve started the group really well with two wins out of two and if we come away with a good result it makes things very positive for us in terms of going further in the competition.”