First knockout round – Kick-off: 20.45 (CET)
Lyon coach Claude Puel says his players are “at the start of an adventure”, and they will be keen not to continue it when they face Real Madrid in the first knockout round.
“The Champions League is always different to a league game,” said Puel. “We’ve had good results in the championship recently but we know that we still need to improve the quality of our play and our consistency.
“We’re confident of our abilities. We’re ready and the players are really motivated to play this game. Even though we have a lot of respect for Real Madrid, we’ll do everything to make sure we have a chance of going though in the second leg.
“Our team is building its own future and gaining in strength all the time. We’re at the start of an adventure. We want to qualify whether we’re favourites or not. Real Madrid are above all a solid team. Pellegrini is currently succeeding in his attempt to build a real squad from individual stars.”
Puel will be without Anderson, Mathieu Bodmer and Francois Clerc, while Anthony Reveillereis doubtful with gastroenteritis.
The Spanish side have been knocked out at this stage of the competition in the last five seasons, and visiting coach Manuel Pellegrini has told his players to concentrate on their current form ahead of Tuesday’s opening leg.
“It’s not a decisive week for us but it’s an important one, as we’ll need to get a good result in the first game to go through,” he said. “Karim Benzema has recovered and he’s a candidate to play. I know that he was an important player for them in the past and he’s really happy to see the fans again.
“We have to stay concentrated on our present form and not think that the club were eliminated at this stage of the competition in each of the last five years. Olympique Lyonnais are difficult opponents.”
Madrid will be without Christoph Metzelder, Pepe, Guti and Rafael van der Vaart.
Lyon beat Madrid on the last two occasions the clubs met in France (3-0, 2005-06 group stage; 2-0; 2006-07 group stage). The return matches in Spain were both drawn.