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It would be a brave punter who opposes Manchester United playing at home with the advantage of a 1-1 draw from the away leg but Lyon’s unexpectedly accomplished performance a fortnight ago means Sir Alex Ferguson’s side may well suffer the occasional scare. Click here for the latest odds!

First Knockout round – 2nd leg (First leg: Lyon 1-1 Manchester United)

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes home advantage will be crucial when his side face Lyon in the second leg of their first knockout round.

Carlos Tevez’s late equaliser in the sides’ 1-1 draw at the Stade de Gerland leaves United favourites to reach the last eight and their record of nine successive European home wins ensureds their confidece is not misplaced.

“Our home record in European football has been very good for a long time,” said Sir Alex. “The atmosphere at Old Trafford on a European night helps.”

United have not lost to continental opposition at this venue since Milan won at this stage of the 2004-05 campaign – and a victory over Lyon would see the English champions equal Juventus’s record of ten consecutive home wins in the Champions League. Despite the odds being in his side’s favour, Ferguson is wary of the attacking threat posed by a team beaten just once in their last seven away fixtures in the competition.

“Lyon will come knowing they have to get a goal,” said the United manager, who highlighted the threat of Karim Benzema. “He is a very strong boy, he reminds me a little bit of Zidane – physique wise and possibly pace wise too. He is a natural centre-forward.”

Ferguson is without Ryan Giggs who struggling with a calf injury, maning winger Nani should start.

Lyon coach Alain Perrin believes Benzema capable of playing a decisive role tonight.

“He has the ability to make the difference on his own, to create opportunities even when space is restricted,” said Perrin. “We are out as things stand, so we have to attack,” added Perrin, albeit aware that United’s defence will be difficult to overcome.

“Their positioning is excellent and they are very experienced with players like [Rio] Ferdinand and [Nemanja] Vidi? in the centre, who are good at winning their individual battles.”

It would be a brave punter who opposes Manchester United playing at home with the advantage of a 1-1 draw from the away leg but Lyon’s unexpectedly accomplished performance a fortnight ago means Sir Alex Ferguson’s side may well suffer the occasional scare. Click here for the latest odds!

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