Having started out with a 1-0 defeat by Bayern Munich and earned a respectable 0-0 draw at Fiorentina three weeks ago, Steaua Bucharest will be looking to go one better when they entertain Lyon.
“Clearly, the situation could be better than it is,” coach Marius Lacatus said. “We’ve played two good games, but we’ve been a bit unlucky in both – we could have more points than we do.”
The root of Steaua’s problems is their failure to score, with the side managing only two goals in their last five outings in all competitions.
“I hope the goals we need come against Lyon,” the coach said. “Every player wants to score, but it means making the right choice when they’re face to face with the keeper. We’ve had a lot of chances, but we’ve not taken them.
“I think it’s a lack of experience at this level – some of the players have never played in the Champions League before and it’s not easy. But they’re quality players and now they have to start showing it.”
Lyon’s two points from a possible six underlines a similarly disappointing start to the European campaign. Claude Puel’s men needed two goals in the last 17 minutes to avoid a home defeat against Fiorentina in their opener and then had to settle for a point at Bayern.
Lyon beat Steaua 3-0 when the clubs met two years ago they are unlikely to be so accomodating this time around.
“Steaua are a lot better organised than they were. They’re very disciplined and have great technical quality,” warned Puel “I said after the draw [for the group stage] that the four clubs are pretty much on the same level and that’s what we’re finding now. There are no favourites, but we’ve come here to win.”
Puel is without John Mensah, Mathieu Bodmer, Fábio Santos and Sidney Govou.