Lyon coach Gérard Houllier does not want his players to take it easy against Dynamo Kyiv on Wednesday as the club target a 14th consecutive victory in all competitions.
Lyon are on course to top their section after taking maximum points from their opening three games. A draw may even prove good enough to seal qualification with two matches to spare, but Houllier is eager for his side to top Group E.
“It’s a crucial game in terms of securing qualification,” he said. “But even if we get the result we need to go through, we won’t relax because our aim is to finish top.”
“I’m very proud of my players,” Houllier said. “Their attitude, consistency and the general quality of their football have been exceptional. They always look to score goals.”
Brazilian striker Fred is injured but with John Carew and Karim Benzema both available, Lyon are well covered. Although Dynamo have lost their opening three matches, Houllier is taking nothing for granted against the Ukrainian outfit.
“They have great ability up front,” he warned. “We needed a strong defence and some luck to keep a clean sheet in the first game.”
For Dynamo coach Anatoli Demianenko, there is little to chooose between the two sides.
“Lyon have a psychological advantage because they’ve already beaten us,” he said, “but I’m convinced we can get a positive result. Apart from Juninho Pernambucano, who is quite exceptional, the teams are evenly matched. The most important thing is that we cut out the mistakes and fight for everything. We’re playing for the honour of Dynamo and a victory would go some way to restoring the club’s great name.”
Dynamo have won twice since the defeat by Lyon, and are three points clear of Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukrainian league.
“The mood is very positive but Lyon are a formidable side at home,” Demianenko, who will be without midfielders Carlos Corrêa and Diogo Rincón added.
Grégory Coupet; François Clerc, Sébastien Squillaci, Cris, Eric Abidal; Tiago, Jérémy Toulalan, Juninho Pernambucano; Sidney Govou, Florent Malouda; John Carew.
Olexandr Shovkovskiy; Marjan Markovic, Rodolfo, Goran Gavrancic, Badr El Kaddouri; Oleh Gusev, Taras Mikhalik, Ayila Yussuf, Serhiy Rebrov; Kleber, Artem Milevskiy.