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Lyon looking for decisive victory over Debrecen

Text by Emmanuel VERSACE

Latest update : 2009-09-29

Two weeks after their narrow win over Fiorentina, Lyon head east for their second game in the Champions League group stage. Their opponents are little-known Hungarian outfit Debrecen.

Two weeks after their narrow win over Fiorentina, Lyon head east for their second game in the Champions League group stages. Their opponents are little-known Hungarian outfit Debrecen, but the French team will play in the capital Budapest, home to the only Hungarian stadium that meets European competition standards.


Debrecen VSC are playing in their first ever Champions League, which is not to say they come from nowhere. The club has lifted the Hungarian championship title four times already and the team won all their European qualifiers at home. More ominously still, the Magyars proved hard to beat at Anfield, where they lost to Liverpool by only the smallest of margins (1-0).


In the UEFA Cup, now known as the Europa League, Debrecen suffered only one defeat in six games, barring the qualifying stages. Though they have never played Lyon, the Hungarians handed Bordeaux a 3-0 drubbing at home during the UEFA Cup group stages in 2001-02, only to crash out after a 5-1 defeat in France.


Lyon to play the youth card


With four of his top players injured, Lyon coach Claude Puel will have to rely on more junior players in his squad. The line-up is likely to include 18-year-old Yannis Taffer, who scored his first ever professional goal at the weekend.


In a country where Debrecen has become something of a national cause, the home side will enjoy the backing of 42,500 fans at the Ferenc Puskas stadium. Debrecen coach Andreas Herczeg will be counting on his French player Adamo Coulibaly to pull-out something special against the former Ligue 1 champions. A former engineer at a Peugeot plant, Coulibaly never played professional football in France. Having left Belgium this summer to join Debrecen, he will be keen to make this his night.

Date created : 2009-09-29