Lyon travel to Liverpool

Lyon face Liverpool at Anfield on day three of the Champions League group stages. Though both clubs lost their previous games in their respective championships, Liverpool could have the edge at home.


AFP - Lyon are refusing to get complacent ahead of their trip to Anfield to play Liverpool in their Group E Champions League clash on Tuesday.

Lyon are joint top in France's first division, are unbeaten in the Champions League so far this season and visit a Liverpool side reeling after losing three consecutive matches for the first time in over two seasons.

One of those defeats was against Fiorentina in this competition, meaning this match is a must-win tie for Rafa Benitez's side.

But despite the recent blip from their opponents, Lyon will be giving Liverpool their maximum respect on Merseyside.

Midfielder Miralem Pjanic said: "I think we cannot forget we are playing against Liverpool and although they have had a tough start to the season, it is still Liverpool we are facing up against so it is a massive game.

"We really have to be focused. It is really big for us and them because we know they lost their last game againt Fiorentina so it is a big match all round.

"We know this is not an easy place to come and it is quite difficult but if we were to draw that would leave us with seven points.

"We have to be aware that we have good quality in our side and we start every match to try and win it but the main thing os not to drop too many points here.

"We want to come away from here with something to show for the rest of the group stage.

"Once you get out there it is just another game, all the action around it become secondary and we just concentrate on the football."

Anfield is renowned for being one of the true European footballing cathedrals, an arena that has daunted and intimidated countless opponents throughout the history of Liverpool's involvement in European football.

However, Lyon coach Claude Puel is confident that his squad will not be overawed by the occasion and is backing them to sidestep away from the emotion of the game and concentrate solely on trying to get a result.

"I think it is important that we come here and try and impose our own style," Puel said.

"We will have to be on the top of our game but it is a privelige to be able to play in these kind of encounters and we know we have to be on top form.

"I know that the crowd is important to Liverpool but I don't think you can call it a 12th man.

"It is all about the people out there on the field at the time. The crowd is part and parcel of the occasion and one of the ingredients but we have plenty of experience alongside the youth in our side.

"We have played plenty of big games in big stadia and big atmospheres. The main thing we have to focus on is ourselves."

Jean-Alain Boumsong (groin), Anderson (knee) and Mathieu Bodmer (groin) are all likely to be absent for the match, leaving Lyon without a recognised centre-back forcing midfielder Jeremy Toulalan to drop back.


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