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Puel warns Lyon to expect tougher Madrid

Published: Monday 21 February 2011, 19.45CET
Claude Puel led Olympique Lyonnais past Real Madrid CF 12 months ago but as they meet again in France the home coach says José Mourinho's side are now "better-balanced".
Puel warns Lyon to expect tougher Madrid
Claude Puel's Lyon knocked Madrid out last season ©Getty Images
Published: Monday 21 February 2011, 19.45CET

Puel warns Lyon to expect tougher Madrid

Claude Puel led Olympique Lyonnais past Real Madrid CF 12 months ago but as they meet again in France the home coach says José Mourinho's side are now "better-balanced".

Olympique Lyonnais coach Claude Puel said his side would face a "better balanced" team than the Real Madrid CF that they beat at this stage of last season's UEFA Champions League yet, despite the absence of Lisandro, he believes they are in the mood to repeat that success. Madrid have lost in the round of 16 six years running but José Mourinho is not looking to the past.

Madrid are not just José Mourinho, even though he was a great recruit for the club. We have to be wary of all of them
Claude Puel
If we think that both games will be easy, it's going to be difficult for us
José Mourinho

Claude Puel, Lyon coach
I don't know if Madrid are stronger than last season. They're different, perhaps a bit better balanced thanks to some hard workers in the midfield. Either way they're still a team made up of players of great quality like [Sami] Khedira, [Ángel] Di María, [Emmanuel] Adebayor and [Mesut] Özil. Madrid are not just José Mourinho, even though he was a great recruit for the club. We have to be wary of all of them.

We can regret the fact that Lisandro won't play as he's able to do great things in this kind of game. But, some players are coming into form, like 'Chelito' Delgado. He's often effective in Europe and his ability to dribble and beat a man can really help us. Our aim is to qualify for the next round. Last year, few people believed in us. We managed to raise our game and maybe it surprised Madrid. I think the best of Lyon is still to come.

José Mourinho, Real Madrid coach
A lot of new players came to Madrid this year and have never played in a game between Lyon and Real. Lyon are a good team, who have experience of this kind of game. But we are Madrid. We don't have to look at the past or statistics. If we think that both games will be easy, it's going to be difficult for us. We have to do well in both games. We know our ability and won't underestimate Lyon.

It's been six years since Madrid reached the quarter-finals. When I was at Inter, the club hadn't won the Champions League for more than 50 years. Is it possible to do it this year? We have to beat Lyon... Zinédine Zidane gave us a lot of advice in preparing for this game.

Team news
Lyon

• Lisandro pulled his hamstring in training on Thursday and will be missing, but Ederson is back in training having not played since August because of a thigh injury. Yoann Gourcuff (knee), Clément Grenier (thigh) and César Delgado (thigh) are all fit after lengthy spells out. Dejan Lovren and Michel Bastos are within a booking of a one-match European suspension.

Real Madrid
• Pepe sat out the weekend win against Levante UD with a sore calf, while Gonzalo Higuaín could miss the rest of the season after suffering a slipped disc in November. Kaká (knee), Fernando Gago (knee) and Jerzy Dudek (broken jaw) have all shaken off injuries. Cristiano Ronaldo and Raúl Albiol will miss the rematch if they are booked in Lyon.

Weekend results
Friday: Lyon 4-0 AS Nancy-Lorraine
(Gourcuff 37, Pied 76, Pjanić 86, Briand 89)
Lyon secured their biggest victory since beating FC Sochaux-Montbéliard by the same scoreline on 21 February 2010. Miralem Pjanić opened his Ligue 1 account for the season and Jimmy Briand, with a bicycle kick, struck his first league goal at the Stade de Gerland since joining the club.

Saturday: Real Madrid 2-0 Levante UD
(Benzema 6, Carvalho 41)
Levante's last trip to the Santiago Bernabéu, in the Copa del Rey on 22 December, ended with an 8-0 home victory. The margin was less emphatic at the weekend, but Madrid none the less recorded their 19th home victory of the season in all competitions, maintaining a 100% record.

Did you know?
Prior to last season's success against Madrid, Lyon had faced Spanish opposition twice before in the last 16, losing to FC Barcelona in 2008/09 but overcoming Real Sociedad de Fútbol in 2003/04.

See the match background for more information.

Last updated: 10/12/13 10.28CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2011/matches/round=2000119/match=2003757/prematch/preview/index.html#puel+warns+lyon+expect+tougher+madrid

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