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Buoyed by the return of Cristiano Ronaldo, José Mourinho has called on the backing of the Real Madrid CF fans when the Liga giants aim to end their run of six straight round of 16 defeats. Olympique Lyonnais come to Spain with the score at 1-1 and coach Claude Puel, who has Lisandro available after injury, is confident his side can eliminate the Merengues at this stage for a second successive season.
José Mourinho, Madrid coach
We all have a positive and negative past, but our history in the competition doesn't [come into] play. It's an open match. Real Madrid have a little advantage but it's not enough. One team will be alive in the competition tomorrow at midnight.
Everybody wants to play in this match and nobody is scared. There is no special pressure.
Lisandro is a great player, I know that well from Portuguese football. Lyon are more than Lisandro. They are a well-organised team with a very good coach. They have been very competitive without Lisandro.
Karim Benzema is the main person responsible for his good form. His team-mates and [Zinédine] Zidane have helped him a lot. Our fans should play tomorrow because we always play against 12 players in our away matches, I haven't seen the Santiago Bernabéu really playing with its team yet.
Claude Puel, Lyon coach
Last year we came here needing to score and now we are in the same situation. We have to fight in defence but we also must play offensively. We have a great, tactical match ahead of us. Real Madrid have many individual threats but we can compete with them as a team;
I don't care about stats. This is a match between two confident teams who are winning their matches.
Real Madrid are not only Ronaldo, there are others. It would be great if we could beat them with all these players. Benzema is showing that he can be a great player. He is improving and scoring for Real Madrid and France. We know we can be tough opponents. Real Madrid are the favourites because they scored in Lyon and now they play at home, [but] we must be focused on our game.
Ronaldo came through a full training session on Tuesday afternoon and looks set to return from his thigh injury. Pedro León (knee strain), Fernando Gago (adductor), Gonzalo Higuaín (back) and Kaká (knee) are all definitely out, though. Sami Khedira (thigh) and Ezequiel Garay (adductors) were back on the bench at the weekend. Sergio Ramos, Ronaldo, Raúl Albiol and Ángel Di María are within a booking of a suspension.
Aly Cissokho (thigh), Yoann Gourcuff (toe) and Cris (tendinitis) sat out the weekend league game, although Cissokho did train at the Santiago Bernabéu on Tuesday. Ederson (thigh) is back on his feet but is not in the squad having been out since August. Michel Bastos is suspended and is also set to undergo knee surgery; Dejan Lovren and Jérémy Pied are within a booking of a match ban.
Saturday: Madrid 2-0 Hércules CF
(Benzema 24 56)
Madrid made it 21 wins in as many home matches this season, keeping their 14th clean sheet in the process. Benzema scored both goals, and has now struck twice in each of Madrid's last three games following similar efforts against Real Racing Club (3-1) and Málaga CF (7-0).
Saturday: FC Sochaux-Montbéliard 0-2 Lyon
(Lisandro 22, Pjanić 64)
After a perfect hat-trick against AC Arles-Avignon the previous week, fit-again Lisandro made it four goals in two games as Lyon stretched their unbeaten run to seven matches. Eighteenth in Ligue 1 at the beginning of October, OL now lie third having been defeated once in 20 league outings since.
Did you know?
Lyon have lost all six UEFA competition ties in which they drew the initial leg at home, including four when the score was 1-1 at the Stade de Gerland. The most recent reverse came in the 2008/09 round of 16, when a 1-1 draw in France preceded a 5-2 loss at FC Barcelona.
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