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Lyon ready to scale Juventus 'mountain'

Published: Wednesday 2 April 2014, 18.37CET
"We have a mountain to climb," said Olympique Lyonnais coach Rémi Garde as his injury-hit side face a Juventus team looking to bounce back from a rare weekend defeat.
by Sebastien Blanchard
from Lyon
Lyon ready to scale Juventus 'mountain'
Can Lyon deny Juve's home final dream? ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics


Goals scored13
Possession (%)52
Total attempts129
on target60
off target55
against woodwork2
Yellow cards18
Red Cards0
Fouls committed138
Fouls suffered182

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Published: Wednesday 2 April 2014, 18.37CET

Lyon ready to scale Juventus 'mountain'

"We have a mountain to climb," said Olympique Lyonnais coach Rémi Garde as his injury-hit side face a Juventus team looking to bounce back from a rare weekend defeat.

Trabzonspor AŞ and ACF Fiorentina each failed to deny Juventus their dream of playing the 14 May UEFA Europa League final in their own stadium; now it is Olympique Lyonnais' turn in a quarter-final first leg in which both teams are depleted.

Lyon must do without defenders Milan Biševac, Gueïda Fofana, Miguel Lopes and Mouhamadou Dabo plus midfield duo Clément Grenier and Yoann Gourcuff but Samuel Umtiti could return after a fitness test. Juventus are missing the suspended Arturo Vidal, with Claudio Marchisio ready to deputise, and are also shorn of injured trio Angelo Ogbonna, Federico Peluso and Andrea Barzagli, though Carlos Tévez is available after a domestic ban.

Unlike Serie A champions-elect Juve, Lyon are fifth in Ligue 1 and coach Rémi Garde said: "We have a mountain to climb, we have two steps to climb it. I think Juve should be in the Champions League. In this kind of game we have nothing to lose. This game can make us grow. I want my players to give their all.

"Our game plan will be different to normal in the Europa League. For us it is a great reward to play against Juve. We have come a long way since the play-offs, we have really enjoyed this competition. I was able to give more experience to some young players, which is satisfying. The injured players are frustrated but the squad is there for that. Sometimes there are miracles in football, and I hope for one tomorrow."

Juve received a wake-up call on Sunday as their 14-match competitive unbeaten run ended with a 2-0 loss at SSC Napoli, though their Serie A lead is still a formidable 11 points. Coach Antonio Conte said: "I hope the defeat in Naples will allow us to regroup", and has been doing his homework on Lyon.

"Lyon are a great French team, very strong in attack and also physically," he said. "We know their strengths and weaknesses. We know that the first leg is always important. We are going to try and keep the ball.

"The fact we are the last Italian team in the Europa League is a great satisfaction but has put pressure on us. We want to go far in this competition, the final is at home. But we have injured players too."

Last updated: 02/04/14 20.34CET

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