By their own high standards FC Barcelona and Olympique Lyonnais both had UEFA Champions League campaigns to forget last season and will look to put that right.
By their own high standards FC Barcelona and Olympique Lyonnais had UEFA Champions League campaigns to forget last season with each falling in the first knockout round after starting brightly in the group stage. They will look to put that right this time around but will be well aware of the difficulties facing them on Matchday 1.
• In 2006/07, Barcelona, who began as holders and with a 5-0 home defeat of PFC Levski Sofia on Matchday 1, lost just once in a group featuring Werder Bremen and Chelsea FC. Lyon won four and drew two as they topped their section ahead of Real Madrid CF, who they beat 2-0 at home on opening night. Both clubs, as domestic champions, would have then expected to progress from the last 16 but were not to have things their own way.
• In the first leg against Liverpool FC, Barcelona lost 2-1 at Camp Nou to the eventual finalists. Deco put them in front after 14 minutes but Craig Bellamy (43) and John Arne Riise (74) struck to give Liverpool victory. The defeat meant Barça lost a 13-match unbeaten record at home in the UEFA Champions League and although a 1-0 success was secured at Anfield in the return via Eidur Gudjohnsen, it was not enough to stop an overall defeat on away goals.
• Lyon's last awayday in the UEFA Champions League was an impressive 0-0 draw at the Stadio Olimpico against AS Roma. It was no surprise considering they had won eight of the previous 13 away matches in the competition but it was the first time in four seasons Lyon had failed to secure victory in the opening match of a first knockout round tie. As a result, they failed to do what they had in each of those previous three campaigns and reach the quarter-finals - Roma winning 2-0 at the Stade de Gerland to progress.
• The French club can at least take confidence from their sixth straight Ligue 1 title last season while Barcelona will be hungry to reclaim the Primera División crown they ceded to Madrid. The Spanish giants can also look to a historical edge on their Matchday 1 opponents, having triumphed in their only previous UEFA club competition pairing.
• In the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League first group stage Barcelona, featuring Carles Puyol and Xavi Hernández, won 2-0 at home against a Lyon side boasting Grégory Coupet, Patrick Muller and Sidney Govou along with current Barcelona player Edmílson, on 10 October thanks to late goals from Patrick Kluivert and a Rivaldo penalty.
• The return fixture 13 days later was a closer affair with Lyon going down 3-2 at home. Early goals from Kluivert and Rivaldo again put the Spanish side in command before Péguy Luyindula and Eric Carrière appeared to have earned a point for the hosts. However Gerard López struck an added-time winner to confirm Lyon's exit from the competition. Barcelona, as group winners, went on to reach the semi-finals before losing to eventual winners Real Madrid CF.
• That encounter with Lyon was the last time Barcelona took on French opposition in Europe, although Paris was the setting for their 2-1 triumph against Arsenal FC in the 2005/06 final.
• As well as Edmílson, Eric Abidal will also know all about Lyon having left the club in June for Camp Nou. At Barcelona, he has teamed up with fellow French internationals Lilian Thuram and Thierry Henry. The latter was on the losing side when Barcelona lifted the trophy in the French capital in May 2006. Ronaldinho played in the same city between 2001 and 2003 with Paris Saint-German FC.
• Barcelona and Lyon have been paired with opposition from France and Spain respectively on five home-and-away occasions in UEFA competition. Barcelona have won six and drawn one of their ten matches and only lost once at home. Lyon lost their first four games but have won four and drawn two of the last six. They only have one away win.
• The Camp Nou club also have one trophy success against French foes. In the 1996/97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final against PSG in Rotterdam, a Ronaldo penalty gave them a 1-0 win.