After winning at VfB Stuttgart last time out Olympique Lyonnais hope to gain further ground on the Group E leaders with a second win against the German strugglers.
Olympique Lyonnais will look to build on their Matchday 3 victory away at VfB Stuttgart when the teams meet for the second time in a fortnight at the Stade de Gerland.
• Not since 2002/03 have Lyon failed to reach the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds and the French league leaders breathed fresh life into their Group E campaign with a 2-0 triumph against Stuttgart on 23 October. Goals from Fábio Santos (56 minutes) and Karim Benzema (79) gave renewed hope to Alain Perrin's team following 3-0 defeats in their opening two games, at FC Barcelona and at home to Rangers FC.
• Lyon's win in Germany left them four points behind the top two in the section, Barcelona and Rangers, and with that pair playing in Spain, Lyon will know that three more points against Stuttgart could potentially lift them within a point of second place.
• For their part, Stuttgart have a mountain to climb after three straight defeats. Armin Veh's men actually took the lead in their Matchday 1 visit to Rangers through Mario Gómez but lost that advantage as they succumbed 2-1. They then lost 2-0 at home to Barcelona before an identical defeat by Lyon last time out.
• The Bundesliga outfit will be eliminated if they lose to Lyon. Their faint hopes of surviving will also vanish if they draw and the game between Barcelona and Rangers also ends all square.
• The outlook may appear bleak but Stuttgart could draw inspiration from the example of Newcastle United FC who lost their opening three games in the 2002/03 group stage but then secured three straight wins to progress. In the same season another German club, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, lost three games but qualified for the next round by taking maximum points from their other three.
• There have been other examples of sides advancing despite three defeats: Celtic FC (2006/07), Werder Bremen (2005/06), FC Lokomotiv Moskva (2002/03), Arsenal FC (2001/02), Lyon (2000/01), Manchester United FC and Rosenborg BK (1996/97), and Legia Warszawa (1995/96).
• Stuttgart have a reasonable record against French opponents, with four wins, one draw and two defeats in their seven previous matches before the meeting with Lyon on 23 October.
• They have overcome RC Lens, AJ Auxerre and LOSC Lille Métropole in two-legged UEFA Intertoto Cup ties since the turn of the century. In addition they recorded a 2-0 victory at Stade Rennais FC in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup group stage, courtesy of goals from Jon Dahl Tomasson and Danijel Ljuboja.
• Stuttgart's Ludovic Magnin could be forgiven a sense of foreboding ahead of the visit to the Gerland – after all, the last time he was there, he was part of a Werder Bremen team humbled 7-2 in a first knockout round tie on 8 March 2005.
• The scorers for Lyon that night were Sylvain Wiltord (3), Michael Essien (2), Florent Malouda and Jérémy Berthod (penalty) and the rout secured a 10-2 aggregate triumph, as well as a biggest triumph in European competition for 31 years for the French club.
• Overall Lyon have won five, drawn one and lost two of their past eight home meetings with sides from Germany's Bundesliga.
• Stuttgart's Magnin and Lyon's Patrick Müller were defensive colleagues in the Switzerland national squads at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2004™.