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Guardiola hoping history repeats itself

FC Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola will take his squad to Olympique Lyonnais hoping for further success in the last 16 at the expense of his old midfield rival Claude Puel, the man in charge of the French champions.

Lyon coach Claude Puel has a mixed record against Spanish sides
Lyon coach Claude Puel has a mixed record against Spanish sides ©Getty Images

Josep Guardiola will be hoping history repeats itself when he pits his wits against Claude Puel once again in the UEFA Champions League arena.

• The respective coaches of first knockout round opponents FC Barcelona and Olympique Lyonnais were last in direct opposition as players back in the 1993/94 season and it was Guardiola, then the Spanish club's midfield metronome, who came out on top against Puel's AS Monaco FC side, winning both home (2-0) and away (1-0) in the tournament's group stage.

• Barcelona went on to reach the final that season and 15 years on, their prospects of going all the way once more look strong given their free-scoring form in winning Group C, where they averaged three goals per game.

• Moreover, the two-time European champions won all three of their away matches so should travel to Lyon for the first leg of this last-16 contest with no shortage of confidence.

• French champions Lyon are seeking a first quarter-final in three years after elimination at this stage of the competition in 2007 and 2008. Puel's charges took second place in Group F with a record of three wins, two draws and one defeat. That solitary reverse came in their final home fixture when they went down 3-2 to section winners FC Bayern München.

• Lyon have failed to beat Barcelona in four previous attempts.

• The clubs met for the first time in the 2001/02 group stage with the Spanish outfit winning both games. Goals from Patrick Kluivert (78) and Rivaldo (87, penalty) earned Barcelona a 2-0 home success on 10 October 2001 before a dramatic return match at Stade de Gerland 13 days later.

• Trailing to early efforts by Kluivert (9) and Rivaldo (18), Lyon fought back through goals from Péguy Luyindula (66) and Eric Carrière (88) only to concede a 94th-minute winner to Gerard López – a goal that confirmed their elimination and sent Barcelona into the last 16. Sidney Govou and Juninho Pernambucano were in the Lyon side that evening while Xavi Hernández and Carles Puyol featured for Barcelona.

• Last season's group stage brought the clubs together for a second time and Barcelona ran out 3-0 victors in their Camp Nou encounter on 19 September 2007, Lionel Messi (82) and Thierry Henry (91) completing the scoring after François Clerc's 21st-minute own goal.

• Lyon will prefer to focus on their fightback to claim a point in the return fixture in France on 27 November. Trailing twice to goals from Andrés Iniesta (3) and Messi (58, penalty), they replied each time through Juninho, the Brazilian firing in a seventh-minute free-kick and then making it 2-2 from the penalty spot with ten minutes remaining.

• The full lineups for that last meeting at the Gerland were:
Lyon: Rémy Vercoutre, Anthony Réveillère, Sébastien Squillaci, Anderson, Fabio Grosso, Fábio Santos (Kim Källström), Jérémy Toulalan, Juninho Pernambucano, Sidney Govou, Fred (Kader Keita), Hatem Ben Arfa (Loïc Remy).
Barcelona: Victor Valdés, Gianluca Zambrotta (Rafael Márquez), Carles Puyol, Gabriel Milito, Eric Abidal, Xavi Hernández, Yaya Touré, Eidur Gudjohnsen (Ronaldinho), Lionel Messi, Bojan Krkić, Andrés Iniesta.

• Lyon's overall home record against Spanish clubs is P6 W3 D1 L2. They won their only previous two-legged contest against opposition from across the Pyrenees, beating Real Sociedad de Fútbol 2-0 on aggregate at this stage of the UEFA Champions League in 2003/04.

• Barcelona have a respectable record in France – three wins, one draw and two defeats – yet they have never beaten French opponents over two legs, losing ties to OGC Nice, FC Metz and Paris Saint-Germain FC in the past.

• Since succumbing 2-1 at PSG in the 1994/95 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, Barcelona have gone five matches unbeaten against Ligue 1 clubs, winning four including a 1-0 triumph against the same opponents in the 1996/97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final.

• Guardiola appeared in that final but if he has fond recollections of facing French sides, Lyon coach Puel's memories of matches against Spanish teams must be mixed – and not only for the aforementioned defeats by Barcelona during his days as a Monaco midfielder.

• His debut as a player in UEFA club competition came in Monaco's 5-3 aggregate loss to Valencia CF in the 1980/81 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round. Nine years later he was in the Monaco team that beat Real Valladolid CF on penalties after a 0-0 aggregate draw in the quarter-finals of the same competition.

• As a coach, Puel saw his Monaco side lose 4-2 on aggregate to RCD Mallorca in the 1999/00 UEFA Cup fourth round. With LOSC Lille Métropole, meanwhile, his charges defeated Sevilla FC 1-0 in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup group stage but the following year saw their hopes of UEFA Champions League progress evaporate with a 1-0 loss at Villarreal CF in their final group game and were then knocked out of the UEFA Cup Round of 32 by Sevilla, losing 2-1 on aggregate.

• Puel worked with Barcelona pair Henry and Rafael Márquez during his time as Monaco coach and later with Eric Abidal when he was at Lille.

• Barcelona's squad includes two other players who have appeared in Ligue 1 in Seydou Keita (Olympique de Marseille, FC Lorient, RC Lens) and Yaya Touré (Monaco).

• Sonny Anderson, who played up front for both Barcelona and Lyon, now fills a dual role as club ambassador and scout for the French champions.

• The second leg will be played at the Camp Nou on 11 March.