The returning Jean-Alain Boumsong promises Olympique Lyonnais will adopt an attacking approach as they travel to FC Barcelona needing to score at Camp Nou to keep their UEFA Champions League dreams alive.
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The returning Jean-Alain Boumsong is promising Olympique Lyonnais will adopt a positive approach as they travel to FC Barcelona needing to score to keep their UEFA Champions League dreams alive.
All or nothing
The French international centre-back has shaken off a hamstring injury and his availability is a boost to Lyon coach Claude Puel, whose side have not won in four matches and visit Catalonia on the back of two defeats by LOSC Lille Métropole. They will be heartened, however, by their dominant first-half display against Barcelona two weeks ago, and Boumsong believes a similarly attacking attitude will be called for on Wednesday with the French champions requiring a goal after Thierry Henry cancelled out Juninho Pernambucano's strike at Stade de Gerland. "We have no fear of Barcelona, however good they are, and we mustn't play with the fear of losing either," he said.
'Anything is possible'
"This is the biggest, most important game of our season but we go into it knowing that a win could mean there are many more," added the 29-year-old, who is maintaining perspective despite the knowledge that elimination would leave his team to focus solely on winning an eighth successive Ligue 1 title. "It won't be a catastrophe if we lose, and we all know that anything is possible in a one-off match like this. It's make or break because going far in the Champions League was one of our main objectives this season."
Boumsong accepts that the Spanish Liga leaders will pose a fresh challenge at the Camp Nou, explaining: "We have to expect a slightly different test from the first leg for a few reasons. Their pitch is so much bigger than ours that we've come prepared to run a half-marathon. Barça have a brilliant pass-and-move game and may be better at that than anyone else in the world. Their style will be to attack us from the start. Our test will be to keep our shape tactically and to keep our concentration levels high for the whole night."
Win, lose or draw, Boumsong is looking forward to being reunited with a boyhood friend – despite the fact Barcelona's Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto'o will spend the evening trying to score against him. "Samu and I were born and brought up in the same village near Douala [Nkon] so we treat each other like family. The trouble is, he's one of the best strikers in the world so it will be a tough battle. We have a special relationship but I hope I can get the better of him on this occasion."