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Cris confident time is right for Lyon

Captain Cris believes Olympique Lyonnais' "time has come" as he urges his side to make amends for a poor first leg against FC Bayern München and reach the final for the first time.

Cris confident time is right for Lyon
Cris confident time is right for Lyon ©UEFA.com

Having got so close to reaching their first UEFA Champions League final, Olympique Lyonnais are determined not to let their chance slip. Frustrated after a disappointing performance in last week's 1-0 first-leg defeat by FC Bayern München, captain Cris expects a marked improvement at Stade de Gerland on Tuesday.

"Bayern are a great team and they showed that against Manchester, Fiorentina and against us," the 32-year-old said. "You have to respect them, but we know we didn't play well in Munich.

"We know we need to change a few things to get to the final. We weren't able to play our game. We are up against a team which has a good defensive block so we are going to have to work the ball well, something we didn't do in the away leg."

Cris was a doubt for Tuesday's return after sustaining hip and knee injuries in Munich, but has benefited from Lyon being given the weekend off from domestic action and expects to play, most likely alongside Jean-Alain Boumsong in central defence. "I feel better and I always want to play," Cris said. "I don't think there will be a problem."

Both sides are missing key personnel with Jérémy Toulalan's absence likely to hit Lyon particularly hard following his dismissal in Munich. Kim Källström and Jean II Makoun are the probable central midfield pairing in his absence, but Cris insists whoever comes in will be aware of the task in front of them.

"It's true the players who are suspended or injured are important for the two teams. They will be missed, but each player has to prepare mentally for this semi-final. We are 90 minutes from the final and the 22 players on the pitch will give everything."

Lyon have been away on a training camp since Friday after their weekend fixture with AS Monaco FC was postponed to give them more time to prepare for this game. Cris said some of his team-mates had spent the time fishing, others playing golf, and all had been able to unwind thanks to the time away.

The tension now, though, will start to build. In his six seasons with Lyon Cris has experienced his share of heartache in the knockout stages and is aware chances like this do not come along often. "We know the importance of this match," Cris said. "You have to be relaxed but at the same time focused.

"We know what we have to do. Now we have to show that on the pitch. It's a big moment in the history of the club, but we can't stop here, we have to go to the end. The final is a dream for everyone. We have to take advantage, our time has come."

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