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Lyon look for solid start against Schalke

Semi-finalists in last season's UEFA Champions League, Olympique Lyonnais will be looking to make a positive opening to their 2010/11 campaign as they play host to FC Schalke 04.

Lyon look for solid start against Schalke
Lyon look for solid start against Schalke ©UEFA.com

Having gone further in last season's UEFA Champions League than ever before, Olympique Lyonnais once again set out on Europe's grandest stage aiming to become the first French winners of the trophy since 1993.

• The Ligue 1 runners-up begin Group B with a home game against FC Schalke 04, who finished in the same position in the 2009/10 Bundesliga. The German team return to the competition after an absence of two years and will be hoping for a good start after three successive Matchday 1 defeats.

Previous meetings
• The sides have not met in European club competition before but Lyon have lost their last two home meetings with German opponents, both against FC Bayern München, and conceded three goals each time. The 3-0 reverse in last season's semi-final second leg was the most galling as it completed a 4-0 aggregate defeat.

• That was Lyon's equal worst home defeat in UEFA club competition, the three-goal margin matching the 5-2 defeat at home by VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach in the 1974/75 UEFA Cup second round second leg. However, before those two Bayern reverses, Lyon's nine home matches with Bundesliga clubs had brought six wins and one draw.

• Schalke have played just one competitive away game in France, losing 3-1 win against AS Nancy-Lorraine in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup first round.

Match background
• Lyon, who are competing in the group stage for the 11th season running, have progressed to the knockout rounds in each of the past seven campaigns. At Stade de Gerland in last season's tournament they recorded five wins and a draw – including the play-off round – before the home defeat by Bayern. Lyon had finished second in their group, just as in the two previous seasons; before that the French club had come top of their section four years running.

• Last year Les Gones began with a 1-0 home win against ACF Fiorentina on Matchday 1. In 2008/09 they began with two draws and 12 months before that they started with two successive 3-0 defeats.

• Schalke, making their fourth appearance in Europe's premier club competition, will be hoping to finally make a winning start. In their three previous campaigns they were defeated without scoring a goal: against Valencia CF (0-1 home, 2007/08), PSV Eindhoven (0-1 away, 2005/06) and Panathinaikos FC (0-2 home, 2001/02). In their last bid they nevertheless finished second in the group and qualified for the knockout rounds for the first time. In 2001/02 they finished last, and third in 2005/06.

• Three years ago Schalke's run continued beyond the round of 16 where they beat FC Porto 1-0 at home, lost by the same score away but went through 4-1 on penalties. In the quarter-final they lost to FC Barcelona 1-0 both home and away.

Team ties
• Schalke summer signing Raúl González was an unused substitute for Real Madrid CF in last season's round of 16 first leg at Stade de Gerland, won 1-0 by Lyon. The striker played in four UEFA Champions League games against the French side while at Madrid, drawing two and losing two – both away games ending in defeat – and failed to score.

• In the 2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup Schalke coach Felix Magath, then in charge of VfB Stuttgart, got the better of Claude Puel's LOSC Lille Métropole, overturning a 1-0 away defeat with a 2-0 win in Germany.

• Pape Diakhaté helped Nancy eliminate Schalke 3-2 on aggregate in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup first round.

• Jefferson Farfán faced Lyon twice while at PSV, his team winning 4-2 on penalties after a 2-2 aggregate draw in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals before losing 5-0 over two legs in the last 16 a year later.

• Dejan Lovren and Ivan Rakitić are international team-mates for Croatia.

• Frank Fahrenhorst was part of the SV Werder Bremen side beaten 7-2 at Lyon in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League first knockout round second leg, coming on midway through the second half.

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