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Lyon beckons once more for La Real

Fourth in Spain last season, Real Sociedad de Fútbol will hope for a better result at Olympique Lyonnais than they managed there in their very last European fixture in 2004.

The Stade de Gerland is where Real Sociedad played their last European fixture in 2004
The Stade de Gerland is where Real Sociedad played their last European fixture in 2004 ©Getty Images

Real Sociedad de Fútbol return to the Stade de Gerland, scene of their very last European fixture ten seasons ago, as they bid to book a return to the UEFA Champions League at the expense of Olympique Lyonnais.

• The San Sebastian club have not featured in Europe since losing to Lyon in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League round of 16 but, after finishing fourth in the Spanish Liga last term, are now eager to write a fresh chapter in their European history.

• Ligue 1's third-placed team in 2012/13, Lyon have already seen off Switzerland's Grasshopper Club in the third qualifying round, winning 1-0 both home and away.

Past meetings
• Lyon triumphed 2-0 on aggregate when the clubs met in that aforementioned round of 16 tie in 2004. Gabriel Schürrer's own goal 18 minutes into the first leg at the Anoeta gave Paul Le Guen's men an advantage they doubled in the return through Juninho Pernambucano (77) to progress to the quarter-finals for the first time.

• The lineups for the second leg in Lyon on 9 March 2004 were:
Lyon: Coupet (Vercoutre 16), Deflandre, Müller, Edmílson, Essien, Diarra, Juninho, Malouda, Dhorasoo (Berthod 87), Govou, Luyindula (Elber 83).
Real Sociedad: Alberto, López Rekarte, Schürrer (De Paula 85), Jauregi, Potillon, Xabi Alonso, Aranburu (De Pedro 60), Alkiza, Karpin, Gabilondo (Nihat), Kovačević.

• That was Real's only previous tie against a Ligue 1 outfit and came during the reign of their French coach Reynald Denoueix. It was another Frenchman, Philippe Montanier, who guided the club to fourth place last season before departing for Stade Rennais FC and passing on the reins to his former assistant, Jagoba Arrasate.

• The clubs also met in a pre-season friendly on 20 July 2012 in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France. Real's French midfielder Antoine Griezmann broke the deadlock in the 61st minute, Jimmy Briand replying 16 minutes later.

Match background
• Lyon are looking to return to the UEFA Champions League group stage after their run of 12 successive participations ended last season. Instead they lost to Tottenham Hotspur FC in the UEFA Europa League round of 32.

• During their 2012/13 UEFA Europa League run, Lyon got the better of Real's Basque rivals Athletic Club in the group stage. They won 2-1 at home through goals from Lisandro and Jimmy Briand, and 3-2 away thanks to efforts from Bafétimbi Gomis, Yoann Gourcuff and Alexandre Lacazette.

• The French club have considerable recent history of two-legged ties against Spanish opposition. In the UEFA Champions League in 2008/09 they lost to FC Barcelona in the round of 16 and then, at the same stage, beat Real Madrid CF in 2009/10 and lost to them the following year.

• Lyon are unbeaten in seven European home fixtures, a sequence stretching back to a 2-0 loss by Real Madrid in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage. Their overall record at home to Liga opposition is W5 D3 L3.

• While Real's only taste of the UEFA Champions League group stage came in 2003/04, they were semi-finalists in the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1982/83.

Team ties
• Rémi Garde played in the France team that became the first to beat Spain in Seville when winning a EURO '92 qualifier 2-1 in October 1991.

• Griezmann was born and brought up in Macon – only an hour's drive from Lyon – and was in the youth ranks of AS Saint-Étienne before joining Real in 2005. He is a France Under-21 team-mate of Lacazette and Clément Grenier and also played with Gueïda Fofana and Mathieu Gorgelin at youth level. He was part of the UEFA European Under-19 Championship-winning squad in France in 2010.

• During 2010/11 Mouhamadou Dabo made 24 Liga appearances for Sevilla FC, one of which came in a 3-1 home win against Real.

• Miguel Lopes made 21 appearances in the Spanish second division for Real Betis Balompié during their successful 2010/11 promotion push.

• Yassine Benzia scored France's first goal in their 2-1 extra-time victory against Iker Hernández's Spain in the semi-finals of the UEFA European Under-19 Championship in July.

• Carlos Vela was in the Mexico team that beat France 2-0 in the 2010 FIFA World Cup group stage. Gourcuff was an unused substitute for Les Bleus.

• Real's French-born Algerian international Liassine Cadamuro-Bentaïba joined from FC Sochaux-Montbéliard in 2008.