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Renard confident Lyon will roar against Paris

Olympique Lyonnais defender Wendie Renard has no doubt her team "will qualify" for the quarter-finals when Paris Saint-Germain visit on Wednesday with the tie at 1-1.

Wendie Renard helped Lyon take the lead in Paris on Saturday
Wendie Renard helped Lyon take the lead in Paris on Saturday ©Anthony Massardi/Moustic Prod

A decisive presence at both ends of the pitch, Olympique Lyonnais centre-back Wendie Renard is clearly no less decisive off it, confidently predicting her side will seal a UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-final berth when Paris Saint-Germain come seeking an upset on Wednesday.

The tall defender helped Lyon take a first-half lead in their round of 16 opener at Stade Charlety, meeting a Louisa Necib corner with her head before Corine Petit's final touch took the ball over the line. Paris responded through Fatmire Alushi shortly after the restart to rescue a 1-1 draw, but Renard feels certain the two-time European champions will come out on top at the Stade de Gerland.

"We have no worries about the second leg," she explained. "As things stand, we're through. Both teams missed chances, but I have faith in my team. The home game will be very difficult, but we will qualify."

Lyon are used to pulling rank over their ambitious rivals, who have invested heavily in women's football as they vie to unseat OL at the pinnacle of the French game. Gérard Precheur's charges went into Saturday's encounter fresh from beating Paris 2-1 in a league fixture a week earlier, and also retain fond memories of winning the French Cup final at the capital club's expense in June.

Alushi: It'll be tough

Nevertheless, Paris posted an eye-catching 1-0 success at Lyon in January and also caused their rivals plenty of problems in the first leg, leaving the favourites with issues to address. "We left too many spaces between our lines and they were able to take advantage of that," said Renard. "We'll need to sort that out for the home match."

Paris, meanwhile, will be looking to build on their performance, with confidence now rising. "We showed that despite their goal, we were still in the game, and that's encouraging for the return match," said full-back Jessica Houara. "Last year, when we conceded the first goal, we tended to collapse. Getting back on level terms gives us every chance of going through at Gerland."

Crucially, the team coached by ex-Lyon boss Farid Benstiti also played with less fear than in their recent 2-1 league defeat. "We felt like the ball was burning our feet at Gerland, so we've worked on playing our own game and not being afraid – to remember we can play football as well, even if we're up against Lyon," added Houara. "We have our own attacking qualities, know how to use the ball and can create chances. We did that [in the first leg], which proves the gap is closing."