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10.03.2009 19:24

Puel optimistic on Benzema

Berta Brau

Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Lyon coach Claude Puel and defender Boumsong were confident the French champions can come out on top of what they described as “a great event”.

The French striker is carrying a hip problem and will remain doubtful until the last moment. Claude Puel told us: “He’s OK, he receiving treatment and is training with the rest of the squad. The truth is that we’re optimistic about his chances of playing”.

Repeat of first half performance

10-03-09_WEB_PUEL_02.jpgApart from the doubts surrounding Benzema, Puel is hoping his team will find the same form they showed in the first half of the first leg in Lyon: “In Gerland we showed we can shake up Barça. In this match, we have to be more competitive physically while being careful with the tactical and technical aspects”.

The match of the year for Lyon

French central defender Boumsong revealed: “It’s the most important match of the season so far. It’ll be the match of the year”. His coach agreed: “It’ll be a great event”, while hinting that there could be more to come.

“We’re not afraid”

10-03-09_WEB_BOUMSONS_01.jpgBoumsong was adamant that his team can go through: “We’re not afraid. We’re ready to fight for it; otherwise it would have been better not to come”. However, he admitted that “it’ll be a difficult match” and stressed that the Lyon players would have to pull out all the stops.

An open game

Boumsong told reporters: “Barça is playing the best football in the world, a short passing game with top quality players”. The antidote is “to play aggressively, but that doesn’t mean violently, keep our lines close together and above all help each other so that each player covers the weaknesses of the others”.
Puel optimistic on Benzema
No speculation
Puel assured reporters that he didn’t want to discuss possible pairings in the next round: “I don’t want to think about anything beyond the match. We have to be focussed on this match. I believe it’ll be quite an open game because Barça can’t afford to play for a goalless draw and so will try and score. We also need a goal to go through so I think the fans will enjoy the game”.

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