Real Madrid are fearless against their recurrent European rivals Lyon, the Spanish club said ahead of the French team’s visit on Tuesday for the first of their two clashes in this year’s Champions League.
Lyon “is always a strong, disciplined team, good in defence and fantastic in dead-ball situations,” Real coach Jose Mourinho told a news conference on Monday.
“We have a good feeling against them because we won at home and almost won away to them last year. But they too have good experience here” at Madrid’s Bernabeu stadium, he added. “What is sure is that we are going to play without fear.”
The two teams have met in four of the past six Champions League campaigns.
Last season Madrid beat their French rivals and progressed to the quarter finals 4-1 on aggregate. A year earlier, at the same stage, it was Lyon who went through, with a 1-1 draw in Madrid proving enough after a goalless first leg.
The French side will want to take away at least a point from Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu in their quest to qualify for the Champions League knock-out stages for the ninth season running.
After a 0-0 draw with Ajax in Holland and a 2-0 victory at home over Dinamo Zagreb, the French side sit second in Group D, two points behind Madrid who are comfortable with a maximum six points after beating Dinamo 1-0 and Ajax 3-0.
Real’s French striker Karim Benzema is “very well” after recovering from a thigh injury, Mourinho said.
He declined to say whether he would field former Lyon striker Benzema or Argentinian big-scorer Gonzalo Higuain up front with Cristiano Ronaldo.