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Champions League – Preview

Barcelona go into tonight’s match knowing that they have never qualified from a knockout tie against a French club. Nice, Metz and Paris SG have all beat the Catalans in the past. Against Lyon, Barca will be hoping that they can finally end this run.

Barca come into this game on the back of an awesome display of attacking football against Athletic Bilbao last Saturday night. That display was just what was needed after five games without a win and has considerably raised morale ahead of tonight’s match. The only negative note is the absence of Carles Puyol, who will miss match through injury, along with Abidal and Milito. Pep Guardiola has named all 21first team players in his squad but will have to trim that to 18 for the definitive match squad.

Lyon arrived in Barcelona on Monday night following two consecutive defeats against Lille, in the cup 3-2 and the league 2-0. Coach Claude Puel welcomes back striker Karim Benzema, he made his return on Saturday, but only played the first half,  while centre-half Jean-Alain Boumsong is over a hamstring strain. Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has recovered from illness. France full-back François Clerc will make only his second start following cruciate ligament surgery.

Probable Teams:

Barcelona: Valdès; Sylvinho or Caceres, Marquez, Pique, Daniel Alves; Iniesta, Touré, Xavi; Henry, Eto’o, Messi

Lyon: Lloris; Clerc, Cris, Boumsong, Grosso; Toulalan; Delgado, Makoun, Juninho, Ederson; Benzema

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