Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho is hoping his homework will pay off as his side aim to end their Champions League jinx against Lyon.Ligue 1 giants Lyon have an unbeaten record over the Spaniards in European competition, and eliminated Real Madrid in last season’s first knock-out round.
The French side went on to reach their first ever Champions League semi-final, but were themselves defeated by eventual runners-up Bayern Munich.
“Ever since we drew Lyon, we have been studying and learning about them,” Mourinho said.
“It’s been years since Madrid made it (to the quarter-finals), and it’s because they have never beaten Lyon. I am not losing sleep over Lyon or any other team.”
Madrid striker Karim Bezema will once again return to his former club, but the the 23-year-old believes his current side have developed enough to quash Lyon’s record.
“If I’m lucky enough to play I will do everything I can,” he said. “This match will be different to last year. Our team has changed … I think we are going to defeat Lyon and win the Champions League.”
Lyon’s cause will not be helped by the absence of key striker Lisandro Lopez.
The 27-year-old Argentine has found the target eight times this season, but injured his hamstring during training this week.
“You have to respect the player,” said Lyon coach Claude Puel. “He is injured and it’s a handicap for us.”
However, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris remains confident that Lyon can get the better of Real Madrid yet again.
“Faced with a great team like Real, we know that by giving 200% we are not even sure of the result,” he said.
“They are a favourite for the Champions League. And we are an obstacle for Real. We hope to cause an upset.”