The Lyon goalkeeper Grégory Coupet says his team will not take Olympiakos lightly in their Group F Champions' League match tonight. Lyon are unbeaten in Ligue 1 and top their group in Europe after two wins - 3-0 over Real Madrid and 1-0 at Rosenborg.
The Greek champions, Olympiakos, are bottom of the group with no points, and have lost 22 and drawn four of their last 26 European matches away from home.
"I don't care about Olympiakos' statistics," Coupet said ahead of the game at Stade Gerland. "It's still a big challenge. The wind is favourable but we have not guaranteed anything yet. We must confirm our status."
Olympiakos, with confidence low after a surprise 2-1 home defeat last Sunday to PAOK Thessaloniki, are likely to be without former the Brazil player Rivaldo, who has a leg injury.
The Lyon president, Jean-Michel Aulas, is already looking ahead to winning the group. "If we win, yes, our qualification is practically assured, as we would only need one point from three matches," Aulas said. "It's great as a club to find ourselves in this position. Our objective now is to finish top of the group, as this is a considerable advantage in the next phase."
Lyon have no major injury worries aside from striker Pierre-Alain Frau, who has a calf strain. Their coach, Gérard Houllier, welcomes back the Norway striker John Carew and midfielder Mahamadou Diarra from suspension.
Lyon beat Ajaccio 3-2 at home on Sunday to open up a seven-point lead in Ligue 1 with eight wins and three draws from 11 matches.
The Brazil midfielder Juninho scored a trademark long-distance strike and his compatriot Fred notched his fourth goal of the season.
Olympiakos will look to the Cyprus strikers Michalis Constantinou and Yiannis Okkas to trouble Lyon's resolute defence, which, unusually, conceded two goals to Ajaccio - one on a sloppy error from Coupet.
Olympiakos' midfielder Pandelis Kaffes believes his team can win. "Everything's possible in football. We'll be more focused," he said.
Houllier is among the French club managers angered by a planned friendly between France and Costa Rica next month. France may play Costa Rica on the Caribbean island of Martinique on 9 November, three days before hosting Germany at the Stade de France.
Raymond Domenech, the France coach, has been criticised for the plan. "I think it's idiotic," Houllier said. "Raymond needs to be coherent. He says the players have too many matches, but wants to take them to Martinique after they've played seven matches in 20 days."
Sylvain Wiltord, Florent Malouda, Sidney Govou, Coupet and Anthony Reveillère all play for Lyon and France. "Lyon provides a third of the team ... I have a right to say no," Houllier said. "If it was being played in Marseilles or Saint-Etienne that would be a different matter."Reuse content