Hugo Lloris: Lyon v Tottenham match 'could almost be a Champions League game'

France captain relishes clash with former club

Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has said Thursday's Europa League match against Lyon feels like a high-profile Champions League match.

Andre Villas-Boas' men will defend a 2-1 advantage from the first leg when they meet the French Giants at the Stade de Gerland. The winners will play either Inter Milan or Romania's Cluj.

Lloris joined Tottenham for £12million from Lyon in the summer, and was rested for the first leg at White Hart Lane, with Brad Friedel playing in goal. He is keen to return for the second leg against his former club, and expects the match will indicate how Spurs will fare if they qualify for next season’s Champions League.

The France captain told the Evening Standard: “It could almost be a Champions League game between two top sides in Europe.

“For us, it’s a good test to play against a good team, we have a chance and we have to take it.

“Many players left Lyon in the last transfer window and the situation at the club isn’t easy at the moment but they can trust in their academy and still have great players like Lisandro Lopez and Bafetimbi Gomis.”

Even though Lyon are not as powerful as they have been over the last decade, when they were regular Champions League contenders and won seven consecutive Ligue 1 titles between 2002 and 2008, Remi Garde’s side are still second in the French league.

It is clear, too, that Lloris is still held in high regard at his former club.

At White Hart Lane, their fans taunted Friedel by chanting Lloris’ name at frequent intervals.

Lloris told the Spurs programme: “I received a lot of calls and messages after the draw was made and I have a lot of friends who are still at Lyon.

“It’s not easy because I have good relationships with all my former team-mates but that’s life.

“On the pitch there are no friends. We will all give our best to try to pick up the victory.

“We have ambition in this competition and we want to win.

“The Europa League is difficult — it’s a long tournament with good teams in it but we have a strong side and we believe we can do something in this competition.”

Lyon warmed up for Thursday’s second leg with an impressive 4-0 win at Bordeaux yesterday thanks to two goals from Clement Grenier, and one each from Gueida Fofana and Alexandre Lacazette.

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
Sport
David Silva, Andy Carroll, Arsene Wenger and Radamel Falcao
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'