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Know Your Champions League Opponent: Lyon

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Inti

Real Madrid will face Lyon in the second match of their UEFA Champions League match this Wednesday at 2:45 PM Eastern U.S. time.


When you break down Ligue 1 powerhouse Lyon’s past you really don’t have to look further then about ten years ago.  The club has won seven top division titles in their existence and six of those came in a row between the years of 2002 to 2008.  Despite their post-millennium dominance the club has never surpassed the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champion League tournament.  Many of their best players in the last ten years have also joined other clubs including Michael Essien and Florent Malouda of Chelsea and Karim Benzema of Real Madrid of course. 


This season Lyon is currently in third place and within two points of first place Bordeaux.  But the club has also played two more matches then the first place club, so they are really more then a single match back in the big picture of things.  Lisandro Lopez is the leading scorer with eleven goals and the club has the most home victories this season in France with 10.  They are well known for their tough defense, but this season the Lyon offense has lacked some of their usual firepower with the loss of Benzema. 


Well Lyon is up 1-0 after the first match against Real Madrid in France, but this week they have to go to Spain and at least tie los galicticos to have a shot of survival.  It is possible that they can lose by a goal too, but they need to lose 2-1 or 3-2 to be assured a pass to the next round.  Madrid is not the team you want to be playing on their own turf right now.  Higuian is one of the best performers of late and Ronaldo is hungry and wants to prove to the world that he is worth all that money.  Before the series began I thought Madrid would win 3-2 and I’m gonna stick to that prediction.  Especially since they only have a one goal deficit entering this critical home match.