Lyon wary despite Reds' woes

Lyon insist they will not be fooled by Liverpool's poor form, with coach Claude Puel insisting the Reds "have the potential to bounce back."

Last Updated: 03/11/09 at 17:53

Puel: Knows Reds remain dangerous opponents

Puel: Knows Reds remain dangerous opponents

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The French side need just a draw in the Stade de Gerland on Wednesday to ensure that they qualify from Champions League Group E into the last 16.

And they are considered hot favourites against a Liverpool side hit by injuries that include England men Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson, who have not travelled to France.

With striker Fernando Torres also struggling with an injury that is now considered to be a hernia rather than a groin problem, Lyon are expected to complete a double over Liverpool, having won at Anfield last month.

But Puel points out that Liverpool bounced back from that defeat to produce a stunning victory against Manchester United in their next match.

Puel said: "Liverpool may have their problems, but after we beat them they turned in a great performance against Manchester United.

"They were tough, played at a great pace and fully deserved the victory. We saw then that they have great potential to bounce back.

"They are still a great club and capable of playing great games when they want, with fine players and a great coach."

Lyon's Swedish midfielder Kim Kallstrom has a similar view of the plight Liverpool find themselves in.

He said: "As a boy I watched Liverpool on TV and always admired them, many youngsters back then did.

"I suppose that to see them in their current position is a surprise, but it is not something that they cannot turn around.

"Things happen like this to even the greatest teams. There can be a few defeats, then a dip in confidence and one bad thing follows another.

"Everything seems to go wrong all at once. But they can recover from this, even if I do find it a surprise to see them in the position they are in."

He added: "We know they have injuries, but it is not something that we have been talking about. Their injuries are their concern, not ours.

"We have to plan for the match as if nothing of that sort had happened. They are still a great club with great players, and we must not forget that."

And the 27 year-old admits he is still worried about Torres, even if the Spaniard is struggling badly for fitness.

He said: "He is probably the best in the world, I have played against him at international level and he is very clever with the ball and a very tough opponent.

"He is Liverpool's best player and whatever injury he has, we must concentrate on stopping him and being clinical in our own play to get the result we need."

Lyon are top of the group after three victories but, though only a point is required to ensure they finish in the top two, Puel says: "We will only be thinking about winning, not just playing for the draw.

"Whether it is one point that we need or three, we will always play the same way.

"But we must get something from this match. We do not want to be needing to get points to qualify in the match against Fiorentina in Florence.

"Three teams can still qualify. It is a very tough group and maybe 12 points will not be enough to win the group.

"I believe that Liverpool will work very hard, put us under a lot of pressure and be determined to reverse the results that they have been getting so far in Europe this season.

"They will be tough opponents, and we must not forget what they did to Manchester United recently."

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