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Lyon boss Remi Garde admits his team will need to be at their very best if they are to get past Juventus and qualify for the semi-finals of the Europa League.
The pair meet in the first leg of their last-eight tie at the Stade Gerland on Thursday, with Les Gones 5.02 to win, the draw 3.59 and Juve priced at 1.66 to take an advantage into the next week’s return match in Turin.
Lyon’s form in Ligue 1 this season has been extremely inconsistent and with them currently six points adrift of Saint-Etienne, it looks like winning the Europa League will be the only way they will be able to secure European football for next season.
However, despite going out in the group stages of the Champions League, Juventus have once again dominated at home and their form is reflected in their status as the second favourites to win Europe’s second tier club tournament at 3.50.
They do go into Thursday’s match in an unfamiliar position though, having just suffered their first league defeat since October on Sunday, going down 2-0 away at Napoli, but that surely won’t trouble them too much and they have plenty of experience of European success in their team with the likes of Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Pirlo and Carlos Tevez likely to start.
In contrast, Garde has had to once again blood a number of youngsters into his side this term and admits it looks a huge ask for his side to overcome the Italian champions, although he insists they will not shy away from their task.
“We have a mountain before us and should try to climb it by all means,” he told reporters. “My players are young, but they are ambitious and this kind of game will make them grow.”