Real Madrid heads to France to play the last undefeated team in the group stages of the Champions League. They've scored eight goals and have allowed none. This is the second leg of the home and home tie with Lyonnais. Two weeks ago, Real Madrid pasted Lyon 4-0 at the Bernabeu, and the same result is expected even on French soil. With a win, los meringues secure a spot in the knock-out round with two matches remaining. If you couple a win with a Ajax loss, it's a guarantee that Real Madrid will advance to the next phase.
We shouldn't take a win as a sure thing, however; just ask Chelsea -- they were supposed to run all over Genk and all they could manage was a 1-1 draw. While Madrid has enjoyed a good run of form, Lyonnais cannot say the same. In their last six domestic matches, they've gone 3-3, including losses to 'lesser' teams. So I suspect they'll be hungry for a win, knocking Madrid off their perch.
Mou is going to have some tough decisions to make in regards to tomorrows line up: Marcelo, Alvaro Arbeloa and Kaka have been ruled out of tomorrows match. You can also count on Raul Albiol and Ricardo Carvalho to be sidelined as well. In addition, I'm betting on Sergio Ramos, who's been damn good as a center back. That would mean giving the center back job to Rafael Varane.
I'd also go out on a limb and say that even though Gonzalo Higuain has had a better run of form, Karim Benzema will get the start up top against his former club.
- Lyonnais have only won one of their last 10 Champions League matches against Spanish teams.
- Real Madrid is the only team to win all three of their Group matches, and the only team in the tournament that hasn't conceded a goal.
- Speaking of conceding goals, Real Madrid has only conceded six goals in 15 Champions League Matches.