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Lyon vs Juventus.

UEFA Champions League First Knockout Round.

Lyon 1

  • L Tousart (31st minute)

Juventus 0

    Lyon vs Juventus preview: Rudi Garcia insists his side cannot plan for 'just Cristiano Ronaldo'

    Follow Lyon vs Juventus on Sky Sports' digital platform with a dedicated live blog from 6.45pm on Wednesday

    Wednesday 26 February 2020 23:39, UK

    Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking to extend his Champions League record in Lyon
    Image: Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking to extend his Champions League record in Lyon

    Lyon head coach Rudi Garcia says he has not devised a special plan for nullifying the threat of Cristiano Roanldo as his side prepares for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash on Wednesday.

    The prolific Portuguese has scored 128 Champions League goals, 14 more than any other player in history.

    Juventus' visit to France comes in the same week that a Portuguese chocolatier has created a life-size sculpture of the 35-year-old made entirely of chocolate.

    Ronaldo scored his 128th Champions League goal against Bayer Leverkusen
    Image: Ronaldo scored his 128th Champions League goal against Bayer Leverkusen

    Ronaldo marked his 1,000th senior appearance by scoring in Juventus' Serie A game with SPAL on Saturday - extending his formidable record to 25 goals in 32 club appearances this term.

    Garcia said on the five-time Ballon d'Or winner: "He is obviously one of the best players in the world, therefore it's good to see him in action against us, even if we have to try to limit the damage he usually causes to his opponents.

    "But we can't have a plan just against [Cristiano] Ronaldo, because we should also have a plan against [Paulo] Dybala, a plan against [Gonzalo] Higuain. There are too many good players in this team to face the problems individually, we have to face them as a whole."

    Lyon head coach Rudi Garcia admits Juventus are favourites to progress
    Image: Lyon head coach Rudi Garcia admits Juventus are favourites to progress

    Lyon are winless against Juventus in European competition, drawing once and losing on three occasions, including both of their home games against the Italian side by the same 1-0 scoreline.

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    Garcia admits the Italians are clear favourites, but his players will try their best to stun Ronaldo's side.

    The Lyon head coach added: "We must be able to be at our best to achieve a good result in the first leg against Juve. And we have to hope that they are not at their 100 per cent. Usually this is the case when you meet a stronger team because Juve are favourite.

    "To overturn the odds and not many people think we can qualify after this two legs we must be at our best level and be confident on the pitch. But from this point of view I am not worried."

    preview image 0:24
    A Portuguese chocolatier has created a life-size sculpture of Cristiano Ronaldo made entirely of chocolate which is being exhibited as part of its Carnival celebrations!

    Match set to go ahead despite coronavirus outbreak

    Meanwhile, Lyon are fully focused on their Champions League games against Juventus and refuse to be concerned by the coronavirus outbreak hitting Italy.

    The Ligue 1 club said earlier that Wednesday's last-16 first leg would go ahead as planned following the "French authorities decision to keep [the game] in its initial configuration".

    The death toll in the coronavirus outbreak in Italy, Europe's largest so far, rose to seven on Monday as the country shut down much of its wealthy north to curb the spread of the disease.

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    "We are focused on the pitch and nothing else," Garcia added. "We let our officials deal with sanitary problems related to the coronavirus."

    The disease has spread in Italy from the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto, with new cases reported in central Tuscany, the coastal region of Liguria and Sicily in the south.

    The total number of cases in the country has risen to more than 280 and several sporting events have been cancelled and Serie A matches have been ordered to be played behind closed doors.

    The return leg between Lyon and Juventus is scheduled to be played on March 17 in Turin in the region of Piedmont, neighbouring Lombardy and Liguria.

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    New Manchester United signing Bruno Fernandes expressed his appreciation for Portugal team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo's encouraging words ahead of his move to Old Trafford

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    • Lyon have been eliminated by Italian opposition in the Champions League knockout stages on both previous occasions they have met: 1-3 on aggregate vs AC Milan in 2005/06 (quarter-finals) and 0-2 vs Roma in 2006/07 (round of 16). Meanwhile, Juventus have always progressed to the next round when facing French clubs in the knockout stages of the competition (4/4).
    • Lyon have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League more times than any other French club (11). However, it's been 10 years since they progressed past the round of 16 (2009/10). Indeed, they have scored only three goals in their last nine knockout games in the competition (W1 D2 L6).
    • Juventus are in the Champions League knockout stages for the sixth straight season, their longest ever run. In the last five campaigns, they've made it past the round of 16 on four occasions, only failing to do so in 2015/16 when they were eliminated by Bayern Munich (4-6 agg.).
    • Seven of Lyon's last eight Champions League home games have ended in a draw (W1), four of them with a 2-2 scoreline. Juventus were the last side to beat them on home soil in the competition, it was in October 2016 (0-1).
    • Juventus have lost only one of their last seven Champions League away games in the knockout phase (W4 D2), a 2-0 defeat against Atletico Madrid last season in the last 16.
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    • Lyon won two of their six group games in this season's Champions League (D2 L2), the lowest tally alongside Atalanta among the remaining 16 teams.
    • Lyon posted an Expected Goals total of 7.8 in this season's Champions League group phase (9 goals scored), the lowest total amongst the teams left in the competition.
    • Memphis Depay (six goals, four assists) has been directly involved in 45 per cent of Lyon's Champions League goals since the start of last season (10/22) - however the French side will be without the Dutch forward for this match due to injury.
    • Among the seven players with 50+ goals in the Champions League, Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo is also the only one to have scored more goals in the knockout stages (65) than in the group phase (63). Indeed, he has also registered more assists in the competition versus Lyon (4) than any other side.