For the trip to Sedan, Gérard Houllier has named an 18-man squad. Sidney Govou, Fred and Karim Benzema, all out injured, are missing.
Certain of Lyon’s internationals played a lot on Wednesday with their respective national teams… is that a problem for you?
And now there is Sedan and then Real Madrid. That’s three away games in seven days. I’m obliged to take that into account. Malouda, Wiltord, Coupet and Tiago all played full games on Wednesday.
Dies that make life more difficult for you?
I have complete confidence in my squad. In quantity, perhaps we’re not as numerous as some clubs, but in quality, we have what it takes. We have the depth.
If your attack is currently somewhat decimated, your defensive sector is looking much better...
Yes, we’re getting there. I would have preferred it if Patrick had played a little more with Switzerland, but I’m satisfied by his performance when he came on. As for Claudio (Cacapa), he’s not quite there yet, but he’s getting there. Perhaps he still has a little psychological barrier to get over. But physically, both are ready.
With three of your attackers out injured, can we anticipate a new look defence?
You’ll see tomorrow. It will be a match in which power and determination will play an important role. We expect a difficult playing surface. We will have to be ready to fight for every ball like never before. We’re going to Sedan to get a good result, not to make up the numbers. The opposition is a team that likes to play football. They concede a lot of goals but they score a lot as well. They’ve only lost once at home all season, against Le Mans. This game will be a good rehearsal for the Champions League clash.
Do you know their coach, José Pasqualetti?
Yes. He’s a former Lyon player and a good guy. He did a lot of good work at Ajaccio. He is rational and intelligent in what he demands.
Do you agree with Juninho when he says that the game against Sedan is more important than the one against Real Madrid?
It is more important because it comes first. I like to get a good result in the match before a Champions League clash, so the game against Sedan is very important. A good result will help us stay confident.
When will Sidney Govou be available again?
I haven’t spoken to the doctor yet but I would be surprised if he is available for the Madrid game. His return is more likely for the match at home to Auxerre.
How did you feel at the new that Sidney Govou and Hatem Ben Arfa had extended their current Lyon deals?
It’s very good news. One is for a player who we have a lot of faith in for the future (Ben Arfa) and the other is for an experienced player who we know well and we want here (Govou).