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Rensing warns: We've not been handed a bye

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Rensing warns: We've not been handed a bye

Postby FCBayernNews » Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:15 pm

President Jean-Michel Aulas admits he is "perplexed" and coach Claude Puel feels "frustrated" after Olympique Lyon's third league fixture without a win. "Unacceptable things have happened this week," Aulas fumed following last weekend's goalless draw with bottom club Valenciennes and Saturday's 2-1 defeat to promoted Nantes. The serial champions' lead at the top of Ligue 1 is down from seven to three points - just when Bayern are due in town.

Germany's most successful club meet the French cracks on Wednesday in a showdown for first place in Champions League Group F, but the Bavarians will not be deceived by the minor crisis in Lyon. "They're very strong and one of the best teams in Europe," Jürgen Klinsmann told "They boast excellent individuals," Philipp Lahm warned.

One star out, another doubtful

However, Olympique are definitely missing one of their biggest stars in midweek, with a second battling to regain fitness in time. Playmaker and free-kick specialist Juninho is suspended, while striker Karim Benzema is doubtful with a hamstring problem which caused him to miss Lyon's last two games. Klinsmann suspects the 13-goal hitman could yet feature on Wednesday. "We don't believe everything we hear."

No such doubt exists over Juninho. "He's one of their main weapons and they'll miss him," observed Klinsmann, recalling the Brazilian's contribution to the opening goal when the sides met in Munich, Martin Demichelis inadvertently turning a swerving free-kick into his own net. "Even when Juninho shoots from the halfway line, it's dangerous because the ball changes direction eight times," FCB keeper Michael Rensing pointed out, "it's helpful to us that they'll have to rethink their set plays."

Defensive problems

Lyon will also be forced to reorganise at the back. Central defender Cris also serves a ban, Mathieu Bodmer, Francois Clerc and Anthony Réveillère are injured, and full-back John Mensah is doubtful. French media also believe Puel will rest some of his key players on Wednesday ahead of a league showdown with chief title rivals Olympique Marseille at the weekend.

The gloom and doom failed to produce much of a reaction at Bayern. "Whatever, we'll still have to watch ourselves," insisted Rensing, "they also want to win the group, and they'll give everything for 90 minutes. We've not been handed a bye just because Juninho's out." A statement by Lyon midfielder Kim Källström will be enough of a warning to Klinsmann's side: "This is exactly the right time to pick ourselves up and show what we can do."
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