Sunday 18 March 2018

Mourinho taking nothing for granted

Real Madrid can secure a place in the knockout stage of the Champions League with a victory at Lyon tonight.

The 2002 champions top Group D with nine points from three games, five clear of Ajax and Lyon. Dinamo Zagreb are in last place without a point.

Madrid routed Lyon 4-0 last month and hope to repeat the feat when they meet for the 10th time in Europe's top competition.

Yet, Real coach Jose Mourinho won't underestimate the French side.

Lyon are "many things, but not an easy side, and they defeated Real Madrid in recent seasons," Mourinho said. "I don't think we have an easy group. We're doing our job very well, and that's why we have nine points."

In four home games against Madrid, Lyon are still undefeated with three wins and a draw.

"They are much stronger at home and play more aggressively," said Real midfielder Mesut Ozil. "Our advantage is how we handle the ball and our individual talent."

Madrid will rely on Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain to crack the Lyon defence. They have scored 10 goals each in the Spanish league this season.

The visitors will play without injured centre-back Ricardo Carvalho (back), full-backs Marcelo (thigh) and Alvaro Arbeloa (thigh), and midfielders Nuri Sahin (knee) and Kaka (calf). Arbeloa and Kaka picked up knocks in Saturday's 1-0 win over Real Sociedad.

Irish Independent

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