Rangers favs to go through, says Perrin
Olympique Lyon coach Alain Perrin feels that Rangers are favourites to advance to the second round when the two teams meet each other next month.sports Updated: Nov 28, 2007 15:44 IST
Rangers, needing only a draw against Olympique Lyon to advance from Champions League Group E next month, have to be regarded as the favourites to go through to the last 16, said Lyon coach Alain Perrin.
Lyon drew 2-2 at home with Barcelona on Tuesday and have to win in Glasgow on Dec. 12 to advance to the knockout stages.
Barcelona top the group on 11 points and have already qualified. Rangers and Lyon follow on seven points, with Lyon needing a win because they lost 3-0 at home to the Glasgow side earlier in the group phase.
VfB Stuttgart, bottom of the group on three points, kept Lyon's hopes alive by beating Rangers 3-2 on Tuesday.
"Rangers will be in the situation they prefer, which is being able to wait for opportunities to counter-attack," Perrin told reporters after Tuesday's draw with Barca.
"They are the favourites because they will be at home and only need a draw."
The six-times French champions made life difficult for themselves by starting their Group E campaign with back-to-back 3-0 defeats in Barcelona and at home to Rangers.
"We knew from our two opening defeats that it should all come down to the last match in Glasgow," Perrin said.
"We put ourselves in that situation and now we must face it."
Lyon, missing France goalkeeper Gregory Coupet and Brazil defender Cris with long-term injuries, have stepped up a gear after a poor start to the season.
They top the Ligue 1 standings and revived their Champions League hopes with back-to-back wins over Stuttgart.
"Courtesy of Stuttgart, there is still hope," said Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas. "We have to approach the game in Glasgow as if it were the final."
Lyon have never advanced beyond the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
For the match in Glasgow, they should welcome back young France striker Karim Benzema, Ligue 1's top scorer with 11 goals, who did not play against Barcelona because of a bruised right thigh muscle.