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French sports press are still wary (

8 mrt 2006 - Source:

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Olympique Lyon are hot favourites to reach the Champions League quarter finals, but the French sports press are still wary. Below you will find a survey of the Wednesday issues of the French morning newspapers. 'But’All French morning newspapers publish long previews on tonight’s clash. They are pretty unanimous in their predictions: Lyon are favourites, but things are far from over yet. All reports start by emphasizing the good point of departure, followed by a comma and the word mais. Indeed: ‘but’. In Lyon they are not sure of their ground. It would be the third time in a row that Olympique Lyon reach the final quarters. If PSV win, they will have progressed to the next phase for the second season in succession.ConfidenceThe sports newspaper L’Équipe obviously pays most attention to the game, including a large action photograph on their front page. “It takes two hours by train to reach Stade de Gerland by TGV train from the Stade de France (in Paris, where the final takes place), but Olympique Lyon still have to travel a long and bumpy road”, writes the paper. Interviews with, among other people, Florent Malouda, who may be played full left back tonight, and the experienced leader of the pack Sylvain Wiltord make it clear that Lyon have plenty of confidence, but the newspaper does not omit to mention the fact that the team of coach Houllier do not display the same fine performances as earlier this season. Open gameGérard Houllier predicts an 'open game ' in Lyon Matin. The paper needs two full pages to look ahead at tonight’s game. They report on last season’s elimination, the fine base for tonight’s game, an interview with goalkeeper Coupet, and with the Brazilian Juninho and a report on the press conference of Guus Hiddink (“We are realistic”) and produce a host of stats, data and useful nuggets of information. Lotofoot Magazine, linked with the French Toto, is the paper that shows most concern. It states that OL are not in the same good shape as earlier in the season.Anyway, tonight the game will be kicked off at 20:45 and later on the night we will be able to check the accuracy of all previews and predictions.