Ajax v Lyon preview

The Amsterdammers open their campaign tomorrow night against Lyon
with De Boer already dismissing the possibility of his side winning
the pool. And with Lyon expected to be Ajax’s closest challengers –
Dinamo Zagreb are the rank outsiders – it is a crucial game for
both sides. De Boer told France Football: “It is very important
because it’s a big match in the race for second place. “I think
Real Madrid will finish on top but if we win tomorrow it means we
will take a step towards second.” Ajax have made a strong start to
the defence of their Eredivisie title and currently lead the way in
Holland once again having taken 13 points from five games. De Boer
has been encouraged by their recent performances and is relishing
the prospect of seeing them compete in Europe. He added: “I cannot
wait to see how my young players will go when faced with a team
which has more experience in this competition. “This is just my
second game as coach in the Champions League and I want to keep my
unbeaten record.” Lyon boss Remi Garde agreed with De Boer in that
the two sides are playing for the runners-up spot behind Jose
Mourinho’s Madrid. “It would be very strange if Madrid did not
finish on top,” he said. “We are competing with Ajax and Dinamo for
second.” Lyon, like Ajax, have made a solid start domestically –
Les Gones lie second having won three and drawn two of their
opening five Ligue 1 fixtures. Full-back Anthony Reveillere admits
a new-look squad, with a new boss in Garde, is enjoying its
football at the moment. Reveillere said: “It was important to get a
good start in the championship. “It has been much better than in
previous seasons. We have a new coach and a new playing staff. “We
write a new page and have many young players in the squad.”