Schalke look to start over at Lyon

BY foxsports • September 13, 2010

The Royal Blues have started the Bundesliga campaign with three straight defeats and currently prop up the rest of the division. Tuesday's Group B opener in France will therefore come as a welcome diversion for the Westphalian club. "After three defeats in the league, the Lyon game is a new beginning for us," said striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar on his club's website. "It is the first match of the competition so no team has won or lost yet and games in the Champions League are always special. "We have a lot of quality in our team and we want to prove it. We have got to forget about what has happened recently in the Bundesliga." Schalke have fond memories of their last participation in the competition two years ago when they were only stopped at the quarter-final stage by Barcelona having eliminated Valencia in the group stage and Porto in the first knockout round. Now they are back on Europe's most illustrious stage and ready to show they belong there. "We really wanted to get into the Champions League so now we have got to show in Lyon that we deserve to be playing here," said midfielder Jermaine Jones. Defender Christoph Metzelder has been left behind in Gelsenkirchen due to a groin strain, but Raul is part of the squad and will be making his 133rd appearance in the competition. He is just seven games behind Paolo Maldini in the classification of Champions League appearances and will therefore have an extra motivation to reach the knockout stage this season. Lyon coach Claude Puel is also extremely motivated and believes there has never been a better time for his club to win the competition than now. "Our aim is to win the Champions League. Either this year or next, we have got to win it," he told the Le Parisien newspaper. "We have the necessary squad, some very interesting players and a balanced side." However, Les Gones have also struggled so far in Ligue 1 this season with just one win from their first five games. Puel added: "We have got to start from zero again." "We got August all wrong. We need to rebuild a team spirit." Defender Aly Cissokho is still out injured while Cris is suspended for the clash at the Stade de Gerland.

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