Sun 15.Apr 2012 10:12 Tanya Taylor,
CL: Lyon ready for Potsdam
Potsdam won the Champions League in 2010
Taken from UEFA:

Patrice Lair has kept 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam closely watched ahead of Sunday's semi-final first leg despite Bernd Schröder conceding Olympique Lyonnais have the "stronger squad".

The first two finals of the rebranded UEFA Women's Champions League were between Olympique Lyonnais and 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam but only one will make the third showpiece in Munich next month as they meet in the last-four stage, starting at Stade de Gerland on Sunday.

Lyon overcame Potsdam 2-0 in London last May to avenge a penalty shoot-out defeat in Getafe 12 months previously. And while Turbine, unlike OL, are top of their league, Lyon are on a run of 12 straight competitive wins – scoring 60 and conceding just two – and last lost over 90 minutes in March 2010, their home unbeaten run going back to September 2006.

On Sunday they beat second-tier US Compiègne Club Oise 11-1 with five Lotta Schelin goals while resting the likes of Wendie Renard and Sonia Bompastor. Despite their familiarity with Potsdam, Lyon have been keeping them closely watched.

"Potsdam play quite similarly to the way they did last season," coach Patrice Lair said. "From an attacking point of view there have been some changes, however, as [coach Bernd Schröder] goes back to a 4-5-1 at times. But he relies on a 3-4-3. I'd prefer to face them with their 3-4-3. But I think we can adapt. At my end, I'll gamble on our speedy players up front [Eugénie Le Sommer, Élodie Thomis, Lotta Schelin] who can make the difference."

One of Lair's staff, Frédéric Strappazzon, handled the scouting missions. "With two of their strikers [Fatmire Bajramaj and Anja Mittag] gone there were changes up front," he said. "Now they play with two strikers and a new player, Patricia Hanebeck, as support. [Antonia] Göransson is also interesting on the left. We'll have to do the job in the first leg."

Potsdam stuttered bit after the winter break following the departure of the player who led this competition's scoring charts after the round of 16, Mittag, but are back in form and midfielder Viola Odebrecht should play despite pulled stomach muscles. Captain Jennifer Zietz said: "We still get goose bumps today when we see the 2010 penalty shoot-out. I am looking forward to playing against Lyon, as they are a very good team. It was always a real strain playing them. But that's the appeal of international games after all."

Bernd Schröder, again aiming to be the first coach to win this title three times, added: "Personnel-wise, Lyon have a better squad than we do. Almost all of their players are internationals. The team have improved their build-up play. We do not want to lose there and have to avoid conceding as long as possible. It's make or break time there."

Lair, for his part, is in awe of Schröder, who turns 70 in July. "He always fields a strong team regardless of absentees," Lair said. "They undid Rossiyanka, a club who signed many players, 5-0 [on aggregate in the quarter-finals]. And he is also a great person."
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