By Babalola Seyi
Bayern Munich forward Serge Gnabry says the Bundesliga giants must be at their best to overcome a dangerous Lyon side, in the Champions League semi-final on Wednesday.
Lyon shocked favourites Manchester City 3-1 in the quarter-final to progress into the semi-final for the first time in their history.
The French side also stunned Serie A champions Juventus in the round of 16 to advance into the last eight.
The last time Lyon won back-to-back Champions League game was in the 2011-12 season following defeats against Dinamo Zagreb and APOEL.
Looking ahead to Wednesday’s last four tie, Gnabry said Bayern must replicate the performance they put up against Barcelona.
“It will definitely not be an easy game. They beat both Juventus and Manchester City. We will need to be focused right from the start and deliver a strong performance.
“It will be a different match. We will need to try and play our game right from the start, like we did against Barcelona.”
The former Arsenal winger stated that winning this season’s Champions League would be a perfect end to a superb campaign.
“It’s the premier club competition in Europe. Of course it would be the perfect way to crown a fantastic season, by being the best team in Europe. That’s a great incentive, and something we want to achieve.”
Bayern came out on top when they faced Lyon at this stage in the 2009-10 semis, albeit with that tie being played over two legs, unlike this one-off clash on neutral soil.
Meanwhile, Bayern defender Benjamin Pavard returned to light training on Monday and is back in contention for this semi-final.
However, the versatile Joshua Kimmich has performed well at right-back and Alphonso Davies is expected to keep his place.
That may also be the case further forward, though Kingsley Coman is pushing for a recall in place of Ivan Perisic, who was one of those on target in the Barca rout.
Robert Lewandowski has scored in eight consecutive Champions League appearances for Bayern – only Ruud Van Nistelrooy in 2003 (9) and Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018 (11) have scored in more successive matches in the competition’s history.
As for Lyon, Dembele will be pushing for inclusion after his double from the bench against City, which could mean Karl Toko Ekambi dropping out.
However, Garcia has found a system that works well, with Ekambi and Memphis Depay giving the French side a platform to hit sides on the counter.
Changes are also unlikely to be made anywhere else in the side, meaning that Maxence Caqueret, Bruno Guimaraes and Houssem Aouar will link up in midfield.