Emma Hayes doubts there is much to learn from Arsenal’s 5-1 demolition job of Lyon earlier this season ahead of Chelsea’s clash with the European champions.
The Gunners laid down a marker in the Champions League last October with a stunning win over a side that have won the competition in six of the last seven seasons, including last year.
Lyon gained a measure of revenge at the Emirates Stadium in December to finish runners-up in their group behind Arsenal, with the French side’s reward a quarter-final clash against Chelsea.
The teams met in a pre-season friendly in August, where Chelsea squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 before losing on penalties, and will go head to head in Wednesday’s first leg at the Groupama Stadium with Lyon a much stronger prospect with a number of big names back in action after injuries.
Asked whether there was anything Chelsea could take from Arsenal’s win earlier in the season, Hayes replied: “It was a phenomenal performance from Arsenal, but we also saw Lyon go to Arsenal and win 1-0.
“We know that Lyon are a top side, earlier on in the season they were missing a lot of players, that’s not the case now, they have a lot of their experienced players back.
“There are certainly things from Arsenal’s performance that night that reminded us of some of the things that we repeated in the pre-season game against Lyon.
“But I think this is a much different game and Lyon are at a much different stage than they were earlier on in the season.”
Both Chelsea and Lyon sit atop their respective domestic divisions and many anticipate a showdown between two in-form teams may be a nip-and-tuck affair.
Hayes added: “Both teams will be working each other out, particularly in the first half. I think both ties will be very different.
“I don’t know what it’s going to look like, what I know is we’ve prepared the best we can and we’re absolutely ready.”
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