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Expect goals in Lille, Porto clash - Girard

20 August 2014 02:51

Lille coach Rene Girard said he is predicting a free-flowing UEFA Champions League play-off first leg against Porto on Wednesday.

Girard's men are unbeaten through two Ligue 1 games and are yet to concede a goal, with their 1-0 triumph over Caen on Friday their most recent outing.

However, the 60-year-old - embarking on his second season with Lille - is tipping goals for the first 90 minutes at the Stadium Nord Lille Metropole.

"It will be different from our last two games in Ligue 1, when we had to play against defensive sides who were very compact," Girard said.

"We should be able to see a more open game, certainly."

Girard said while he is empowering his players to respect the Portuguese powerhouses, he certainly is not overawed by the prospect of Julen Lopetegui's men.

"I didn't make any notes comparing the results of Portuguese teams with French ones, but I know they have a better record," Girard said.

"That's just another challenge, and to change this dynamic by showing that we are ready to face them. They have better experience than us.

"However I think that Lille are on a European level, and deserve some respect. It is going to be up to us to do all that we can in order to progress.

"Respect but not be afraid. Absolutely not."

Lopetegui said he was not looking beyond the first leg in France.

"I am trying to be focused on tomorrow's game. I will try to make good decisions, and help the team compete," the Spaniard said.

"Obviously, the game tomorrow it is going to be very important for the team and the club and we have plenty of ambition to take part in the Champions League and we know that it won't be easy because we have a very difficult team to play but we want to be the main character here and to pass through against a very strong team.

"All around outside of this, I do not care too much."

The fixture will be the first meeting between the two clubs.

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Sunday 21 September

Saturday 20 September

23:48
23:37
23:28
23:27
23:18
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22:49
22:42
22:29
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21:58
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01:31

Friday 19 September

23:17
23:13
22:42
22:42
22:20
21:48
21:17
21:09
20:47
19:51
19:48
19:21
19:18
18:58
18:53
18:51
18:33
18:25
18:13
17:38
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15:53
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13:58
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Ligue 1 table

# Team MP D P
1 6 +8 13
2 6 +6 13
3 5 +5 11
4 5 +0 10
5 6 +0 10

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