First win the focus after opening-game frustration

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Lyon and Valencia endured frustrating opening games in UEFA Champions League Group H and will seek to kick-start their qualification bids at Stade de Gerland on Wednesday (AEST).

Hubert Fournier's men were held 1-1 by a Gent side who had two players sent off - with Alexandre Lacazette missing a late penalty - while the La Liga outfit suffered a 3-2 home loss to Zenit.

Valencia will hope to draw some inspiration from the previous group-stage showdowns between the two sides, when the Spaniards prevailed in both matches n 2000-2001.

That was during a memorable era for Valencia, which reached back-to-back UEFA Champions League finals at the turn of the century and won La Liga in 2001-2002 and 2003-2004.

But Nuno Espirito Santo's team has failed to impress domestically so far in this campaign and its last four games have yielded only one win. 

The five-goal thriller against Zenit was in stark contrast to Valencia's top-flight matches, where there have only been five goals in six games.

Only Malaga has scored fewer in La Liga, but Valencia does boast a defensive record better than every side except Real Madrid.

Valencia has already enjoyed some success against Ligue 1 opponents this season, having beaten Monaco over two legs to qualify for the competition proper. Indeed, in its last 11 away matches against French sides, Valencia has lost only twice.

Lyon, hosting its first UEFA Champions League pool match since 2011, heads into the game licking its wounds from a 3-1 loss at Bordeaux.

Fournier declared himself angry with the performance and result, urging his side to bounce back against Valencia.

It was just the second defeat of the league season for Lyon, which sits sixth in the table but already eight points adrift of leader Paris Saint-Germain.

Lyon does not boast quite the same European pedigree as its visitor. Even during its seven-year dominance of Ligue 1, when it won the title every season from 2001-2002 to 2007-2008, Lyon never ventured past the last eight.

Its one foray into the semi-finals, in 2009-2010, ended with a 4-0 aggregate drubbing at the hands of Bayern Munich.

Valencia will be without defender Jose Gaya (hamstring) and Australian goalkeeper Mathew Ryan (knee), while Lyon's injury woes see the likes of Nabil Fekir (knee) and Rafael (thigh) sidelined.


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