Lyon head coach Remi Garde says he respects ‘all the players’ from Athletic Bilbao ahead of their Europa League clash on Thursday.
Athletic Bilbao have started the season poorly, losing four of eight games in La Liga, while they are also bottom of Europa League Group I with just one point from two matches.
But Garde believes Athletic, who made the final of the Europa League last season, remain a tough proposition despite losing three of their last four games in all competitions.
“We know them,” Garde said.
“They are a team who like to play with the ball, with a lot of good and fast players when they are in possession.
“It’s hard to work around them, even so they are in a difficult situation at the moment in the Liga.
“They have also had a rough start in the Europa League but they can do much better and that has been shown it their most recent games.”
Lyon and Bilbao played each other in pre-season, a friendly which Garde’s side lost 2-1.
But the coach believes that result will have little bearing on Thursday’s game.
“The conditions were different, we just came back from a training break in Tignes, they had just gone back to training,” Garde said.
“There has been a lot of changes since that game for both teams so what we saw then is not going to be the same tomorrow.”
Lyon are top of Group I with two wins from as many games and sit third in Ligue 1, just one point behind joint leaders Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille.