Lyon will welcome English side West Ham for the second leg of the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals on 15th April at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais. The first leg in London had ended in a 1-1 draw for both sides.
The first leg of the quarter-final between West Ham and Lyon in London certainly did not disappoint the fans. From Aaron Cresswell’s controversial red card to Moussa Dembele producing a Cristiano Ronaldo-esque wink and then a pitch invader inexplicably running onto the field to inhibit a counter attack of the hosts, the game pretty much had it all.
Despite losing Cresswell to an early red card in the closing stages of the first half, it was the 10 men of West Ham who struck first through a goal from Jared Bowen who has come back from injury in great shape. However, West Ham’s neightbours Tottenham Hotspur’s loanee Tanguy Ndombele finished off a move only 15 minutes after Bowen’s goal to restore parity for the visitors.
Peter Bosz’s team are now marching into the second leg on the back of a two-goal draw, this time with unfancied opponents in Strasbourg in Ligue 1. However, the stalemate came at a cost for Lyon who lost as many as three key players to injury at the Stade de la Meinau.
Lyon haven’t won the Europa League in its current format and their spot in the semi-final is far from confirmed. However, they are arriving in this into the second leg with confidence and on the back of a five-match unbeaten run with four of those matches ending in draws.
Lyon have managed just one victory in their last six games across all competitions. But they are only one of the two teams in the Europa League that began the group stages and are yet to lose a match in the tournament. It is only the third occasion that they have managed nine games without losing even once in a major European competition, but it is also their highest record as they’ve never managed 10 straight European matches without a loss.
West Ham were left extremely frustrated after Aaron Cresswell’s controversial red card in the first half and the side viewed it as a major setback because of which they couldn’t take the lead in London. That frustration could have played a part as West Ham clashed with neighbours Brentford in the Premier League this weekend and were left defeated.
Bryan Mbuemo and Ivan Toney combined to hand Brentford a 2-0 victory over their London rivals and David Moyes’s side are now considered to be the outsiders for a top four finish in the Premier League. Therefore, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the team prioritise their Europa League campaign.
West Ham will also have to take on Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City before the curtains are drawn for the Premier League campaign this season. That run of games doesn’t beckon a lot of hope for West Ham’s European hopes next season. They have won only three of the last nine matches since the beginning of March, and all three victories have come at the London Stadium.
The defeat to Brentford was West Ham’s fifth loss on the bounce away from home. During that period, they’ve managed to find the back of the net only twice. It goes without saying that West Ham will have to pull their socks if they hope to get a positive result against Lyon in the second leg.
History is also not on David Moyes’s side as they have failed to win the first leg of a major European knockout tie against Lyon for the fourth time. They’ve been knocked out of the competition on all previous three occasions. A trip to Parc Olympique Lyonnais will also be a daunting and formidable challenge for the Hammers.
LYN vs WHU, UEFA Europa League 2021/22
Date: 15th April, 2022
Time: 12:30 AM IST
Venue: Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon
Lyon Europa League form:
Lyon form (all competitions):
West Ham Europa League form:
West Ham form (all competitions):
Lyon wins: 0
West Ham wins: 0
Lyon Team News: Lyon will have to cope with a plethora of injuries and absences for the second leg contest against West Ham. First-choice goalkeeper Anthony Lopes was subbed off at the 60th-minute mark against Strasbourg this weekend. Meanwhile, Tanguy Ndombele and Houssem Aouar were also said to be suffering from thigh and knee injuries respectively but have been included in the squad.
Peter Bosz is expected to have headaches while deciding on his midfield personnel. Maxence Caqueret’s knee injury and Thiago Mendes’s knock doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence for the side. Lucas Paqueta, Rayan Cherki, Lenny Pintor, and Sinaly Diomande have also been ruled out for this fixture.
A lack of options in the base of midfield could see former Arsenal player Jeff Reine-Adelaide get a rare start but he will have to be at his very best against a difficult and challenging opponent. Bosz might even consider shifting to a back five in order to bypass the lack of players in midfield and add more defensive cover and stability.
West Ham Team News: While Lyon might be struggling in midfield due to a whole host of injury issues, West Ham manager David Moyes will have to think long and hard about his defensive options. Aaron Cresswell will not be able to play any part in the fixture after getting red-carded in the previous game. Kurt Zouma has also suffered an injury to his ankle during the weekend defeat to Brentford.
With Zouma expectedly out for at least a week, Issa Diop is expected to deputize for him and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him start the match as well. Angelo Ogbonna hasn’t completely recovered yet following his knee surgery and Mark Noble will be in a race against time to recover from illness to make it to the second leg against Lyon. Manuel Lanzini is expected to be back after serving a suspension in the first leg.
Lyon possible starting lineup:
Pollersbeck; Gusto, Lukeba, Boateng, Emerson; Ndombele, Mendes; Faivre, Reine-Adelaide, Toko Ekambi; Dembele
West Ham possible starting lineup:
Areola; Johnson, Dawson, Diop, Masuaku; Rice, Soucek; Bowen, Fornals, Benrahma; Antonio
The result is extremely difficult to predict. Both sides are dealing with injury and availability crises and are far from their best shapes at the moment. West Ham have a shaky defence going into the second leg while Lyon will practically be playing without a midfield and can be carved open easily. We might see plenty of goals in this contest as both sides have plenty of talent in attack.