16:45 GMT 03 May 2017
Lyon travel to the Dutch capital to face Ajax as they play for a place in the UEFA Europa League final. Ajax are the hosts for the first leg of this Europa League semi-final and the winner over both legs will face either Manchester United or Celta Vigo in the final. The idea of the final only being 2 games away should provide the motivation for both sets of players to play at the top of their games.
The two sides have met on 4 occasions since 2000, all in the Champions League. Ajax won both encounters back in 2002/03 and the two games in 2011/12 ended goalless and with the teams being evenly-matched, it could easily happen again.
Ajax will need to take a healthy lead into the second-leg in France and they haven’t had any problems this season with winning European games at home, which they will look to exploit. They only have a couple of notable absences as Nick Viergever and Joel Veltman both miss the first-leg through suspension but will be back for the second-leg next Thursday.
Latest matches: Ajax Amsterdam
|23.04.2017||Ered||PSV Eindhoven||Ajax Amsterdam||1:0||L|
|20.04.2017||UEFA||FC Schalke 04||Ajax Amsterdam||3:2||L|
|16.04.2017||Ered||Ajax Amsterdam||SC Heerenveen||5:1||W|
|13.04.2017||UEFA||Ajax Amsterdam||FC Schalke 04||2:0||W|
|08.04.2017||Ered||NEC Nijmegen||Ajax Amsterdam||1:5||W|
Lyon will be desperate to get an away goal even if they are on the receiving end of a loss in the Netherlands but without their main marksman, Alexandre Lacazette (who looks a massive doubt ahead of the game), they might struggle. One of their other main attackersw will also miss the game as Memphis Depay isn’t registered, which may be a loss that they haven’t had to worry about in the league. Latest matches: Olympique Lyon
Latest matches: Olympique Lyon
Based on both sides being extremely even heading into the tie, it looks very much like it will end in stalemate. An away goal for Lyon could be absolutely vital for the outcome of the tie but without one, they will be up against it in the second-leg. Keeping a clean sheet will be important for Ajax but they have struggled defensively this season so their fans certainly won’t be banking on it. It has every aspect to be a great semi-final.
03 May 2017 - 16:45 GMT
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