Thursday 11 May

Lyon vs Ajax Match Preview

10 May 2017 Ed Mackey INTERNATIONAL CLUBS: UEFA Europa League, Knockout stage
INTERNATIONAL CLUBS: UEFA Europa League, Knockout stage

Olympique Lyon

  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

vs

Kick-off
19:05 GMT
11 May 2017

Ajax Amsterdam

  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

Kick-off
19:05 GMT 11 May 2017

It’s the second-leg of the UEFA Europa League semi-final between Lyon and Ajax at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais where Ajax take a healthy lead from the first-leg. The visitors won the first-leg comprehensively at the newly-named Johan Cruijff ArenA 4-1 with goals from Bertrand Traore (2), Kasper Dolberg and Amin Younes along with a Mathieu Valbuena consolation goal for Lyon. It will take a big effort from Lyon to see them through to the final.

STATS

  • As Lyon have consolidated their place in the Europa League for next season, their sole focus will turn on the Europa League as they will qualify for next season’s Champions League should they win the competition. But they need a big result after their awful showing in the first-leg, they’ll need at least 3 unanswered goals as their away goal will see them through in the case of 4-4 aggregate score.
  • Ajax are just one point off Feyenoord at the top of the Eredivisie table with one game remaining and they have a great chance to make it through to the Europa League final. Their recent results have shown they haven’t prioritised either competition and they could still complete the domestic double should Feyenoord slip up on the final day of the season.
  • Alexandre Lacazette only featured late on in the first-leg due to injury but he will have to play and score if his side have any chance of making it through to the final. With talks of him leaving this summer, he could sign off perfectly by winning Lyon the Europa League.
  • Kasper Dolberg showed in the first-leg why he’s being hunted by several of Europe’s top clubs as he scored one and put in a great performance. One goal from him in the second-leg would mean Lyon would need 4 goals to send the game to extra-time.

HEAD TO HEAD

Lyon have never beaten Ajax in 5 attempts as they have lost 3 and drawn 2. A loss will see them crash out of the Europa League at the penultimate hurdle and with only 2 goals against Ajax in 5 games, it looks like that will be their fate on Thursday evening.

Head to head matches: Olympique Lyon - Ajax Amsterdam

03.05.2017 UEFA Ajax Amsterdam Olympique Lyon 4:1

LYON NEWS

It will need one of the greatest comebacks in European football history for Lyon to come back from a 4-1 deficit but they have the best chance they could have with a fully available team. They will need every member of the team to have the game of their lives on their own patch but will struggle against such a good, young Ajax side.

Latest matches: Olympique Lyon

07.05.2017 Ligu Olympique Lyon FC Nantes 3:2 W
03.05.2017 UEFA Ajax Amsterdam Olympique Lyon 4:1 L
28.04.2017 Ligu SCO Angers Olympique Lyon 1:2 W
23.04.2017 Ligu Olympique Lyon AS Monaco 1:2 L
20.04.2017 UEFA Besiktas JK Olympique Lyon 8:8 D

AJAX NEWS

With one of the youngest squads in European football, Ajax aren’t short of energy in their team but are definitely short of big game experience. With such a good lead from the first-leg, this shouldn’t be a huge factor and they should have no problems making it into the final. With no absentees, it should be easy for them to confirm their place in the final.

Latest matches: Ajax Amsterdam

07.05.2017 Ered Ajax Amsterdam Go Ahead Eagles 4:0 W
03.05.2017 UEFA Ajax Amsterdam Olympique Lyon 4:1 W
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

SUMMING UP!

With a 3-goal lead going into the second-leg, it will be a massive surprise if Ajax don’t actually make it into the Europa League final. Although Lyon are probably favourites for a win on the night, it’s definitely Ajax who are favourites to progress to the final. It would take a miracle for Lyon to pull back the huge deficit in this second-leg and another goal for Ajax will kill off the tie completely.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

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