Thursday 22 Feb

Villarreal vs Lyon - Match Preview

20 Feb 2018 Ed Mackey INTERNATIONAL CLUBS: UEFA Europa League, Knockout stage
INTERNATIONAL CLUBS: UEFA Europa League, Knockout stage

Villarreal CF

  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D


18:00 GMT
22 February 2018

Olympique Lyon

  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D

18:00 GMT 22 February 2018

Thursdays have become so well-known for Europa League nights and this Thursday is no different after a handful of Champions League fixtures on Tuesday and Wednesday. In one of the bigger ties, Villarreal face Lyon for their Last 32 second-leg. The first-leg, which was played last week, finished 3-1 to Lyon. Tanguy Ndombele opened the scoring for the French side and while Pablo Fornals equalised, goals from Nabil Fekir and Memphis Depay meant Lyon take a huge advantage into this week’s game.


  • Villarreal are on course for another Europa League finish in La Liga but with Real Madrid’s awful form, they could’ve capitalised and taken a Champions League spot. They topped Group A but weren’t particularly convincing with three wins, two draws and one loss in fixtures against teams that most football fans won’t have heard of. In the match on Sunday, they came away from Espanyol with a disappointing 1-1 draw, they would’ve gone 5th in the league with three points.
  • Lyon have started to fall away in contention for 2nd place in Ligue 1 as they have their sights set on a European run. They are 4th in the final Champions League position with a 10-point cushion over Nantes. They came 2nd in a tough Group E containing Atalanta and Everton with the same results as their last 32 opponents (3 wins, two draws and one loss). They were involved in a 2-2 stalemate at the weekend against Lille.
  • Cedric Bakambu is Villarreal’s leading scorer in all competitions this term and he has also scored the most in Europe for them with three goals.
  • Their French opponents have had the benefit of a strong attacking trio: Bertrand Traore, Fekir and Depay all have three goals in this season’s Europa League.


The first-leg between these sides was their one and only previous meeting, it was Lyon who were successful on the night, taking advantage of the home fixture and managing to take a 3-1 lead into this second-leg. Villarreal will need to win this one by at least two goals if they want any chance of making it into the Last 16.

Head to head matches: Villarreal CF - Olympique Lyon

15.02.2018 UEFA Olympique Lyon Villarreal CF 3:1


This is a must-win game for the hosts otherwise they will be dumped out of the Europa League. Ruben Semedo has been arrested while injured so definitely won’t play while Nicola Sansone and Leonardo Suarez are among the other players ruled out for the match.

Latest matches: Villarreal CF

18.02.2018 LaLi Espanyol Barcelona Villarreal CF 1:1 D
15.02.2018 UEFA Olympique Lyon Villarreal CF 3:1 L
10.02.2018 LaLi Villarreal CF CD Alaves 1:2 L
03.02.2018 LaLi Betis Sevilla Villarreal CF 2:1 L
27.01.2018 LaLi Villarreal CF Real Sociedad 4:2 W


Lyon can afford to not be at their best on Thursday with their two-goal cushion but must still get the job done in a professional way. Maxwel Cornet and Kenny Tete are the only two unavailable players for the French side.

Latest matches: Olympique Lyon

18.02.2018 Ligu Lille OSC Olympique Lyon 2:2 D
15.02.2018 UEFA Olympique Lyon Villarreal CF 3:1 W
11.02.2018 Ligu Olympique Lyon Stade Rennes 0:2 L
07.02.2018 Coup Montpellier HSC Olympique Lyon 1:2 W
04.02.2018 Ligu AS Monaco Olympique Lyon 3:2 L


Villarreal need a massive performance if they are to advance to the next round which means they will probably win on the night but Lyon are expected to win on aggregate and make their way into the Last 16. It will be a big surprise if the hosts can overturn the deficit against a very strong Lyon side.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

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