West Ham will host Lyon at the London Stadium this evening in hope of continuing their European run in the Europa League Quarter Final first leg, and it is important for David Moyes’ side to make a good start by taking advantage in their home game.
The Hammers boss took to his pre-match press conference to provide some updated team and injury news ahead of the clash, confirming that Ben Johnson is back in training and available for selection tonight alongside recently returned Jarrod Bowen.
However, there is some doubt on Vladimir Coufal’s fitness, with Moyes revealing “we’re not totally convinced that he’s 100%” for the European tie, so even though the defender was seen on the bench against Everton last weekend there could be a good chance that the player won’t make his return against Lyon this evening.
In terms of suspension, the Hammers will be without influential midfielder Manuel Lanzini due to picking up his third yellow card against Sevilla in the Round of 16.
With that being said, this is how Football FanCast expects West Ham to line-up against Lyon this evening…
We expect to see only one change from the team Moyes deployed in their victory over Everton, sticking to the 4-2-3-1 formation against their Europa League rivals.
As Johnson has been confirmed to be fit and available for selection this evening, we predict that the Hammers boss will bring the right-back straight back into the starting line-up.
The 22-year-old hailed “fabulous” by his manager, put in an outstanding 120 minute performance in the comeback victory against Sevilla in the last round of the European tournament, so there is no doubt that Moyes’ will want to reward him with the opportunity to play in the quarter-final clash in front of home fans.
With Johnson making a return back into the starting team against Lyon, it would mean that £38k-per-week Ryan Fredericks who was hailed a “threat” by journalist Sam Delaney, will miss out on the exciting clash tonight to make way for his position competitor.
The 29-year-old has had a poor season which hasn’t been helped with injury problems throughout, however Moyes must make the cut-throat decision to drop the defender despite being part of the team who defeated Everton in their last game, as Johnson has earned his place to start in the Europa League clash.
West Ham must take every opportunity to keep their Europa League dreams alive at the London Stadium this evening, as the deciding second leg will be played in France, so capitalising on that home advantage to get a head start over their opponents is an absolute must for Moyes and his team.