Preview: Lyon v Ajax

Lasse Schone Ajax Amsterdam

Lyon must try to overturn a 4-1 scoreline when they take on Eredivisie giants Ajax Amsterdam in the second-leg of their Europa League semi-final.

UEFA Europa League
Date: 11 May 2017
Semi-final
Kick-off: 21:05
Venue: Parc Olympique Lyonnais

Referee: Szymon Marciniak
Assistants: P Sokolnicki, T Listkiewicz
Fourth official: R Siejka

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Lyon 5 0 2 3
Ajax 5 3 2 0

Previous encounter:

Ajax 4-1 Lyon 03/05/17 (Europa League)

Ajax goalscorers: B. Traore (25′), (71′), K. Dolberg (34′) A. Younes (49′)
Lyon goalscorers: M. Valbuena (66′)

Players to watch:

Bertrand Traore was repeatedly not 100% during the first-leg in which he displayed maturity beyond his years in an incredible attacking display, scoring twice and grabbing an assist.

With the on-loan Chelsea forward now fit and firing after being handed a rest over the weekend, he’ll be itching to get the job done and help the Dutch masters advance to the final in Friends Arena on the 24 May.

Alexandre Lacazette made a brief appearance in the first-leg defeat and is edging close to fitness. If the Ligue 1 side have any chance in the tie it will be up to the 25-year-old who’s contributed to 35 of the 71 goals the French side has scored this season.

His blistering pace and quick feet will pose a major threat to the young Ajax defence who enjoy playing the ball out from the back and with a high defensive line.

Goalkeeper Andre Onana will be tested in terms of his ball playing ability, against an energetic high pressing Les Gones side led by the France international striker.

Team form and manager quotes:

Bruno Genesio’s side come into the fixture with a morale boosting 3-2 win over Nantes over the weekend.

After the first-leg defeat in Amsterdam the French tactician remained confident Les Gones could still overturn the three goal deficit.

“We must keep believing and we must digest this defeat. It was an unequal game, especially after half-time,” Genesio said.

“We must start again and believe that we can win through to the final by turning the tie around. That is the most important thing.”

Ajax coach Peter Bosz praised his side’s clinical finishing in the first-leg, something which has continued – as they thrashed Go Ahead Eagles 4-0 on Saturday.

“It was an odd game. I thought that we were pretty bad in the first 15 to 20 minutes,” he told reporters. “Lyon put us under pressure and we weren’t able to play. It looked like we were tense.

“But in contrast to what we’ve been doing all season, we converted our first two opportunities. In combination with the fantastic crowd, something beautiful happened.”

Team news:

For the home side Memphis Depay is out due to ineligibility while Mouctar Diakhaby, Corentin Tolisso and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa are doubtful,

Striker Bertrand Traoré, is available for selection after overcoming a minor knock but Daley Sinkgraven is a major doubt. However, first-choice defenders Nick Viergever and Joël Veltman will be available after suspension.

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