Like West Ham, it is no secret that French side Olympique Lyonnais has a small squad. As both teams gear up for the second leg of the Europa League quarter-final, Lyon may be in trouble. Currently, the fixture sits at 1-1 on aggregate, so winner takes all in France. The Hammers are seriously struggling for form (as shown in the 2-0 loss at Brentford this weekend), but the recent Lyon squad news may settle the minds of players and fans alike.
The match between Lyon and Strasbourg on Sunday finished 1-1; identical to the fixture played in the London Stadium just days before. Despite the disappointing result for Ligue 1’s 10th place team, manager Peter Bosz will be more worried about the players he lost during the game. Goalkeeper Anthony Lopes, midfielder Houssem Aouar, and the equalising goalscorer Tanguy Ndombele all left the field of play with injuries. All three players tested the West Ham team in the first leg of the quarter-final, so their potential loss may fire David Moyes’ squad even more.
West Ham have their own availability issues prior to Thursday’s match-up, too. With Aaron Cresswell suspended for a challenge on Moussa Dembele, the defence is already unnerved. To add to that, Kurt Zouma was replaced by Issa Diop early in the Brentford game after the Frenchman was seen hobbling around the pitch. After the game, Moyes gave an update on Zouma, stating:
"“Kurt has twisted his ankle. We don’t know how bad it is. We’ll get him checked but I’ve not gotten a chance to speak to the medical team yet. Coming off is not a good sign but hopefully it’s not too bad.”"
Having Zouma available for the second leg will be very important for the Hammers. The partnership he has developed with fellow centre-back Craig Dawson over the last few months has proven solid throughout the season.