Olympique Lyonnais vs Ajax – Match Preview

Olympique Lyonnais vs Ajax - Match Preview

Olympique Lyonnais vs Ajax – Match Preview – Match Preview

Europa League, Semi Final 2nd Leg, Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon 8.05pm


Lyon are looking for an historic 2nd leg comeback against Ajax to obtain a place in the prestigious Europa League final in Stockholm.

Story of the first leg
Ajax are on the brink of a first European final in 21 years – in Amsterdam they established a commanding 4-1 lead to take to France with clinical attacking prowess.
On-loan Chelsea forward Bertrand Traore stole the show; heading in Hakim Ziyech’s free kick and tapping in another great cross from the Moroccan either side of half time with youngster Kasper Dolberg and forward Amin Younes also scoring between each of the Burkina Faso star’s strikes. Mathieu Valbuena netted a well-placed consolation to give the French side a slight glimmer of hope.

The winner of this tie will face the victor of Manchester United v Celta Vigo in the other semi-final; the Premier League side seem favourites after a strong showing in a 1-0 defeat of Celta in Spain. Lyon are aiming to become the first French team to win the Europa League/UEFA Cup but as mentioned above, face an incredibly arduous task to do so. Ajax playing United seems likely at present and would prove an extremely strong showing of European pedigree; highlighting the Europa League’s ascending reputation.

Also the winner of this match will be the ‘home’ team in the final in Sweden on 24th May.

Players to Watch
After his dynamic showing in the first leg; Bertrand Traore is the name on most viewer’s lips for this tie. His strong output of 13 goals and 6 assists in 36 appearances will be giving parent club Chelsea’s boss Antonio Conte something to think about. 4 goals and 4 assists in 9 matches in the Europa League partnered with his direct ball carrying and electric pace see Traore as a constant threat for opposition defences and Ajax will have to execute a new plan to stop his influence this time around.

Bertrand Traore scored twice in the 1st leg home win

Bertrand Traore scored twice in the 1st leg home win Photo Credit: soccernews.nl

Maxime Gonalons is imperative to all things positive for Lyon; the defensive midfielder has been with the club since 2000 and has proved vital in the heart of midfield in destroying opposition attacks and intuitively putting his team back on the front foot with his effective distribution. Not primarily a creative influence; Gonalons still has an assist in the Europa League this season and boasts a strong pass success percentage of 86.9% in 5 appearances. Strong in the tackle and an excellent reader of the game, the anchor-man will be key to repelling Ajax’s offence.

Maxime Gonalons will be key to stopping Ajax taking control of the tie

Maxime Gonalons will be key to stopping Ajax taking control of the tie Photo Credit:

Team News
Star striker Alexandre Lacazette lacked the fitness to make an impact in the first leg, and Lyon could be without their talisman again in the search for a remarkable comeback as he remains a doubt. Memphis Depay hasn’t featured and won’t this season for the French side due to his ineligibility after featuring for Manchester United. Lyon are also without defender Yapou Yanga-Mbwia, the influential midfielder Corentin Tolisso and youngster Mouctar Diakhaby.

Ajax on the other-hand are relatively injury free; defenders Nick Viergever and Joel Veltman were suspended in the first leg but are set to return – leaving Daley Sinkgraven as the only doubt for the huge clash.

The betting man would back Ajax here – a performance from the Dutchmen anywhere near to the gulf in class displayed in the first leg will see the famous side through.
However, Lyon have won all three of their home knockout games this season – scoring 13 goals in the process giving an average of 4.33 goals per game.
Ajax’s exciting young team playing an offensive Lyon side that needs to score at least 3 goals promises attacking intent and surely goals.

Suggested Tips:

  • Skybet Price Boost – Davy Klaassen to score and Ajax to win in 90 mins – 15/2
  • Skybet Price Boost – Bertrand Traore to score from outside the penalty area – 16/1
  • Skybet Scorecast Boost – Nabil Fekir to score first and Lyon to win 3-1 – 50/1
  • Skybet Scorecast Boost (Double Chance) – Kasper Dolberg to score first and either Ajax to win 1-0 or Ajax to win 2-0 – 55/1
  • Skybet RequestAbet Up to 10/1 – Lyon to score 2+ goals and 9+ Lyon corners – 11/4
  • Skybet RequestAbet Up to 10/1 – A penalty awarded and a player sent off – 9/1
  • Skybet RequestAbet 11/1 to 28/1 – Each team to take 3+ corners in each half – 14/1
  • Skybet RequestAbet 33/1 to 66/1 – Over 4.5 goals, 15+ match corners and 70+ match booking pts – 50/1
  • Skybet Anytime Goalscorer – Corentin Tolisso – 13/8
  • Skybet Both Players to Score – Gnaly Maxwell Cornet and Kasper Dolberg both to score – 13/2

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