Ajax vs Lyon by Lucien
Ajax had a good advantage from the first leg at home against Schalke celebrating 2:0 victory, however got into problems on the road in Germany two weeks ago, as the team looked well in the first halftime, but paid the price of low determination and concentration at the start of the second.
Players of Schalke took the 2:0 lead quite quickly in repetition, scoring goals via Goretzka in 53rd and Burgstaller three minutes later. Things became even more difficult since 80th minute when defender Veltman got red carded, with the Germans scoring third during extra-time via Caligiuri, however, the Dutch side responded well and had great spirit later on, scoring twice - via Viergever and Younes to progress further. As for Eredivisie, Ajax suffered narrow defeat away to PSV, meaning that their title chances are now almost over and this remains only competition in which they can bring some joy to their fans.
Ajax should be playing in some version of 4-3-3 formation, with Younes, Traore and Dolberg as forwards. Forward Traore had some problems with groin injury, but should be ready for this one. Right back Joel Veltman (29/0) is suspended, same as central defender and sometimes left defender Nick Viergever (28/2).
Lyon, on the other side, had even more difficult previous stage in Europa League, as the side had to take on penalties away to Besiktas in order to progress from the quarter-finals. First match has ended as a 2:1 victory for Lyon in France, with the home side scoring both goals in last seven minutes of the game, coming from behind.
The Turks responded well in the returning leg and took the 2:1 victory as well, in quite an open game from both sides. French were a bit more lucky and more concentrated during the penalties, as they progressed further while overall impression is that they also deserved the progress a bit more looking at both matches. As for Ligue 1, Lyon remained at fourth position which leads to Europa League again, coming from a 1:2 victory on the road against Angers.
Visitors from French should be playing in some version of 4-2-3-1 formation, using Nabil Fekir most likely as central striker, but also with Ghezzal, Tolisso and Valbuena as offensive midfielders. Offensive midfielder Memphis Depay (13/5) can't play here since he already played with Manchester United in this competition, while important forward Alexandre Lacazette remains doubt with a hip injury and shouldn't be risked here.
- There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Lyon's last 6 games (UEFA Europa League).
Ajax will need to attack here, knowing that their strength lies with home ground and that they won't be having a lot of chances on the road. With Lacazzete back in the visiting starting eleven, I see players of Lyon being very concrete in attack as well.