Team news, stats and how to follow the Europa League and Europa Conference League quarter-final first legs on Thursday evening.
European action resumes on Thursday evening for West Ham, Rangers and Leicester City, with the trio bidding for a place in the semi-finals of their respective competitions.
The Hammers’ Europa League encounter with Lyon is a match never before seen on the European stage, as Rangers also venture into lesser-known territory after reaching the quarter-finals of a major European competition for the first time since 2007-08 reaches.
Leicester receives PSV Eindhoven for a place in the last four of the Europa Conference League, where AS Roma, Marseille and Feyenoord all remain in the hunt.
West Ham vs Lyon – Thursday, 8pm kick-off
West Ham will be forced to continue their European tour without striker Manuel Lanzini, who received his third yellow card of the season in the round of 16 win over Sevilla.
Declan Rice is also on a tightrope and would miss the second stage in France if booked on Thursday night. Angelo Ogbonna remains offside, but Ben Johnson may be available.
- West Ham and Lyon meet for the first time in Europe. West Ham’s only previous encounter with French opposition in a European competition was in 1999 against Metz, when they won the UEFA Intertoto Cup alongside Juventus and Montpellier – their goalscorers were Trevor Sinclair, Frank Lampard and Paulo Wanchope.
- Lyon are unbeaten in six games against English teams (W4 D2), with two wins each against Everton and Manchester City; most recently knocked out City in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League in 2019-20.
- This will be West Ham’s fifth quarter-final draw in European competition, after three of the previous four. Their only elimination came in their most recent such appearance, against Dinamo Tbilisi in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1980-81.
- After being eliminated in five consecutive quarter-finals in Europe between 1967-68 and 2005-06, Lyon has since risen from three of their last four such ties, with Bordeaux in 2009-10, Besiktas in 2016-17 and Manchester City in 2019. -20.
- Lyon (+8.5) and West Ham (+8.2) are in first and second place in total expected goal difference this season in the UEFA Europa League (16.1 xG and 7.6 xGA for Lyon, 16.2 xG and 8 xGA for West Ham)
How to follow on Sky Sports: Follow West Ham vs Lyon with our dedicated live blog.
Braga vs Rangers – Thursday, 8pm kick-off
It was confirmed this week that Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos has been out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on a thigh injury.
Ianis Hagi and Nnamdi Ofoborh remain absent, while Aaron Ramsey is expected to play a pivotal role in northern Portugal after scoring in Sunday’s Old Firm clash.
Braga in pictures
Ricardo Horta is Braga’s main danger maker. The 27-year-old Portuguese striker has scored 18 goals this season and has scored a total of nearly 80 since joining the club from Malaga in 2016. Iuri Medeiros and Vitor Oliveira also have a goal, with both on target against Benfica last Friday. Most of the squad consists of Portuguese players.
- Braga’s only previous meeting with Rangers in Europe took place in the last 32 leg of the 2019-20 UEFA Europa League, with Rangers winning both at home and away. At the time, they were only the second side to defeat Braga at home and away in the knockout rounds of the UEFA Europa League (also Shakhtar Donetsk in 2015-16).
- Rangers have reached the quarter-finals or later of a major European competition for the first time since 2007-08, when they came second in the UEFA Cup and lost to Zenit in the final. Overall, Rangers have risen from the 6/11 quarter-finals in Europe.
- Braga have only been beaten twice in their last 18 home games in Europe (W11 D5), although the first of those two defeats came against Rangers in February 2020, with Ryan Kent scoring the only goal of the game.
- Rangers have conceded at least one goal in each of their last seven away games in major European competitions, their longest streak since a 13-game period between 1993 and 1999.
- Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos was directly involved in 21 goals in 33 UEFA Europa League matches (15 goals, 6 assists). Since his league debut for Rangers in October 2018, only Bruno Fernandes (25) has been involved in more goals.
Giovanni Van Bronckhorst on the loss of Alfredo Morelos
“Of course it’s a big blow to us because he’s our striker and we don’t have him this season. So yes, we’re disappointed. But we know what the problem is, how long he’s gone, and we have to move on. That’s all we have to do now.”
How to follow on Sky Sports: Follow Braga vs Rangers with our dedicated live blog.
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Barcelona – Thursday, 8pm kick-off
Barca’s Dani Alves will remain absent from European games as he is not registered for the competition, while Sergino Dest may not be suitable to replace after a hamstring complaint, which could force Ronald Araujo wide.
Luuk de Jong doubts whether he tested positive for Covid at the end of last week. Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto and Samuel Umtiti remain offside.
- This will be the first meeting between these parties in Europe. Eintracht Frankfurt are unbeaten in eight games against Spanish opponents in Europe (W5 D3) and have never lost to such an opponent at home (W2 D2).
- Barcelona have conceded 14 goals in their last three games against German opponents in Europe, although all three games were against Bayern Munich. Excluding games against Bayern, they are unbeaten in 21 games against German teams (W17 D4) since the defeat to Bayer 04 Leverkusen in September 2001.
- Eintracht Frankfurt have never lost at home to major European competitions in the quarter-finals and beyond (P16 W12 D4 L0) – these are the most such games a side has ever played in major European competitions without being defeated.
- Barcelona have only been defeated three times in their last 20 matches in the UEFA Cup/Europa League (W11 D6), although all three have been defeated in away matches (against Celta de Vigo in March 2001, Liverpool in April 2001 and Celtic in March 2004). ).
- Barcelona’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 24 goals in the UEFA Europa League, none of them coming from the penalty spot. The only player with more non-penalty goals in the league is Radamel Falcao (27).
RB Leipzig vs Atalanta – Thursday, kick-off at 5:45 PM
RB Leipzig and Atalanta, both relatively new to the European scene, will try to get a little closer to their first major continental silverware on Thursday night. Both sides dropped to the Europa League after a disappointing Champions League group stage campaign.
Wing-back Benjamin Henrichs has returned to form for Leipzig after a short illness, while Tyler Adams is also in the race. Danish forward Yussuf Poulsen is sidelined with a groin injury and joins midfielder Amadou Haidara in the treatment room.
Atalanta will miss captain Rafael Toloi, but could be boosted by the return of striker Duvan Zapata – most likely from the bench.
- RB Leipzig and Atalanta have never met in Europe before. In Leipzig’s only European encounter with Italian opposition to date, they eliminated Napoli in the last 32 of this competition in 2017-18.
- All six of Atalanta’s previous matches against German teams have come in the knockout stages of European competitions – they knocked out Cologne in the last 16 of the UEFA Cup in 1990-91, were knocked out by Borussia Dortmund in the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League in 2017-18, knocking out Bayer Leverkusen for the last time in the previous round of this competition.
- RB Leipzig have scored multiple goals in each of their last six matches in European competition, their longest streak ever – averaging 2.7 goals per game (16 goals in 6 games) during this period.
- Atalanta have won each of their last four matches in Europe – if they win this match it will be their longest ever win in European competition.
- RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku has been involved in more goals (9 – 8 goals and 1 assist) this season than he played in (8) matches in European competition.
Europa League quarter-final draw
RB Leipzig vs Atalanta
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Barcelona
West Ham vs Lyon
Braga vs Rangers
Europa League semi-final draw
RB Leipzig or Atalanta vs Braga or Rangers
West Ham or Lyon vs Eintracht Frankfurt or Barcelona
Europa Conference League:
Leicester City vs PSV – Thursday, 8 p.m. kick-off
Nampalys Mendy will not qualify for Europa Conference League competition, meaning Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall could be asked to sink deeper into partner Youri Tielemans in Leicester’s midfield.
Patson Daka, who started the 1-1 draw with Manchester United from the bench this weekend, could be pushed on the attack with Kelechi Iheanacho, as Jamie Vardy’s absence with a knee problem is still palpable.
How to follow on Sky Sports: Follow Leicester vs PSV with our dedicated live blog.
Europa Conference League quarter-final draw
Bodo/Glimt vs AS Roma
Feyenoord vs Slavia Prague
Marseille vs PAOK
Leicester vs PSV Eindhoven
Europa Conference League semi-final draw
Leicester or PSV Eindhoven vs Bodo/Glimt or Roma
Feyenoord or Slavia Prague vs Marseille or PAOK