Team news, stats and how to follow the Europa League quarter-final and Europa Conference League quarter-finals on Thursday night.
European action resumes on Thursday night for West Ham, Rangers and Leicester City, with the trio battling for a place in the semi-finals of their respective competitions.
The Hammers’ Europa League encounter with Lyon is a fixture never before seen on the European stage, while Rangers are also venturing into less familiar territory after reaching the quarter-finals of a major European competition for the first time since 2007-08.
Leicester welcome PSV Eindhoven for a place in the last four of the Europa Conference League, where AS Roma, Marseille and Feyenoord all remain in contention.
West Ham vs Lyon – Thursday, kick off 8pm
West Ham will be forced to continue their European tour without striker Manuel Lanzini, who picked up his third yellow card of the campaign in the round of 16 win over Sevilla.
Declan Rice is also on a tightrope and would miss the second leg in France if he were warned on Thursday night. Angelo Ogbonna remains on the sidelines, but Ben Johnson could be available.
- West Ham and Lyon will meet for the first time in Europe. West Ham’s only previous meeting with a French opponent in European competition was in 1999 against Metz, when they won the UEFA Intertoto Cup jointly with Juventus and Montpellier – their goalscorers were Trevor Sinclair, Frank Lampard and Paulo Wanchope .
- Lyon are unbeaten in six matches against English teams (W4 D2), with two wins each against Everton and Manchester City; recently knocked out City in the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
- This will be West Ham’s fifth quarter-final in European competition, rising from three of the previous four. Their only elimination came in their most recent such game, against Dinamo Tbilisi in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1980-81.
- After being knocked out in five consecutive quarter-finals in Europe between 1967-68 and 2005-06, Lyon have since progressed by three of their last four such games, knocking out Bordeaux in 2009-10, Besiktas in 2016-17 and Manchester City in 2019-20.
- Lyon (+8.5) and West Ham (+8.2) rank first and second in expected total goal differential 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, kick off 8pm
It was confirmed this week that Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos has been ruled out for the remainder 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 the Old Firm clash on Sunday.
Braga in the center of attention
Ricardo Horta is Braga’s main dangerman. The 27-year-old Portuguese striker has scored 18 goals this season and has scored almost 80 goals in total since joining the club from Malaga in 2016. Iuri Medeiros and Vitor Oliveira also carry a goal threat, both on target against Benfica last Friday. Most of the team is made up of Portuguese players.
- Braga and Rangers’ only previous meeting in Europe was in the final leg of the UEFA Europa League in 2019-20, with Rangers winning home and away. Back then, they were only the second team to beat Braga home and away in the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 (also Shakhtar Donetsk in 2015-16).
- Rangers reached the quarter-final stage or later of a major European competition for the first time since 2007-08, when they finished runners-up in the UEFA Cup, losing to Zenit in the final. Overall, Rangers have progressed since the 6/11 quarter-finals in Europe.
- Braga have only been beaten twice in their last 18 home matches in Europe (W11 D5), although the first of those two defeats came against Rangers in February 2020, with Ryan Kent scoring the game’s only goal .
- Rangers have conceded at least one goal in each of their last seven away games in major European competition, their longest streak since a 13-game streak between 1993 and 1999.
- Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos has been directly involved in 21 goals in 33 UEFA Europa League appearances (15 goals, 6 assists). Since making his competitive 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 blow for us because he’s our striker and we don’t have him anymore this season. So yes, we’re disappointed. But we know what the problem is, how long he’s been out, and we have to move on. That’s the only thing 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, kick off 8pm
Barca’s Dani Alves continues to be out for European fixtures having not been entered into the competition, while Sergino Dest may not be suitable as a substitute following a hamstring complaint, which could force Ronald Araujo out. walk away.
Luuk de Jong is a doubt having tested positive for Covid at the end of last week. Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto and Samuel Umtiti remain sidelined.
- 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), never losing at home to such opposition (W2 D2).
- Barcelona have conceded 14 goals in their last three matches against German opponents in Europe, although all three matches have been against Bayern Munich. Excluding matches against Bayern, they are unbeaten in 21 matches against German sides (W17 D4) since losing to Bayer 04 Leverkusen in September 2001.
- Eintracht Frankfurt have never lost at home in a major European competition in the quarter-finals and beyond (P16 W12 D4 L0) – this is the most such games a team has ever played in a major European competition without being defeated.
- Barcelona have only been beaten three times in their last 20 UEFA Cup/Europa League matches (W11 D6), although all three defeats have come 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 UEFA Europa League goals, none of them coming from the penalty spot. The only player with the most non-penalty goals in the competition is Radamel Falcao (27).
RB Leipzig vs Atalanta – Thursday, kick off 5.45pm
RB Leipzig and Atalanta, both relatively new to the European scene, will look to get one step closer to their first major piece of continental silverware on Thursday night. Both sides fell out of the Europa League after a disappointing campaign in the Champions League group stage.
Wing-back Benjamin Henrichs is back for in-form Leipzig after a short illness, while Tyler Adams is also in contention. Danish striker Yussuf Poulsen has a groin injury, joining midfielder Amadou Haidara in the treatment room.
Atalanta are missing captain Rafael Toloi but could be bolstered by the return of striker Duvan Zapata – most likely from the bench.
- RB Leipzig and Atalanta have never met before in Europe. Leipzig’s only European encounter with Italian opposition to date saw them knock out Napoli in the last 32 of this competition in 2017-18.
- Atalanta’s previous six matches against German sides have come in the round of 16 of European competitions – they knocked out Cologne in the UEFA Cup round of 16 in 1990-91, were knocked out by Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16 UEFA Europa League final in 2017-18, and knocked out Bayer Leverkusen in the previous round of this competition last time out.
- RB Leipzig have scored multiple goals in each of their last six appearances in European competition, their longest streak ever – they average 2.7 goals per game over that period (16 goals in 6 appearances).
- Atalanta have won each of their last four games in Europe – if they win this game it will be their longest winning streak in European competition.
- RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku has been involved in more goals (9 – 8 goals and 1 assist) than he has played in games (8) in European competition this season.
Europa League quarter-final draw
RB Leipzig v Atalanta
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Barcelona
West Ham v Lyon
Braga v Rangers
Europa League semi-final draw
RB Leipzig or Atalanta against Braga or Rangers
West Ham or Lyon vs Eintracht Frankfurt or Barcelona
Europa Conference League:
Leicester City vs PSV – Thursday, kick off 8pm
Nampalys Mendy is not eligible for Europa Conference League competition, which means Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall could be asked to drop deeper to link up with Youri Tielemans in Leicester midfield.
Patson Daka, who started on the bench in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United at the weekend, could be boosted up front with Kelechi Iheanacho as the absence of Jamie Vardy with a knee problem continues to be felt .
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 v PAOK
Leicester v PSV Eindhoven
Europa Conference League semi-final draw
Leicester or PSV Eindhoven against Bodo/Glimt or Roma
Feyenoord or Slavia Prague vs Marseille or PAOK