And welcome to live coverage of West Ham United’s Europa League quarter-final, first leg tie against Olympique Lyonnais, home of sabodet. If we discount the Intertoto – and sorry, Irons, who doesn’t? – this is as deep as West Ham, Cup Winners’ Cup winners in 1965, have been in the competition since their run to the quarter-final stage in the CWC back in 1981 when still a Second Division side.
Manuel Lanzini was absent from the victory over Everton with a shoulder injured during a car crash and will be out tonight, too, regardless of his fitness because he is suspended. Ben Johnson is a doubt, Angelo Ogbonna won’t make it back this season but Alphonse Areola should get his regular run-out in the competition.
For OL, familiar faces Jerome Boateng, Emerson, Tanguy Ndombele and Moussa Dembele should start, Thiago Mendes is fit and Karl Toko Ekambi should return.
David Moyes was a little prickly in his pre-match press conference over Uefa’s big club bias but otherwise buoyant.
“I bet you Uefa were not expecting West Ham to be in this position,” he said. “But that’s what happens. And that’s why we need to keep encouraging Uefa to bring in other teams. Look how well we’ve done. Maybe we might not have got in this competition if there were different rules.
“From that point of view, I really think that we want to show that we can challenge. And if we’re at our best, we’re a match for most teams and we can be.”
Should West Ham triumph over the two legs against the Ligue 1 side, they might face a semi-final against Barcelona.
But Moyes insisted: “We have not even talked a minute other than about Lyon. How could we dare? We wouldn’t.
“It is too big a game, too big a club that we are playing. We’re playing a really strong team in Europe over many years so we find that we wouldn’t even think about it. None of us have considered it.
“One game at a time, it is sad but that is it.”