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Star with friends at Lyon puts West Ham on red alert ahead of Europa League clash

A Hammers star with friends at opponents Lyon puts West Ham on red alert ahead of the big Europa League clash.

The massive Europa League quarter-final first leg against Lyon at the London Stadium takes place tonight.

The Hammers then go back to France for the second leg next week.

West Ham warmed up for the match with a 2-1 win over Everton. Meanwhile Lyon edged a five-goal thriller 3-2 at home against Angers which you can read all about here.

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Hammers boss David Moyes has been speaking ahead of the game about the importance of West Ham’s fans and his players appreciating that the last eight match is very much over two legs.

The winners of the quarter-final will face either Eintracht Frankfurt or Barcelona in the semi-finals.

But Moyes has insisted Lyon will be no pushovers and neither he nor his players are thinking that far ahead.

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West Ham have a number of French and French-speaking stars who have played in or have friends across the Channel.

One of those is goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, who has been outstanding for West Ham on loan from Lyon’s Ligue 1 rivals PSG this season.

France international Areola has also played for Bastia and Lens in his homeland.

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The ‘keeper has friends playing at Lyon and is well placed to offer some inside information on West Ham’s visitors.

And the star with friends at Lyon has put West Ham on red alert ahead of the Europa League clash (whufc.com).

The goalkeeper has warned his West Ham teammates and manager Moyes they must get the better of two players in particular if they are to progress.

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“When I was growing up, Lyon were a very competitive team,” Areola told West Ham’s official website ahead of the game in which he is expected to start.

“When I was younger they were always in the Champions League and competing in Europe, playing against the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and other big teams. Lyon have always been a big club in France and have always got good results and have gone far in major competitions. 

“I can remember that the rivalry between Lyon and PSG was high during my time in Paris. I’ve played a few games against them and they have always been a tough team to go up against.

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“They have a few players that will be big for them in the quarter-finals. They have Anthony Lopes as goalkeeper and he is a big part of their success. I would also mention Lucas Paquetá, the playmaker, as someone we need to contain.”

Another West Ham must be watchful of is new boy Tete. The Brazilian has been signed by Lyon using FIFA’s Ukraine loophole. He is a supreme talent and got off to a flying start when he scored the winner on his debut at the weekend.

MORE WEST HAM NEWS

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Why Dimitri Payet will be West Ham’s biggest fan against Lyon.

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