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West Ham's Manuel Lanzini Lyon blow softened by latest team news emerging from France
Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

West Ham's Manuel Lanzini Lyon blow softened by latest team news emerging from France

West Ham’s big Manuel Lanzini blow for the Europa League clash with Lyon may be softened by the latest team news emerging from France.

The massive quarter-final first leg against Lyon at the London Stadium is now little more than a week away.

The winners of the West Ham vs Lyon last eight tie will face Eintracht Frankfurt or Barcelona in the semi-final.

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When the euphoria of West Ham’s memorable last 16 victory over Sevilla had subsided there was a Hammer blow for David Moyes as the realisation set in that the brilliant Manuel Lanzini will be banned for the first leg in east London.

Lanzini put on an absolute midfield masterclass in the Sevilla game.

The little Argentine was vital to West Ham with his ball retention, intelligent positioning and incisive, line-breaking runs and passing.

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But he went into that second leg win walking a disciplinary tightrope and a booking that night means he is banned for West Ham’s first leg against Lyon.

As reported by Hammers News ahead of that match, Lanzini risked a one-game ban if he was booked having picked up a yellow in the group stage and one in the reverse fixture in Seville.

But West Ham’s Lanzini Lyon blow has been softened by the latest team news emerging from France.

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Because according to L’Equipe, the Ligue 1 side’s influential defensive midfield ace Maxence Caqueret is likely to miss the entire tie.

L’Equipe claim that Caqueret has picked up a knee injury in training with France Under 21s and will be ‘out for four weeks’.

According to the report, Caqueret has reportedly damaged his meniscus and is set to miss Lyon’s league match against Angers and most likely both legs of the quarter-final against West Ham too.

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West Ham’s Premier League rivals Newcastle had already inadvertently done Moyes a huge favour by taking the brilliant Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes away from Lyon in January.

Now it seems the French side’s central midfield will be weakened further still next week.

It certainly balances things out somewhat given Lanzini’s absence.

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But Moyes will surely be confident he has enough in the likes of world-leading Declan Rice, a Tomas Soucek returning to top form and a well rested Pablo Fornals.

That’s not to mention a Said Benrahma with renewed focus and hopefully Jarrod Bowen back too.

West Ham will obviously be hoping to take a lead to France from the first leg. But if they don’t they will then be boosted by the availability of Lanzini – injury permitting – for the trip to Lyon a week later.

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