Aston Villa’s all-time leading Premier League goalscorer turned pundit Gabriel Agbonlahor has tipped West Ham for Europa League glory this season.
THE LOWDOWN: GETTING PAST LYON
The Hammers are in France tonight to play out the second leg of their quarter-final tie with Lyon.
The tie is finely poised at 1-1 after the first meeting at the London Stadium where the east Londoners contested the entirety of the second half with ten men following Aaron Cresswell’s dismissal.
THE LATEST: AGBONLAHOR HAS FAITH
Speaking on talkSPORT this morning ahead of tonight’s encounter the former top-flight striker claimed that the Irons should be going through tonight and said the club will be beside themselves if they don’t.
“I just feel that they will be disappointed, devastated if they didn’t go through tonight. I feel like Lyon were okay you know they had ten men for a long time in the game West Ham and still dug in.
“They have got some leaders in that team and I feel they will be disappointed if they don’t win tonight.
And after running through the teams left in the competition he admitted he feels either of the two British sides left in the competition could go all the way:
“When you look at who is left…West Ham or Rangers, they could go on to win it.”
THE VERDICT: TOO EARLY TO JUDGE
While the Hammers have a great chance to advance to the final four tonight, Barcelona are their most likely opponent in the semi-finals and they would prove a huge hurdle for David Moyes’ side to overcome even with how far they have progressed under the Scot.
Lyon couldn’t take advantage of the numerical difference last week but with Kurt Zouma ruled out and Cresswell suspended, tonight will be no easy task.
Atalanta and RB Leipzig are also finely poised at 1-1 on aggregate and whoever emerges from that tie could well be dark horses for the tournament.
While Barcelona are five times Champions League winners both the Italian and German clubs have held their own on the continent in recent seasons. Die Roten Bullen made it all the way to the semi-finals of the competition back in 2019/20 while their Bergamo opposition have competed in each of the last three editions of the tournament and were narrowly beaten by PSG in injury time at the quarter-final stage two seasons ago.
Rangers or Braga may also await come the final but for now, England’s only representative left in the competition, will look to set up either a glamour tie with Barca or a date with Eintracht Frankfurt.
It is knockout football and anything can happen but Moyes will know himself, focus on the task at hand and see where it takes you.