West Ham News

Declan Rice facing serious risk of Europa League ban against Lyon


West Ham talisman Declan Rice is facing the serious risk of a Europa League ban against Lyon when the sides meet on Thursday night.

The massive Europa League quarter-final against Lyon is now just two days away with the first leg at the London Stadium.

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

David Moyes has been detailing his Lyon master plan ahead of the tie.

West Ham are already missing Manuel Lanzini for the game through suspension for the match after he picked up three bookings in previous games.

And going into the Lyon first leg on Thursday Moyes will be fretting over his star player Rice too.

Because West Ham talisman Rice is facing the serious risk of a Europa League ban against Lyon in the second leg if he picks up a booking.

Rice will be walking a disciplinary tightrope in the crucial first leg.

Changes in UEFA disciplinary rules over the years have led to some confusion over how the suspension system works.

But players booked three times from the Europa League group stages up to and including the quarter-final stage get a one-match ban.

Rice has two bookings to his name in the competition so far. Another against Lyon would see him miss the second leg in France next week.

Hopefully Rice can stay out of the referee’s book. But if he does he will face a similar dilemma in the second leg, knowing a booking would rule him out of the first leg of the semi-final should West Ham progress.

And the likelihood is that would be a home game against the mighty Barcelona – if they see off Eintracht Frankfurt as expected.

The big positive is that Lanzini will of course return for the second leg against Lyon which would be some consolation should Rice pick up that dreaded booking.

If Rice can avoid a booking over these two legs and West Ham make it through, the yellow card system is wiped.

So there would be no danger of Rice missing the semi-final second leg or final if we dare to dream that far ahead.

Moyes and his players will certainly be focused on the here and now, though.

And Lyon will not be easy by any stretch of the imagination. They were the best team in the group stages, going unbeaten and picking up 16 points.

They then saw off Porto 2-1 on aggregate in the last 16 after a 1-0 win in Portugal followed by a 1-1 draw at home.