The London Stadium plays host to one of the biggest nights in West Ham United’s history on Thursday evening, as the Hammers welcome Lyon for the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie.
David Moyes’s men defeated Sevilla 2-1 on aggregate to reach the last eight, while Les Gones – in spite of their domestic troubles – managed to get the better of Porto by the same scoreline over two legs.
Some scripts are just meant to be written, but not even Shakespeare himself could have foretold the magnificent drama which unfolded in the English capital when West Ham welcomed Sevilla for the second leg of their last-16 tie.
After going down 1-0 to Julen Lopetegui’s men in Spain, Moyes’s side forced extra time through Tomas Soucek’s header just before half time, and Ukraine’s Andriy Yarmolenko would write his name into Hammers folklore with the decisive goal after 112 minutes.
A potential glamour tie with Barcelona did not materialise for West Ham, but a meeting with the Catalans could await them in the semi-finals should they get there, and they enter Thursday’s game having just seen off Everton 2-1 in the Premier League.
What Moyes has achieved with this West Ham side in such a short space of time is nothing short of remarkable, and having won each of their last four at the London Stadium in all competitions, Lyon – despite their stature – are certainly not travelling to London as favourites.
West Ham have also scored in each one of their home games since the turn of the year and have only shipped three goals in their last six matches at the London Stadium, so the home crowd can be forgiven for dreaming big on the continental stage.