West Ham resume their whirlwind European expedition on Thursday night as they host Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of the Europa League semi-final tie.
A fantastic 3-0 second-leg victory (earning David Moyes’ men a 4-1 aggregate win) over Lyon in France secured their spot at this stage of the competition, although the Hammers have been faulty since; they come into this fixture off the back of a 1-1 draw with Burnley and, most recently, a 1-0 defeat at Chelsea.
Eintracht Frankfurt have also slipped up since securing European progression, having lost to Union Berlin before drawing with Hoffenheim last time out. They’ll be hopeful of reaching this campaign’s Europa League final, having knocked out the tournament’s favourites in the previous round; a 4-3 aggregate victory Barca in the quarter-finals gives them a very much merited spot in the last four.
Here’s 90min’s preview of this one.
When is kick off? Thursday 28 April, 20:00 (GMT)
Where is it being played? London Stadium, London
What TV channel is it on? BT Sport 1 (UK), Paramount+ (US)
Highlights? BT Sport YouTube channel
Who’s the referee? Serdar Gozubuyuk
Who’s the VAR? Pol van Boekel
The main issue facing Moyes’s side is in the central defensive area. The Hammers will continue to be without Kurt Zouma, Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna through injury, once again leaving Craig Dawson as the only regular centre-back in the side.
Elsewhere, the Hammers are in good shape and will surely welcome the likes of Declan Rice, Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen back into the side.
Oliver Glasner will have to make do without key defender Evan Ndicka and midfielder Kristijan Jakic, who will both miss out on the action through suspension.
Elsewhere, Diant Ramaj and Christopher Lenz are doubtful to feature due to injuries although Djibril Sow should be fit to feature at the London Stadium.
This one is incredibly tough to predict. Nearing the conclusion of a European competition, the quality can be expected to be top-notch and the meetings tighter and tighter.
Frankfurt have enjoyed a very good European campaign this term, not losing once and progressing at the expense of Copa del Rey champions Real Betis and Spanish giants Barcelona to remain in contention for glory.
Having said that, the chant West Ham are massive is ringing truer and truer as each Europa League round ticks by and, kicking off this semi-final at home, the Hammers have a great opportunity to go a step further.
Prediction: West Ham 1-0 Eintracht Frankfurt