West Ham continue their Europa Conference League campaign with a trip to Silkeborg this evening. Forced to come from behind against FCSB last week, David Moyes’ side will need to improve this time around, particularly having spent so much over the course of the summer.
With big spending comes pressure and Moyes cannot afford to slip-up. After such an impressive season last time out, things have been somewhat stop-start for the Hammers of late, albeit there are a number of new players to knit together.
Tonight’s opponents currently sit fourth in the Danish Superliga, winning five of their nine games. On paper, West Ham should have more than enough to overcome them, but a long trip to Denmark for a game in which they will be expected to dominate proceedings looks littered with potential banana skins. Follow all of the action with Standard sport’s dedicated match blog below!
Moyes taking nothing for granted as West Ham seal European turnaround
West Ham boss David Moyes spoke in the week of the Europa Conference League group stage as a minor inconvenience and midway through opening night it was looking slightly more than that.
Whereas a year ago, the Hammers’ first ever group stage appearance in Uefa competition, in the Europa League, was novel and all part of the fun, the excitement for a second successive season in Europe seems wrapped up in the assumption that the club will go deep into the third-tier Europa Conference League and supply more famous knockout nights in the New Year.
Many bookmakers even have West Ham as the front runners to lift the trophy in Prague next June, though of course there is the potential for numerous spanners to drop into the works from the Europa League the other side of Christmas.
West Ham told what ‘really cemented’ record-breaking transfer
Lucas Paqueta highlighted his experience of playing against West Ham as part of the reason he moved to the club earlier this summer.
After months of speculation regarding his future at Lyon, the Brazilian international joined David Moyes’ side in a club-record deal worth around £51m.
Paqueta’s arrival in seen as a coup in east London. A key component in Tite’s international set-up heading into the World Cup, the 25-year-old is the headline addition of a statement transfer window, with over £170m spent to strengthen Moyes’ squad.
Moyes admits artificial pitch against Silkeborg is a concern
David Moyes has admitted some of his decisions for West Ham’s clash against Silkeborg will be impacted by the artificial surface.
The Hammers travel to Denmark for their second Europa Conference League group-stage match, after getting their campaign up and running with victory over FCSB at the London Stadium last week.
Silkeborg play on a plastic pitch and with the likes of Craig Dawson and Aaron Cresswell only just returning from injury, they may not be risked. Moyes knows it is not a surface that many players are hugely confident playing on.
“It’s given me some thoughts,” Moyes said. “We respect that it’s an artificial pitch, we have some decisions to make.
West Ham will know they won’t have it all their own way in Denmark, with Silkeborg proving last week they are no whipping boys and the Hammers hardly lighting up east London this season.
But, the gulf in class cannot be ignored and the Hammers, even with significant changes, should run out fairly comfortable winners.
West Ham to win 3-1.
West Ham team news: Dawson and Cresswell in contention
West Ham will have had a week off come kick-off due to the postponement of Premier League fixtures in the wake of the Queen’s death, so David Moyes could limit the number of changes previously expected.
Moyes has confirmed both Aaron Cresswell and Craig Dawson are in contention to face Silkeborg. The defensive duo have trained after injuries, with Dawson only just returning from a thigh injury by making a late cameo against FCSB. Ben Johnson, meanwhile, is not fit to travel.
Maxwel Cornet is also in contention, although the artificial pitch West Ham are set to play on could complicate matters further. Tomas Soucek is in the squad but would have been a doubt had Sunday’s meeting with Newcastle gone ahead, raising a question as to how likely he is to start.
Where to watch Silkeborg vs West Ham
TV channel: The match will be televised on BT Sport 2.
Live stream: BT Sport subscribers will be able to watch the match online via the BT Sport website or app from 7.45pm ahead of an 8pm kick-off.
Live blog: You can follow all the action via Standard Sport’s live blog.
Good evening and welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of West Ham’s trip to Danish side Silkeborg in the Europa Conference League.
Kick-off inside the JYSK Park is at 8pm BST.