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Big Sou hasn’t given up yet

Bayer Leverkusen, having clinched their first-ever Bundesliga title in 120 years and currently on an unbeaten streak of 43 matches this season, face West Ham United in a critical UEFA Europa League quarter-final match. Despite Leverkusen’s formidable form, West Ham’s Tomáš Souček is optimistic about overturning the two-goal deficit from the first leg, drawing inspiration from past triumphs under the London Stadium lights.

The Hammers are set to battle it out on their home turf after suffering a 2-0 loss at BayArena, where late goals by substitutes Jonas Hofmann and Victor Boniface tipped the scales in Leverkusen’s favour. Souček recalls the unforgettable atmosphere during a previous encounter against Sevilla, where the support from the fans played a pivotal role in a memorable comeback. “The atmosphere was the best I’ve ever heard. It was a night to remember,” Souček reflected on the Sevilla match, emphasizing the impact of the home crowd.

West Ham once again relied on Tomas Soucek and luck to beat TSC Backa Topola

Soucek is banking on a loud London Stadium to roar the Hammers to victory

This is a special game

Looking ahead to Thursday’s match, Souček remains hopeful, citing the team’s resilience and the unique energy from the fans during European games. “We notice a difference with the fans on European nights. We feel the atmosphere even during the warm-up, and it pushes us,” he said. The Czech midfielder is no stranger to European challenges, having reached the semi-finals in a previous season and experiencing both the highs of victories and the lows of near misses.

The match also holds particular significance for Czech football fans, as all five Czech internationals still active in the Europa League and Champions League represent either West Ham or Leverkusen. Souček and Vladimír Coufal will don the Claret and Blue, while their compatriots Matěj Kovář, Adam Hložek, and Patrik Schick play for Leverkusen. “This is a special game for Czechs. I think every Czech in England will support West Ham, and every Czech in Germany will support Leverkusen,” Souček noted, highlighting the divided loyalties among Czech fans.

As the second-leg tie approaches, the excitement builds not just in London, but in pubs and restaurants across Prague and the Czech Republic, making Thursday’s game a significant event for Czech football supporters worldwide. Souček hopes that the spirit of past glories and the support of the fans will lead to another remarkable evening at the London Stadium.

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How to watch West Ham v Leverkusen

The UEFA Europa League heats up this Thursday (April 18th) with the second leg of the quarter-finals! Two Premier League sides, Liverpool and West Ham, are still in the running, but face daunting tasks in their respective ties.

West Ham given next to no chance

Liverpool: Trailing 3-0 to Atalanta, Jurgen Klopp’s men travel to Italy needing a near-miraculous comeback in his final season as manager.
West Ham: Down 2-0 to Bayer Leverkusen, the Hammers will aim to utilise their home advantage and potentially a resurgent Jarrod Bowen to overturn the deficit.

Other Quarter-Final Clashes:

Roma vs. AC Milan
Marseille vs. Benfica
Where to Watch the Action (UK viewers):

TNT Sports, the successor to BT Sport, is the exclusive broadcaster of the Europa League in the UK. They will air all the second-leg matches on Thursday, April 18th:

Atalanta vs. Liverpool: 7:00 PM on TNT Sports 1
West Ham vs. Bayer Leverkusen: 7:30 PM on TNT Sports 2 and TNT Sports UHD

Or if you are out and about it will be on 5live

Enjoy the game !


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Pearce: You lot need to hang on to Moyes

Stuart Pearce has leapt to the defence of David Moyes AGAIN in a continuation of his interview on Sam Allardyce’s podcast. While being pressed by host Natalie Pike, Pearce was unequivocal that his mate Moyes should already have a new deal, saying, “it should have been done by now.”

Clearly, the former Hammers coach was trying to navigate a minefield by sticking up for his former boss. However, much was revealed in his attempts to say very little on the subject.

Moyes-Pearce-West Ham

Brothers in arms: Pearce is sticking up for his mate Moyes

Pearce said when asked about Moyes’ West Ham future, “I’m not sure, it depends on whether Dave wants the challenge and whether the club thinks there’s a better manager out there.

“What he achieves between now and the end of the season, I think if he retains a European trophy I think it will convince a lot of West Ham fans. Look, you need to hang on to this fella, but it should have been done by now.”

I certainly don’t disagree with the last part, although it’s going to be a hard task with Leverkusen enjoying a 2-0 lead ahead of the UEFA Europa League second leg.

The West Ham board’s stance has remained unaffected for the last few months.
They will review the whole season with David Moyes after the end of the season and only after that dialogue will a final decision be made between the two parties on the manager’s future after the summer.

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How Moyes can stick two fingers up at his critics

David Moyes has the perfect opportunity to answer his critics [myself included] with the nature of his team instructions tomorrow night.

It will be incredibly difficult to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Leverkusen at The London Stadium. However, Moyes has a history of producing results when his back is against the wall. I have lost count of the number of times Moyes has won ‘must-win’ games when his job has been on the line.

Granted, the challenge he faces against Xabi Alonso’s men in the Europa League second leg is greater than most games. But Moyes has a tendency to come out fighting on such occasions, and I wonder if he might actually go for Leverkusen’s jugular tomorrow night.

Moyes-Leverkusen-West Ham-The Hammers manager will want to prove his critics wrong

Moyes will want to prove his pedigree against Leverkusen and prove his critics wrong

While Moyes has said little regarding his future over the last few days, his mood can be judged by the way his friends in the media have ridiculed Hammers supporters. Whether it’s Alan Shearer, Alan Brazil, Jeff Stelling, Sam Allardyce, or Stuart Pearce, the message is clear… Moyes deserves better than West Ham.

Pearce himself claimed to know Moyes’ contractual situation and mindset, so clearly, he’s in contact with the Hammers manager. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that his mocking tone towards West Ham’s trophy cabinet and history is shared by the manager.

Moyes can answer his critics

So, Moyes has the chance to come out fighting and prove he has what it takes by attacking Leverkusen. I believe the public display of training in front of the Sky Sports cameras was a contrived decision to publicly demonstrate that his team will be going for it.

I would not be at all surprised to see a team with a front three of Antonio, Kudus, and Bowen pressing Leverkusen from the beginning and attacking early. And despite my cynicism of Moyes and his media henchmen, I’m a West Ham fan and I hope he proves that he can come back from the brink.


West Ham Close In on Antonio Replacement:

Michail Antonio’s long West Ham reign appears to be nearing its end. The 34-year-old’s declining form has reportedly convinced the club to sell him this summer, leaving a major void in David Moyes’ attack.


Moyes has been searching for a long-term solution to replicate Antonio’s physicality and goalscoring threat. According to German outlet Bild, West Ham have finally set their sights on Serhou Guirassy, a 28-year-old Guinean striker who has been tearing up the Bundesliga for Stuttgart.

Guirassy has been nothing short of phenomenal this season, bagging a staggering 27 goals in just 25 games. The powerful forward boasts a skillset eerily similar to Antonio’s – exceptional aerial ability, electrifying pace, and a ruthless finishing instinct. Partnering him with West Ham’s creative talents like Jarrod Bowen and Lucas Paqueta could form a truly dangerous attacking unit.

The icing on the cake for West Ham might be Guirassy’s reported £17 million release clause. This fee could make him a bargain acquisition for the Hammers, significantly bolstering their attacking options for next season.

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Bowen training footage gives Hammers a huge Euro boost

Jarrod Bowen’s return for the Europa League quarter-final against Bayer Leverkusen tomorrow changes everything. Without him, West Ham stand little chance of winning, especially as David Moyes will be missing both Lucas Paqueta and Emerson.

West Ham need goals to try and overturn a 2-0 deficit. While Michail Antonio and Mohammed Kudus each had their moments in the first leg, two attackers will not be enough to trouble Xabi Alonso’s men.

That’s why it’s such good news to see Bowen back in training, and having Sky Sports cameras capture it felt significant. Although Irons manager Moyes played down the significance of West Ham’s top scorer returning, it was clear the club was eager to allow the public to see him training.

Bowen returns to training-West Ham

Bowen pictured today participating in West Ham’s pre Europa League training session

Moyes said, “It was great to see Jarrod (Bowen) out there training, the first time we’ve had him back. I am not sure yet. We had Kalvin (Phillips) out there too, not sure about him either. Alphonse (Areola) has been out too; not sure about him either. They will all be pretty late calls tomorrow.”

Moyes might say he’s unsure, but he’s just being his usual cautious self, which I don’t mind at all. The good news is clear for all to see, and the return of a key player like Bowen can only help. Clearly, Leverkusen are still huge favourites, but Bowen’s comeback will give the fans and players some hope.


Tensions Between Ward-Prowse and Moyes

West Ham United prepares for their crucial Europa League second leg against Bayer Leverkusen amidst a backdrop of tension between manager David Moyes and star midfielder James Ward-Prowse.

A peeved JWP

Ward-Prowse’s recent comments suggested dissatisfaction with Moyes’ ultra-defensive approach in the first leg, which resulted in a 2-0 deficit. Many fans share this sentiment, believing a more attacking strategy is necessary.

West Ham faces an uphill battle. In addition to the scoreline disadvantage, they will be without suspended players Lucas Paqueta and Emerson Palmieri, and potentially key players Jarrod Bowen and Konstantinos Mavropanos due to injuries.

Ward-Prowse emphasised the need for a more aggressive approach, urging the team to seize the initiative and score the crucial first goal. He highlighted the importance of utilising the home crowd advantage to create a positive atmosphere.

This isn’t the first instance of Ward-Prowse questioning Moyes’ tactics. After the Premier League victory against Spurs, he expressed his belief that Moyes prioritises stifling the opposition over utilising West Ham’s attacking potential.

Despite the friction between Ward-Prowse and Moyes, West Ham needs a unified effort to overcome Leverkusen. The players must put aside any disagreements and focus on delivering a strong performance.

As we are all painfully aware, this Europa League encounter represents West Ham’s last chance to salvage a successful season. A positive outcome will hinge on a change in tactics, a strong performance from the entire team, and potentially a more harmonious relationship between manager and players.

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Bowen’s Return ?

West Ham United received a significant boost with the return of Jarrod Bowen to full training ahead of their crucial Europa League encounter against Bayer Leverkusen.

Bowen to return?

Bowen, a key player for the Hammers, had been a major doubt due to a back injury. However, recent footage shows him participating in full training, raising hopes for his participation in the second leg. Manager David Moyes previously indicated he would give Bowen every opportunity to prove his fitness.

West Ham already faces an uphill battle against Leverkusen, trailing 2-0 on aggregate. The situation is further complicated by suspensions to key players Emerson Palmieri and Lucas Paqueta. Bowen’s return provides a much-needed attacking threat and injects optimism into the squad.

With their Premier League ambitions fading, the Europa League becomes West Ham’s last chance to salvage a successful season. The players, particularly Bowen, seem determined to make the most of this opportunity. This determination will be crucial for Moyes in his team selection.

Bowen’s return offers a glimmer of hope for West Ham. His attacking prowess could prove vital in their quest to overturn the deficit and keep their European dream alive. However, the challenge remains immense, and a strong performance from the entire team will be necessary to secure victory.


West Ham Needs a Miracle (and Maybe a Cornet!) 

West Ham’s Europa League dream is hanging by a thread. They face a seemingly insurmountable task against a rampant Leverkusen side, trailing 2-0 on aggregate. Injuries and suspensions to key players only exacerbate the challenge.

Moyes’ attacking approach has to be a gamble. While necessary to overturn the deficit, it leaves them vulnerable to Leverkusen’s firepower. The spotlight shines brightly on Maxwel Cornet, a fringe player who could be handed a starting role. This match represents a golden opportunity for him to redeem himself and potentially salvage his West Ham career.

Maxwel Cornet is ready to play in the first team if Moyes gives him the chance

Cornet – a chance to redeem?

The predicted 4-3-3 formation, with Cornet on the wing, is an acknowledgement of the attacking intent required. However, the alternative 3-5-2 formation, deemed less suitable, highlights the tactical tightrope Moyes must walk.

Cornet’s performance carries immense weight. It could be his last chance to prove his worth to Moyes. The pressure is immense, and whether he gets the nod remains to be seen.

This is a do-or-die match for West Ham. A victory would be a monumental achievement, a testament to their fighting spirit. But defeat would mark a bitter end to their European campaign. The outcome hinges on a bold approach, a bit of luck, and perhaps a breakout performance from the underutilised Cornet.

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West Ham Ready to Channel Sevilla Spirit

West Ham United, despite facing a daunting task, is determined to overcome a two-goal deficit and reach the Europa League semi-finals. Inspired by their previous European heroics, they believe they can replicate the magic of the past.

The Hammers face a seemingly insurmountable challenge against a triumphant Bayer Leverkusen. Fresh off their Bundesliga title win and boasting an unbeaten run of 43 matches, Leverkusen appears unstoppable. West Ham lost the first leg 2-0 and must overturn this deficit at home.


In an interview on the West Ham official site, Tomáš Souček acknowledges the difficulty but remains confident. He highlights the transformative power of the London Stadium crowd, referencing the atmosphere during their epic Europa League victory over Sevilla.

Souček emphasised the impact of the fans during their Europa League run last season. He recalls the unforgettable atmosphere against Sevilla, where he scored the opening goal, and credits the fans’ unwavering support for their success.

Souček appreciates the heightened support the team receives during European competitions. He acknowledges that the fans consistently back them, even during challenging moments. This unwavering support proved crucial in their journey to the Europa Conference League title.

The second leg holds additional significance for Czech football fans. All five remaining Czech players in the Europa League and Champions League feature for either West Ham or Leverkusen. Souček and Coufal represent the Hammers, while Kovář, Hložek, and Schick play for Leverkusen.

Souček expects a large Czech audience for the match, with fans divided by their club loyalties. He anticipates strong support for both sides within the Czech Republic.

He finished off his interview by expressing his hope that the passionate West Ham fans will be the ones celebrating come full-time.