Europa Conference League Final – team news


Europa Conference league Final – team news

Few would have believed the FA Cup victory in 1980 would be followed by a 43-year trophy drought, but that is what transpired at West Ham.

David Moyes has since managed to navigate a stormy season whilst several other Premier League managerial colleagues were fired for underperformance. The experienced Scot has now taken West Ham into tomorrow’s Final.

Despite not always fielding his strongest side on Thursday evenings, Moyes has seen his team put together an impressive unbeaten record throughout Europe’s third-tier competition – with only one draw blotting an otherwise perfect return from 12 matches.

Their route to the final saw them win Group B last autumn, before overcoming both AEK Larnaca and Gent comfortably in the knockout stages.

The Hammers’ campaign, though, has developed in contrast to dismal domestic form for most of the 2022-23 season, which finished in a 14th-place finish after losing 2-1 to Championship-bound Leicester City on the final day.

It has been speculated that the future of Moyes and his coaching staff could still depend on the outcome in Prague, as over £150m was spent last summer to little effect. Surely though a trophy would make him untouchable.

Vincenzo Italiano rotated his Fiorentina squad at the weekend, in order to keep key men fresh for Wednesday’s showpiece occasion, and with most players available he will certainly name his strongest XI.

Only back-up goalkeeper Sirigu is sidelined by injury, while Nicolas Gonzalez should be fit to start despite crashing into the goalpost in scoring the Viola’s final goal of the Serie A season.

Having also netted twice in last month’s win over Basel, the Argentina winger should support central striker Arthur Cabral from the right, but other places in Italiano’s attacking unit appear up for grabs. Czech playmaker Antonin Barak is among those in contention.

Both our Czech-mates, Coufal and Soucek also turned out at the Fortuna Arena during their time and the pair should feature for West Ham tomorrow.

Joining Soucek in our engine room, captain Declan Rice will most likely sign off on his Hammers career before departing for pastures new this summer. Elsewhere, cup goalkeeper Alphonse Areola replaces Premier League first-choice Fabianski

The seemingly permanently crocked Scamacca – recently linked with a loan move back to Serie A in the summer – is set to be West Ham’s sole absentee, having recently undergone knee surgery. With his place almost uncontested, then Mikey Antonio starts up front.

West Ham United probable starting lineup:
Areola; Kehrer, Aguerd, Zouma, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Paqueta, Benrahma; Antonio

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