Hammers face toughest Europa test


The Hammers face the toughest Europa test yet against Freiburg tomorrow evening at the London Stadium with a last 16 the prize at hand.

Hammers face toughest Europa test against Freiburg

While both teams have secured places in the knockout stages, the desire to top Group A and avoid the last 32 adds huge intensity to the encounter.

David Moyes, accustomed to juggling demanding schedules in the Premier League and European competitions, faced an unexpected challenge

when a stomach bug hit his squad last week.

This, coupled with a swift turnaround from overcoming a halftime deficit against Tottenham Hotspur to a 5-0 loss to Fulham, contributed to a challenging period for West Ham.

Despite the setback, West Ham has already qualified for at least the last 32, providing some relief. Yet, this remains a competitive match for Moyes and his team as they aim to trim their 2024 schedule and advance further toward consecutive seasons of European success.

While a draw would suffice due to a favourable head-to-head record, Moyes is eager for a vastly improved performance from their recent outing in Serbia against Backa Topola, where a late Tomas Soucek goal secured a 1-0 win.

In contrast, Freiburg enters the fixture in excellent form, having convincingly defeated Olympiacos 5-0 on the same day. West Ham’s earlier 2-1 win in Germany means that Freiburg must secure all three points at the London Stadium to surpass their hosts and claim the top spot in Group A.

Despite occupying the eighth position in the Bundesliga, Freiburg arrives in better form than West Ham, boasting consecutive 1-0 victories in league action.

I must say that I am a touch nervous about this one !

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon