Quest for the knockout stages

Quest for the knockout stages

West Ham United will travel to the Arena in Serbia to face Backa Topola in our penultimate Group A Europa League  match tomorrow in our quest for the knockout stages. This upcoming encounter marks the first meeting between the two teams since late September when West Ham secured a 3-1 victory in our home fixture at the London Stadium.

Quest for the knockout stages

Happily, November has proved to be a fruitful month for us, with four wins in our last five matches across various competitions, including notable triumphs over Olympiakos, Nottingham Forest, and Burnley in our recent three outings.

In our last Premier League match before the international break, West Ham displayed resilience by coming from behind to secure a 3-2 victory against Forest. Similarly, they faced a deficit against Burnley on Saturday, but an 86th-minute own goal and a 91st-minute strike from Tomas Soucek, his second consecutive match-winning goal, sealed a 2-1 success at Turf Moor.

Quest for the knockout stages

Currently occupying ninth place in the Premier League table with a comfortable 15-point lead over the relegation zone and just three points behind sixth-placed Newcastle United, the mighty Irons have set their sights on success in the Europa League, aiming to claim the top spot in Group A.

With nine points already in the bag from the group stage and one more fixture against Freiburg remaining, a victory in Serbia on Thursday will guarantee West Ham‘s place in the Europa League knockout rounds. However, securing the top spot hinges on the outcome of their final group game against Freiburg in two weeks.

West Ham‘s impressive goal-scoring form in away fixtures, finding the net in all 10 such matches this season, serves as a positive indicator for tomorrow’s contest. Despite winning only five of those matches and enduring three consecutive losses before the triumph at Burnley, we must feel optimistic about our chances in Serbia.


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About Hugh5outhon1895

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