Kudus starts in strong Hammers team


Starting XI v FK TSC

David Moyes has handed Mohammed Kudus  his full West Ham United debut and Konstantinos Mavropanos his first appearance in Claret and Blue as the Irons kick-off their 2023/24 UEFA Europa League campaign.

Just two of the players who started that night, goalscorer Saïd Benrahma and Lucas Paquetá, are named in David Moyes’ side this evening, with three more who appeared as substitutes – Thilo Kehrer, Angelo Ogbonna and Pablo Fornals – also start.

Ghana star Kudus, Greece defender Mavropanos and James Ward-Prowse all make their first European appearances for the Club, with Mavropanos featuring for the first time since completing a transfer from VfL Stuttgart a month ago.

Kudus, meanwhile, has already scored a hat-trick in this season’s Europa League, for Ajax in a play-off round win over Ludogorets in Bulgaria on 24 August, just three days before swapping Amsterdam for London.

Ward-Prowse’s last appearance in the Europa League was in December 2016, when he was part of a Southampton side eliminated at the group-stage, despite recording home wins over Sparta Prague and Inter Milan.

Moyes’ side is completed by Łukasz Fabiański, the 38-year-old Polish goalkeeper who makes just his second European appearance for the Club, and first since starting the opening Group H tie in Dinamo Zagreb in September 2021.

West Ham United: Fabiański, Kehrer, Mavropanos, Ogbonna ©, Cresswell, Paquetá, Ward-Prowse, Fornals, Benrahma, Kudus, Ings

Subs: Areola (GK), Anang (GK), Coufal, Johnson, Emerson, Zouma, Aguerd, Coventry, Souček, Cornet, Antonio, Mubama

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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!"

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