By Colin Page
Having narrowly lost the opening leg 1-0 to Sevilla out in Spain in our first knockout tie in a major European competition since 1981, the players have it all to do tonight of course at the London Stadium.
Plenty of positives can be taken from the overall performance back on March 10 though and Moyesie will be looking for his side to build on those, and then lean on home advantage
To win the game on aggregate for fans who like a flutter Betway no doubt have decent odds on an unlikely comeback.
The benefits of home advantage certainly weren’t lost on the gaffer as he spoke to the media ahead of the game and if the stars combine, he knows it could turn into a memorable night that goes down in West Ham’s already rich history.
“Sometimes you need the crowd to lift the players as well. We’re going to play against a side who will make it difficult and maybe disrupt the game at times. We’re going to need the crowd to see that as well. We’re here to win, we want to win and looking forward to it. It can be a great experience we’ll always remember, but what will make us remember it even more is winning.”
Having reached this stage of the competition, Moyes knows it’s already an incredible achievement for this group of players, but he’d dearly like to go further.
“I see this as an incredible achievement for West Ham to be in this position, from where we’ve been in the past. For the cup competitions and the league, we’re in a great position. The players are showing great resilience and our character’s been unquestionable. We’ve beaten Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham at home, so if we can beat those teams, we can give most teams a game. We’ve had some fabulous atmospheres in the stadium. I’d expect this to be up there with them.”
We have suffered a mini injury crisis going into the game and having lost both Aaron Cresswell and Michail Antonio in the recent hard fought victory over Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa side where Andriy Yarmolenko emotionally open the scoring/
And Moyes also confirmed that both had returned to very light (non group) training, but refused to categorically state whether they were each fit enough to play a part in the game (even from the substitutes bench).
Whether or not that turns out to be a bit of gamesmanship and an attempt to not give his exact side away remains to be seen, but the gaffer did confirm that attacker Jarrod Bowen will likely still be out until after the next international window.
For now, it’s all eyes on tonight and hopes The Hammers can do just that to Sevilla and pull off an incredible comeback.