The prospect of West Ham facing Barcelona in the Europa League competition moved a step closer after they crumbled to another 3-0 Champions Lagu defeat.
After yet another demoralizing loss struggling Barcelona faces a grim future in the Champions League.
The Catalan club followed its 3-0 opening loss against Bayern Munich with another 3-0 defeat at Benfica on Wednesday. Bottom of its group, Barcelona suddenly sees itself in danger of not reaching the knockout stage for the first time since 2000-01 and would automatically drop into the Europa League knockout stages.
Should the Hammers get past the group stage they move to the knockout stage of the UEFA competition.
The Europa League Round of 32 consists of 32 teams. They include the 12 group winners and 12 group runner-ups from the Europa League Group Stage along with the 8 third-placed teams from the Champions League Group Stage.
Should Barcelona finish third in their Champions League group West Ham have one of four chances of drawing the Spanish team.