West Ham Eye Upset: Can They Exploit Leverkusen’s Goalkeeper Problem?


The Iron’s travel to Germany for their Europa League quarter-final clash against Bayer Leverkusen as underdogs but with a potential advantage in goal. Here’s why this tie could be a lot closer than many expect.

Leverkusen’s unbeaten run and title aspirations are undeniable. However, the probable absence of their experienced captain and first-choice goalkeeper, Lukas Hradecky, throws a spanner into their well-oiled machine.

While the media might have dismissed West Ham‘s chances, the Hammers have a history of upsetting the odds. Injuries , particularly to Bowen are a concern, but the potential vulnerability in Leverkusen’s goal gives us a reason to believe.

The spotlight falls on Matej Kovar, the young and inexperienced goalkeeper who could be handed the starting role. With just the one Bundesliga appearance and limited Europa League experience, Kovar is a question mark for Leverkusen. West Ham really must exploit this.

And do not forget Qarabag’s success against Leverkusen in the previous round which serves as a blueprint. Their four goals exposed Leverkusen’s defensive frailties, and with Kovar potentially in goal, those weaknesses could be amplified.

This tie hinges on West Ham’s ability to capitalise on Kovar’s inexperience. By putting him under pressure with set pieces and testing him early and often, they can exploit his nerves and potentially expose Leverkusen’s vulnerabilities. I see big roles for both Antonio and Soucek, purely for their nuisance value alone.

West Ham may well be underdogs, but Leverkusen’s potential goalkeeper change makes this a much more interesting contest. If we can exploit Kovar’s lack of experience and replicate Qarabag’s attacking prowess, we have a genuine shot at pulling off a major upset and silencing the Leverkusen faithful.

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