West Ham United ended Everton’s unbeaten home run last weekend and in doing so, they recorded back-to-back wins at Goodison Park for the first time since 1930. Now, they will look to carry that momentum forward, as UEFA Europa League action resumes with David Moyes’ side facing KRC Genk in Stratford tonight.
This will be the first of consecutive games against the Belgian side with the second match taking place in a fortnight’s time.
The Hammers have made a superb start in this competition, having already achieved an eye-catching 2-0 away victory against top seeds GNK Dinamo Zagreb and followed that with a first home success since 2017 by the same scoreline at home to SK Rapid Vienna.
KRC Genk currently occupy third place in Group H, having beaten the Austrian outfit in their first game on September 16, only to then suffer a heavy 3-0 defeat at home to the Croatians two weeks later.
Alphonse Areola could be preferred to Łukasz Fabiański in goal, while Alex Král wasn’t involved in Sunday’s match on Merseyside due to injury but the Czech will hope to be back in contention and could make his home debut here. Declan Rice and Mark Noble were both named as Captain in each of the previous two matches. Noble hasn’t featured in the last two fixtures and if he is still unavailable this evening, then Rice will take on the skipper’s duties.
In his pre-match interview with Sky Sports ahead of the clash with Rafael Benitez’ men, Moyes revealed that defender Vladimír Coufal had been suffering with a groin problem since the Carabao Cup tie at Manchester United. Although he may be back in contention here, it seems more likely that Ben Johnson will retain his place from the team that faced the Toffees.
Tomáš Souček has made a quicker than expected recovery from the injury he picked up last weekend and the Irons’ boss will have to decide whether to include the midfielder in his starting line-up, or rest him with Sunday’s London derby at home to Tottenham Hotspur in mind. Manuel Lanzini and Arthur Masuaku may also play some part in tonight’s encounter.
Nikola Vlašić is set to start the game and he may well be partnered by either Michail Antonio or Andriy Yarmolenko if Moyes decides on a slight formation change and plays two upfront.
The match is an 8pm kick-off and live coverage is being screened by BT Sport from 7:30pm. The referee is Donatas Rumšas.