After qualifying for the next stage of the UEFA Europa League with a draw against Belgian side KRC Genk earlier this month, West Ham United will want to clinch another victory when they take on SK Rapid Vienna and will be hoping to bounce back from the weekend’s defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux when they travel to Austria this evening.
If they can atone for their first away defeat of the Premier League season then the Hammers, depending on the other result tonight, could win Group H as they are currently on a creditable thirteen points from five games.
The 2-2 draw against the Belgians last time out was their only blemish in what has so far been a perfect run for David Moyes’ team in their first crack at a proper European competition.
Since the last meeting between the two sides on 30 September, this evening’s hosts have had a change of management with Steffan Hofmann having took over from Dietmar Kühbauer during the recent international break.
Craig Dawson replaced the injured Angelo Ogbonna in the Black Country five days ago and he is expected to retain his place, while Issa Diop could slot in alongside him in place of Kurt Zouma. Otherwise It is expected that David Moyes will rotate his squad for the game, as Alphonse Areola, Andriy Yarmolenko, Nikola Vlašić and Manuel Lanzini are all set to come in, while Mark Noble and Arthur Masuaku may also earn starting places.
Alex Král has only started the Carabao Cup victory over Manchester United on 22 September since arriving at the club, following his loan move from Spartak Moscow and he could start a second match.
Ben Johnson and Vladimír Coufal both started the last European encounter against KRC Genk and Moyes has a choice to make as whether one will miss out, or they start together again.
The match is a 5:45pm kick-off with live coverage being screened by BT Sport from 5:15pm. The referee is Sergey Ivanov.