UEFA Europa Conference League Play-off Second-leg Preview-Viborg FF

After enduring their worst start to a league season for over fifty years, West Ham United will hope to bounce back from defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion last weekend as they attempt to finish the job off in Denmark against Viborg FF at Energi Viborg Arena tonight.

The Hammers hold a 3-1 advantage from the first-leg seven days ago and will hope they can preserve, or indeed build on that lead and not concede, in order to progress through to the group stage of the competition which will commence on September 8.

That defeat against the Seagulls saw them go bottom of the Premier League table and that should be enough to spur them on to deliver only their second win of the season.

There is the possibility for extra-time and penalties should the tie be level on aggregate at the end of ninety minutes tonight and the winners will enter the group stage draw which takes place on Friday afternoon.

David Moyes will be back in the dugout for this match, as he had to watch last week’s victory in Stratford from the stands, due to suspension.

In terms of team news, Declan Rice is unavailable as he has to serve the second game of his retrospective ban. However, on the plus side, Vice-Captain Aaron Cresswell is likely to take the armband in his absence.

New signing Emmerson Palmieri is ineligible as the squad had to be submitted before last week’s first leg and cannot be changed.

Vladimír Coufal will miss the game due to concussion, meaning that either Ben Johnson will come back in after missing out on the starting line-up against Graham Potter’s men, or Kurt Zouma will step in. Thilo Kehrer is also available.

Harrison Ashby, Connor Coventry, Manuel Lanzini and Saïd Benrahma will also be looking to be involved, while Jarrod Bowen is set to keep his place.

The match is a 6pm kick-off and live coverage will be screened by Premier Sports from 5:55pm. The referee is Harold Lechner.

As well as trying to progress in this competition, the East Londoners also have the Carabao Cup to contend with this season. The draw was made on Wednesday night and Moyes’ men will face a home tie with Sky Bet Championship side Blackburn Rovers with the tie being played in the week beginning November 7.

In other news, the club have today made their ninth signing of the summer as they have moved to bring in 16-year-old defender Josh Briggs on scholarship terms from NIFL Premiership club Linfield.

There are still moves being speculated about with a week to go before Deadline Day. All the news of course will be provided here as soon as anything is confirmed.