FCSB Match Preview
The only home match West Ham United have won this season is the first-leg of their UEFA Europa Conference play-off tie against Danish outfit Viborg FF and they will try and clinch another triumph in front of their own fans when they kick-off their Group B campaign against Romanian Liga I side FCSB tonight.
The Hammers have progressed to this stage and are now ready to face European competition for the second straight season, following an incredible UEFA Europa League run which took them to the semi-finals, where they were defeated over two legs by FFV Eintract Frankfurt. The East Londoners will be hoping to go one step further and book their place in the final in Prague next June.
This will be the first time that West Ham would have been in a European competition after winning a play-off.
The East Londoners won their UEFA Europa League group last campaign, tasting victory in four of the six ties including in the opening encounter against GNK Dinamo Zagreb and the home faithful will be hoping for a repeat here.
Declan Rice missed both legs of the play-off match but he is available to David Moyes again after his retrospective ban.
Maxwel Cornet thought he’d equalised for the Irons five days ago but it was ruled out by VAR in their 2-1 defeat. The former Burnley man will be hoping to start again in this competition. Michail Antonio opened the scoring against the Blues and whilst he will be desperate to retain his place, Gianluca Scamacca has recovered from a virus.
Moyes hinted in his pre-match news conference on Wednesday that Aaron Cresswell hasn’t yet returned to training after a calf injury, whilst the Scotsman also stated that Tomáš Souček won’t feature in this game, as he sustained a foot injury after Saturday’s trip across London.
However, there was a suggestion that Flynn Downes may be handed his full debut since joining his boyhood club in July.
Vladimír Coufal, Angelo Ogbonna and Lucas Paquetá are all set to be involved, while Alphonse Areola is likely to replace Łukasz Fabiański in goal.
The match is an 8pm kick-off with live coverage being screened by BT Sport from 7:45pm. The referee is Benoît Bastien.