West Ham United will look to continue their good start to the week with a crucial UEFA Europa Conference League game against Danish Superliga outfit Silkeborg IF.
As a result of beating newly-promoted AFC Bournemouth just three days ago, the Hammers jumped from seventeenth to tenth in the Premier League table. They will hope to have more to celebrate tonight, as they only need a point to win Group B although, I’m sure they will be pushing to get all three.
Silkeborg IF went into the game with the East Londoners on September 15 off the back of a defeat to RSC Anderlecht and after David Moyes’ side beat them 3-2 at home, it left them rock bottom of the group. However, having collected six points from Romanian club FCSB, they have climbed to second place in the standings and another victory tonight would assure a place in the knockout stage.
Saïd Benrahma will hope to retain his place after Monday night’s encounter with the Cherries, although Pablo Fornals will be looking for a way back into the starting line-up.
Flynn Downes has now played two games in just over a week and Moyes may decide to rest him ahead of the game against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday and hand Manuel Lanzini another start in this competition.
Ben Johnson has been a mainstay in the side recently and will be hoping to feature once again after appearing alongside Moyes in the pre-match news conference on Wednesday. Alphonse Areola has started every game in Europe this season and, along with Lanzini, the Frenchman will be keen to keep up his 100% record by taking over from Łukasz Fabiański in goal.
Moyes also hinted in Wednesday’s news conference that after defender Nayef Aguerd has been back in training recently, the Moroccan international is likely to be in the matchday squad here, should he be deemed fit enough.
Angelo Ogbonna, Emmerson Palmieri and Vladimír Coufal will all hope to be in contention.
Tonight’s match is an 8pm kick-off and live coverage will be screened by BT Sport from 7:45pm. The referee is Joni Hyytiä.