FCSB Match Preview
West Ham United are currently the only team to have won all their group stage matches in the UEFA Europa Conference League and they will be looking to extend that run to a sixth successive game when they travel to Romania to face FCSB tonight.
The home win over Silkeborg IF last week meant that the Hammers had won Group B but they will want to clinch three more points to ensure that they go through to the knockout stages in March with an unblemished record, even though the pressure is off.
Although tonight’s opponents opened the scoring in Stratford on matchday one back in September, the Hammers came from a goal behind to secure a comprehensive 3-1 win. David Moyes’ side will be hoping not to concede first and get another positive result in the final encounter of their group stage campaign.
Since these two teams last met just under two months ago, the Romanian Liga I side only have two points to show for their efforts after drawing twice with RSC Anderlecht.
Pride is the only thing that the hosts have to play for here, as they have ended their interest in European football for the season having lost three of the five games already played.
Moyes hinted after last week’s victory that he may give a number of the club’s youngsters a chance to impress, as he looks to rest some of his key players ahead of the Premier League London derby at home to Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon.
Connor Coventry, Oliver Scarles, Freddie Potts, Keenan Appiah-Forson, Harrison Ashby, Pierre Ekwah Elimby, Jamal Baptiste, Divin Mubama and Kamarai
Swyer are among those who may feature in the starting line-up.
Ben Johnson may get a start after being dropped to the bench for the weekend’s game at Old Trafford, while Vladimír Coufal, Manuel Lanzini, Angelo Ogbonna, Nayef Aguerd and Michail Antonio may also come in. If Antonio does feature, he will be hoping to finally score his 100th career goal.
Alphonse Areola will again start in goal after he made a rare top-flight appearance against the Red Devils just four days ago, as the Frenchman had to replace Łukasz Fabiański at half-time due to the Pole sustaining an ankle injury during Sunday’s encounter with Erik ten Hag’s men. It is then a straight fight between Darren Randolph and Krisztián Hegyi, as to who will provide the goalkeeping cover.
The match is an 8pm kick-off and live coverage will be screened by BT Sport from 7:30pm. The referee is Sascha Stegemann.