Preview: West Ham United vs. Backa Topola

Preview: West Ham United vs. Backa Topola

West Ham United get their Europa League campaign underway with a home fixture against Backa Topola at the London Stadium on Thursday night.

While the Hammers are playing their first continental fixture since winning the Europa Conference League, the visitors are participating in their first-ever group-stage European game.

When the final whistle went in Prague back in June, West Ham’s victory over Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final brought about many things to look forward to.

Proving to be a more attractive option to new players was one of them, and David Moyes has sufficiently strengthened his squad to an extent where the Premier League outfit are capable of winning this competition.

That has been proven during their opening five domestic fixtures, with West Ham collecting 10 points from a possible 15 and only losing to Manchester City having held a half-time lead.

The disappointment of that game will have lingered for Moyes and his squad, yet the Scot will be relishing a return to the continent for a third season in succession.

West Ham went through their entire European campaign in 2022-23 without suffering a single defeat along the way, even when Moyes made the decision to rotate his squad.

With James Ward-Prowse having hit the ground running in midfield and Mohammed Kudus eager to make an instant impression in attack, Backa Topola are under no illusions that they have been thrown in the deep end.

Losing in the Champions League third qualifying round to Braga by a 7-1 aggregate scoreline was deflating, despite it arguably being anticipated, yet the Serbian club were aware that they would be dropping back into the second-tier competition.

Despite their brief stay in the most prestigious tournament, FK TSC are one of the minnows of the Europa League having never made it through to the main stages in Europe.

Nevertheless, last season’s top-flight runners-up sit above Partizan Belgrade and Red Star Belgrade on the domestic scene right now with 19 points from seven games, highlighting that they have the confidence to pose a threat in England’s capital.

West Ham United form (all competitions):

Backa Topola form (all competitions):

We say: West Ham United 4-0 Backa Topola
While West Ham will not be underestimating their opponents, this is as ideal start as they could have hoped for. Even if Moyes opts to make a number of alterations, the Hammers should have more than enough quality to breeze to victory on Thursday night.

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