Thursday 13 April 2023

Here's the Key Getting a Result Against Gent

So, away from their Premiership struggles, the Hammers look to keep their impressive European campaign rolling along as they visit KAA Gent for the first leg of their quarter final Europa Conference clash.

David Moyes was (relatively) upbeat in his prematch press conference and while he highlighted the importance of being ready for Arsenal on Sunday, also made it clear that he would like to progress in Europe.

Lucas Paqueta should be available after missing Saturday's win at Craven Cottage. Otherwise, Scamacca is the only absentee. Gent are fifth in the Belgian league and could prove tricky opponents. You can expect Moyes to keep it tight and look to the home return match to seal the tie.

That may be challenging as Gent have a decent front line with 20 year old Nigerian Gift Orban alongside the experienced Hugo Cuypers. The pair have been in prolific form this season with Orban netting 14 goals in 12 appearances and Cuypers with 24 goals in 46 appearances to date this season. 

But the Hammers have been truly impressive in Europe this year with ten straight wins and are hungry for a trophy. With lots of options at his disposal, Moyes will likely use his subs to spread out the effort and keep the likes of Zouma, Paqueta and Rice fresh for Sunday. 

The match referee is Greek and pretty card-happy! Mr Sidiropoulos has dished out 120 yellow cards and four reds in 23 games this season with eight penalties. With a few players on yellow cards, discipline will be key to success tonight - especially in mind of how last season's European campaign unravelled in the context of multiple sendings off against Lyon and Eintracht Frankfurt!

Don't forget that its a 5:45PM kick off and on BT Sport.  

Suggested West Ham United XI: Areola; Cresswell, Ogbonna, Aguerd; Coufal, Downes, Lanzini, Emerson; Benrahma; Fornals, Ings.

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