West Ham United are set to embark on their second successive European campaign as Danish minnows Viborg arrive at the London Stadium on Thursday.
Despite taking part in the Premier League top-four race at one point last season, David Moyes’ side had to settle for a seventh-place finish.
After suffering the 2021/22 Europa League semi-final heartbreak, the Hammers will be looking to redeem themselves this term by reaching the Europa Conference League group stages.
Qualifying rounds across European competitions have often found their place in those unwanted West Ham news as if someone jinxed them to continually fall apart in these kind of matches.
Indeed, the Londoners have failed to pass through a European play-off round to advance to a tournament proper since the introduction of the group stages.
Standing between Moyes’ men and the Europa Conference League group phase are Viborg, who finished seventh in the Danish Superliga last season.
The Greens faithful can hardly believe their heroes have an opportunity to make their first-ever appearance in the group stages of a European competition only one year since joining Denmark’s top flight.
Jacob Friis’ team conquered the Danish 1st Division in 2021 to earn promotion to the Danish Superliga for the first time since being relegated in 2016.
West Ham United
West Ham come into proceedings amid a rotten patch of form. They have lost both Premier League games this term without scoring, including a 1-0 loss to newly-promoted Nottingham Forest last time out.
Declan Rice, who squandered a spot-kick at the City Ground over the weekend, will look to turn his fortunes around, knowing three of his five competitive goals last season came in continental action.
Summer signing Gianluca Scamacca could make his first start for the Irons after first-choice striker Michail Antonio produced sub-standard performances early in the season.
With the odds heavily stacked against them, Viborg head into this fixture with nothing to lose but everything to gain following a stellar start to their European qualifying campaign.
The Danes have won all four qualifying matches against Suduva and B36 Torshavn by an aggregate score of 7-1, though three of those triumphs yielded a single-goal margin.
Viborg won’t mind another narrow win, yet that seems to be well outside the realm of possibility, especially considering they’ve failed to keep a clean sheet in their last three competitive away trips.
West Ham United vs Viborg Potential Line-ups
West Ham United (4-3-3): Alphonse Areola; Vladimir Coufal, Kurt Zouma, Ben Johnson, Aaron Cresswell; Pablo Fornals, Declan Rice, Manuel Lanzini; Jarrod Bowen, Said Benrahma, Gianluca Scamacca.
Viborg (4-3-3): Lucas Lund Pedersen; Daniel Anyembe, Zan Zaletel, Nicolas Burgy, Christian Sorensen; Jacob Bonde, Jeppe Gronning, Clint Leemans; Justin Lonwijk, Ibrahim Said, Jay-Roy Grot.
How to Watch?
West Ham vs Viborg, alongside all other fixtures in European action this season, is available to watch online via live football streams.
West Ham United vs Viborg Prediction
Anything other than West Ham’s clear-cut victory would be a major surprise, with Moyes’ side desperately looking to re-inject some confidence following a poor start to the season.
Despite underwhelming showings in the Premier League, this should be a walk in the park for the Hammers as they aim to score their first competitive goal this term.
Well, we back them to score a few.
West Ham United 3-0 Viborg
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