West Ham will kick off their European journey this Thursday when they welcome Romanian side FCSB to London Stadium in the first leg of their 2022/23 UEFA Europa Conference League group stage game.
Venue: London Stadium (London)
West Ham are winless in their last three home clashes against Romanian clubs (D2, L1).
The Hammers have won just one of their last nine games at home in all competitions (D4, L4).
They have kept just one clean sheet in their last ten games played at home.
FCSB have lost just two of their last ten games (W5, D3).
They have one clean sheet in their last six away games.
The visitors have lost their last seven games in England.
Head to head
This will be the third meeting between both sides. The first time they met was in the 1999 UEFA Cup. FCSB won one and drew one of those games with a 2-0 aggregate scoreline.
Latest performances in all competitions
West Ham: L-D-W-W-L
West Ham United
After a disappointing end to their Europa League campaign last season, West Ham have another shot at another season in Europa, but this time it comes in the form of the Europa Conference League.
The Hammers had a decent run in the Europa League last season, topping their group before reaching the semi-final round, only to be kicked out by eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt.
They qualified for this tournament through the playoffs after a seventh-place finish in the Premier League last season. Their opponent in the play-offs was Danish Superliga side Viborg, and they won the tie 6-1 on aggregate while scoring three goals in each round.
Having easily navigated the playoffs, they will come into this group confident of repeating their heroics of last season when they finished top of their group.
But their form this season has not been the best on the domestic front. David Moyes’ men began the season with three consecutive losses in the Premier League before earning a hard-fought 1-0 win over Aston Villa in the fourth round of the EPL and another credible draw against Tottenham in Matchday five.
However, their resurgence was halted last weekend as they were beaten in controversial circumstances by Chelsea. Manager David Moyes labelled the controversial call by VAR, which denied West Ham a certain equaliser ‘scandalous’. However, he declared how proud he was of his team’s performance and will hope they can put up another strong display in this game.
Possible West Ham starting line-up
Alphonse Areola (GK); Angelo Ogbonna, Thilo Kehrer, Emerson Palmieri; Vladimir Coufal, Manuel Lanzini, Declan Rice, Maxwel Cornet; Lucas Paqueta, Jarrod Bowen; Michail Antonio.
Injured: Nayef Aguerd, Ben Johnson
Doubtful: Aaron Cresswell, Craig Dawson, Gianluca Scamacca
After a four-year absence from European club competitions, FCSB return to the European stage looking to pick up maximum points in London.
The visitors last played in the group stage of a European competition back in the 2017/18 season but have qualified for this year’s Conference League edition after an impressive run in the qualifiers.
The Romanian side beat Saburtalo Tbilisi 4-3 on aggregate in round two of the group stage qualifiers, before beating DAC 1904 2-0 on aggregate in the next round. They faced Viking FK in the playoffs and won 4-3, with the winner coming away from home after losing the first leg at home.
Like their hosts, FCSB have also endured a sluggish start to their league campaign, but their form in the Conference League qualifiers has been decent. Ahead of their trip to London, manager Nicolae Dică says his players are “raring to go for a prestigious trip to the English capital” and wants them to embrace playing in front of a capacity crowd – something they’re missing at home as attendances have dwindled.
But given that they have lost their last seven games in England while failing to score in their last four against English opposition (L4), there is a likelihood of another difficult outing.
Possible FCSB starting line-up
Stefan Tarnovanu; Grigoras Pantea, Joonas Tamm, Joyskim Dawa, Risto Radunovic; Ovidiu Popescu, Malcom Edjouma; Andrei Cordea, David Miculescu, Florinel Coman; Andrea Compagno.
Injured: Iulian Cristea, Ionut Pantiru, Ovidue Popiscue, Adrian Sut, Andre Dumiter
West Ham 2-0 FCSB