West Ham return to European action for the first time since their historic Conference League triumph as they host Backa Topola this week.
David Moyes’ side made their fans’ dreams come true by becoming European champions and they will now be aiming to make more memories.
The Premier League outfit are one of the favourites to win the competition alongside Liverpool and Brighton.
And they begin the campaign against Backa Topola having been drawn alongside the Serbian team plus Freiburg and Olympiacos in Group A.
West Ham vs Backa Topola: How to follow
This Europa League Group A clash will take place on Thursday, September 21.
Kick-off at the London Stadium is scheduled for 8pm.
The game will be broadcast live on TNT Sports 2.
Fans can watch the game on television or you can stream the match on the Discovery+ website or via the app.
talkSPORT and talkSPORT.com will keep you up to date with all the latest.
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West Ham vs Backa Topola: Team news
Marquee summer signing Mohammed Kudus is expected to make his first start for West Ham at the London Stadium.
Said Benrahma and Danny Ings could also be handed a start after coming off the bench against Manchester City last time out.
Edson Alvarez was substituted just after the hour mark in that game, raising some injury doubts, however, he was only taken off due to fatigue.
The midfielder could be rested with Moyes likely to make multiple changes to his side.
As for Backa Topola, Milos Vulic and Milos Pantovic could both have earned a start after coming off the bench to score last time out.
West Ham vs Backa Topola: What has been said?
West Ham legend Mark Noble is excited by the Hammers’ upcoming Europa League campaign.
Noble said: “It’s a tough group – but you look at the teams in the draw and they’re all tough.
“It’s something to look forward to and we’ve started the season well. We’ve got a top team from Germany, a top team from Greece and we have to go to Serbia too, which is a really tough place to go and play.
“When you play in Europe you see some really great atmospheres. The shows the fans put on are fantastic, and we’ve plucked some teams with fantastic support.
“It’s exciting – you want to play in the big games, you want to go the fantastic cities and play the best teams. That’s why we’re in this competition.”
West Ham vs Backa Topola: Match facts
- Reigning UEFA Europa Conference League champions West Ham United won 14 games in European competition last season (including qualifiers), the most ever wins by an English team in a single season. Only Atlético de Madrid in 2011-12 have ever won more in a season (17).
- Backa Topola are competing in major European competition for the first time in their history. They are the first debutant Serbian team since Borac Cacak in 2008-09, who lost 4-1 to Ajax in the UEFA Cup in their first match.
- This is the first ever meeting between West Ham United and Backa Topola, and the Hammers’ first ever game against Serbian opponents.
- Only two players scored more Conference League goals last season than West Ham’s Michail Antonio (6). Antonio also netted two Europa League goals for the Hammers in 2021-22, with the Jamaican scoring five in his last five at the London Stadium in major European competition.
- Backa Topola are the first side to face English opponents in their debut game in major European competition since Estonian team FCI Levadia in September 2006, who lost 1-0 to Newcastle. The last side to win in their first ever major European game against an English team was Trelleborgs FF in September 1994 against Blackburn Rovers, with Rovers also making their major European bow in that game.
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