Europa League Preview: Bayer Leverkusen vs West Ham United

On Thursday night at the BayArena, West Ham United will be looking to put an end to Bayer Leverkusen’s unbeaten season as the Europa League Quarter Final first leg gets underway.

Xabi Alonso’s side enter this fixture 41 games unbeaten in all competitions. They also sit top of the Bundesliga table and are 16 points clear of second place Bayern Munich.

If Leverkusen beat Werder Bremen on Sunday, they will be crowned as champions.

In the previous round, it took an incredible comeback for Xabi Alonso’s side to progress to the quarter finals.

Leverkusen entered the second leg having drawn 2-2 with Qarabag away from home in dramatic fashion and were immediately under immense pressure as they went 2-0 in the first half. The game was turned around though as a Jeremie Frimpong strike and an injury time Patrick Schick brace completed the comeback to secure a 3-2 win.

It is now six wins in their last six matches, including a 1-0 win over Union Berlin last weekend due to a Florian Wirtz penalty.

Europa Conference League winners West Ham progressed to the quarter finals having lost 1-0 to Freiburg in the first leg of the previous round but then thrashing the German side 5-0 in the second leg.

David Moyes’ side are currently 7th in the Premier League table following a 2-1 win over Wolves at the weekend due to a goal from James Ward-Prowse scored directly from a corner.

Team News

Striker Adam Hlozek suffered a first half ankle injury for Leverkusen last week and is expected to be out for a few weeks.

Nathan Tella also had to be substituted due to a hip problem but is expected to be in the squad.

Alonso has confirmed that Arthur will return to the squad after missing out with injury since matchday three.

It was also confirmed that Matej Kovar will start in goal again for this fixture.

For West Ham, midfielder Edson Alverez will miss out through suspension, having picked up his third yellow card of the campaign against Freiburg.

Top scorer Jarrod Bowen will be assessed after being withdrawn from the match against Wolves in the early stages of the second half last week.

Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola will also be assessed.

GGFN | Matthew Gritton

Get Football+

More European Football News