UEFA Europa League permutations for West Ham explained as David Moyes eyes fixture relief

0
66

West Ham are one of only three teams guaranteed to be taking part in the Europa League knockout phases after Christmas.

David Moyes’ aim going into the group stages was to progress from the group and bring European football to the London Stadium in 2022 and after just four matches the manager has achieved this aim.

Alongside West Ham German outfit Eintract Frankfurt have also secured themselves the minimum of a spot in the preliminary knockout round and Lyon had secured top spot in Group A and a place in the round of 16.

West Ham are hot favourites to join Lyon in the round of 16 but following Tomas Soucek’s late own goal against Genk the Hammers supporters will have to wait for their place to be secure.

Position Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification at end of group
1 West Ham United 4 3 1 9 2 +7 10 Advance to round of 16
2 Dinamo Zagreb 4 2 2 7 5 +2 6 Advance to preliminary knockout round
3 Genk 4 1 1 2 3 8 -5 4 Transfer to Europa Conference League
5 Rapid Vienna 4 1 3 3 7 -4 3 Eliminated from European competition

With two matches to play here are the permutations that could impact West Ham over the coming weeks…

Matchday 5

First place in Group H and direct qualification for the round of 16 will be confirmed if West Ham win their next match, an away trip to Rapid Vienna on November 25.

READ ALSO:  Real Madrid Femenino suffer 2-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Women's Champions League

A point against Rapid would be enough if Dinamo Zagreb fail to beat Genk at home on the same day.

Should Moyes’ team lose in Vienna they will remain in first place no matter what the result in Zagreb but a win for Dinamo would close the gap between the two to just one point heading into the final round of fixtures.

Matchday 6

If West Ham have failed to secure top spot in Group H after matchday 5 a point will suffice against Dinamo Zagreb at the London Stadium on December 9 in the final group game. A win will also seal first place in the group.

There is still a scenario where West Ham can top the group without gaining another point. If West Ham lose both their final two matches and Genk win both their games against Dinamo and Rapid the two teams would end level on ten points. Goal difference is not the first decider in the Europa League but how the two teams fared head-to-head comes into play. Should West Ham end level with Genk the Hammers will top the Belgians due to a superior record with one win and a draw across their two matches.

Put simply a win in either match or two draws seals first place. A draw in Vienna coupled with two Dinamo wins would see the Hammers drop to second spot.

READ ALSO:  Kieran Tierney's Arsenal absence prompts worrying Unai Emery theory but how legitimate is it? - Tom Canton

Two defeats and West Ham would still be through but whether that is in first or second place would depend on the result Dinamo achieved against Genk as Dinamo are the only team capable of taking first place from West Ham.

Progress one way or another is assured and it is in West Ham’s hands whether that is straight to the round of 16 in March or into the preliminary knockout round in February.

What lies in store

Teams that finish second in the group face a home and away knockout tie against one of the third-placed teams in the Champions League. These matches will take place on February 17 and 24 with the draw being made on Monday, December 13.

With two matches to play in the Champions League group stages no teams have been confirmed as in third spot yet. As things stand the teams in third place are: Club Brugge, Atletico Madrid, Sporting, Sheriff Tiraspol, Benfica, Atalanta, Wolfsburg and Zenit Saint Petersburg.

The eight teams that finish top of Europa League groups will head straight to the round of 16 where they will meet eight winners of the preliminary knockout round over two legs on March 10 and 17, the draw for this round will be made on Friday, 25 February.

Source by Football London

Leave a Reply