West Ham will be looking to kick off their Europa Conference League group stage campaign in style by hosting Romania’s FCSB side at the London Stadium on Thursday night.
FCSB is the successor of government club Steaua Bucharest which won the European Cup in 1986 under the communist regime of Nicolae Ceauşescu in Romania, but was taken over by a group of private shareholders in 1998. The club was then forced to change its name to FCSB. in 2017 due to an ongoing dispute with the sports club CSA Steaua București, which is still owned by the Ministry of National Defence, which claims that the football club is a new and separate entity.
None of this will particularly affect the Hammers as they look to build on a 6-1 aggregate win over Danish side Viborg in the qualifying round and David Moyes will target the Conference League as a winnable competition after reaching the Europa League semi-finals last. term.
It’s been a bit of a slow start to the campaign for West Ham, who currently sit in the Premier League relegation zone, but their opponents are also struggling on the home front, with just one win in their first seven games to secure themselves. place 13th out of 16. teams in the Romanian First Division.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the opening game of the group stage.
When is West Ham vs FCSB?
The match kicks off at 8 p.m. BST on Thursday, September 8. It will be played at London Stadium in Stratford.
How can I watch it?
It will be shown live on BT Sport 2 with coverage starting at 7.45pm. It will also be streamed live on the BT Sport website and mobile app for BT Sport customers.
David Moyes could stay with the full-back three he deployed against Chelsea at the weekend or revert to a full-back four, although ultimately the starting XI personnel are likely to remain similar. Declan Rice’s two-match European ban is over so he can slot into midfield alongside Manuel Lanzini or Flynn Downes, assuming Tomas Soucek is rested. Craig Dawson has returned to full training but may not play from the start, while fellow centre-back Nayef Aguerd is out with a long-term injury and full-backs Aaron Cresswell and Ben Johnson have serious doubts as they struggle against persistent muscle injuries.
For FCSB, left-back Ionuţ Panţîru, midfielder Adrian Șut, winger Andrei Dumiter, defender Iulian Cristea and defensive midfielder Ovidiu Popescu are all ruled out due to knee injuries. Andrea Compagno could keep his place ahead of Bogdan Rusu and Ianis Stoica after scoring in their last game.
West Ham XI: Areola; Coufal, Kehrer, Ogbonna, Palmieri; Rice, Lanzini; Cornet, Paqueta, Bowen; Scamacca
FCSB XI: Tarnovanu; Pantea, Tamm, Dawa, Radunovic; Dulca, Edjouma; Cordea, Miculescu, Coman; Company
West Ham: 1/5
It’s a competition West Ham will have big plans to win and even if David Moyes can rotate his team, they should be far too strong for their Romanian foes. West Ham 4-1 FCSB