West Ham United vs Bayer Leverkusen Preview

West Ham United vs Bayer Leverkusen

Competition – UEFA Europa League

Stadium – London Stadium

Date: 18th April 2024

Kick-off time – 20:00 GMT

After sealing their first Bundesliga title over the weekend, Bayer Leverkusen will look to continue their march towards the Europa League semi-final when they travel to London to face West Ham in the second leg of this tie.

The German side took the initiative in the first leg winning 2-0, courtesy of second-half goals from Jonas Hofmann and Victor Boniface. As such, West Ham have a mountain to climb in this tie although manager David Moyes believes they still have “half a chance” in the return leg.

The Hammers already overturned a 1-0 first-leg deficit to win the tie 5-1 against another Bundesliga side, Freiburg, earlier in the competition. Yet this is undoubtedly a much more challenging task against Xabi Alonso’s unbeaten side.

Moreover, West Ham’s inconsistent form across their last nine competitive outings casts doubt over their chances (W2, D3, L4). But they have plenty of experience against Bundesliga opponents as this is their sixth such game this season (W3, L2). Meanwhile, at home, the Hammers have a respectable record against German opposition (W4, L2), and so, they may be quietly confident of further success with 14 wins from their last 17 European home games (D1, L2).

Meanwhile, Leverkusen will be looking to make more history on Thursday when they travel to London after beating Werder Bremen 5-0 to win their first-ever Bundesliga title. That win made it 43 games unbeaten for the visitors keeping their prospect of an unbeaten treble realistic.

However, this is set to be one of their most challenging obstacles as they travel to England having won just once here in European competition (D2, L7). They at least travel with an impressive record of progressing in 13 of their 14 UEFA ties in which they entered the away leg with an advantage. They’ve also had a knack for frustrating the opposition of late, highlighted by the fact Leverkusen’s opponents have picked up a red card in five of their last 11 competitive games.

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