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West Ham one win from Europe after shock twist thanks to old foes Sheffield United showing integrity
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West Ham one win from Europe after shock twist thanks to old foes Sheffield United showing integrity

West Ham United are this evening one win from European football thanks to a favour from old foes Sheffield United.

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West Ham and the Blades have a bitter rivalry over the Carlos Tevez saga.

But despite having little except pride to play for following relegation, Sheffield United bucked the trend in the Premier League by showing some integrity in their shock victory over Everton on Sunday night.

Some so-called top clubs have made a mockery of the Premier League in recent weeks with team selection, tactics and effort levels.

But Sheffield United were a credit to themselves and the league as they ran out 1-0 winners at Goodison Park.

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West Ham one win from Europe after old foes Sheffield United show some integrity

That means West Ham – by virtue of a superior goal difference – are now just one win away from guaranteeing European football next season.

It may be highly, highly unlikely but West Ham can still qualify for the Champions League.

Two defeats for Chelsea, a defeat and draw for Liverpool and anything less than six points for Tottenham in the last two games combined with two wins for West Ham would put the Hammers fourth.

But it is likely two wins would be required to secure a top six spot – and Europa League football – given the fixtures.

One win for West Ham from the last two games against West Brom and Southampton will seal at least Europa Conference League football next season.

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Straight shootout between West Ham and Spurs to make Europa (and avoid new Conference League for minnows)

That’s because Everton could only match 62 points with two wins out of two and would have to turn around at least an eight-goal swing if not more.

What looks highly likely now is a straight fight between West Ham and Spurs for sixth place and Europa League football.

And to avoid the ignominy (certainly for Spurs) of the questionable new UEFA Europa Conference League – the new third tier Euro competition heavily geared towards the continent’s lowest ranked leagues and smallest nations.

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West Ham have easier run-in, on paper at least

At least there is still plenty to play for going into the final week of the season.

And what better way to end a superb campaign than making the Europa League and dumping rivals Tottenham into a competition no side will really want to be a part of.

Tottenham have two tough games. They take on Aston Villa in a 6pm kick off on Wednesday while West Ham face West Brom later that evening.

Then on the final day Spurs travel to Leicester who may still need a win to guarantee a Champions League spot.

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