West Ham’s EL opponents Freiburg were smashed 5-0 by new signing Konstantinos Mavropanos’ old club but Olympiacos are a worry.

That special night in Prague, when West Ham ended a 43-year major trophy drought by lifting the Europa Conference League, will live long in the memory.

But the Hammers will soon embark on a new European adventure following the Europa League group stage draw on Friday.

Sporting director Mark Noble was in attendance in Monaco as West Ham were the first name drawn for Group A.

The Hammers will face Greek side Olympiacos, Germans Freiburg and Serbia’s FK TSC Backa Topola.

UEFA Europa League 2023/24 Group Stage Draw
Photo by Valerio Pennicino – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

West Ham’s triple shot at last 16 European football explained

It’s a tough group on paper. But with three bites at last 16 European football, West Ham should feel confident given their recent pedigree on the continent.

If West Ham finish top they will – as in the previous two years – advance straight to the last 16.

Finishing second will secure a two-legged play-off game against a Champions League drop-out for the right to make the last 16.

And finishing third would see West Ham drop down to the Conference League for a two-legged play-off for the chance to make the last 16 of that competition and a shot at retaining their title.

With that as background, West Ham fans might be interested to know how their Europa League opponents have been faring.

West Ham United Unveil New Signing Konstantinos Mavropanos
Photo by West Ham United FC/Getty Images

West Ham’s EL opponents Freiburg smashed 5-0 by new signing Konstantinos Mavropanos’ old club but Olympiacos are a worry

West Ham’s EL opponents Freiburg were smashed 5-0 by new signing Konstantinos Mavropanos’ old club but Olympiacos are a worry.

David Moyes’ side will welcome Serbian minnows FK TSC Backa Topola to the London Stadium in the first fixture of their Europa League campaign on September 21st.

They have won their last three domestic games. But they were battered 7-1 on aggregate by Braga in Champions League qualifying.

A trip to face Freiburg is next up on October 5th. And remember Hammers fans are banned from travelling to Germany for that game.

But West Ham might fancy their chances for that one too.

West Ham United Trophy Parade
Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images

It’s all Greek to me

They had made an excellent start to the new season. But Freiburg were smashed 5-0 by Mavropanos’ former club Stuttgart at the weekend.

West Ham will then head to Greece on October 26th before welcoming the side owned by Nottingham Forest supremo Evangelos Marinakis to east London two weeks later.

Olympiacos could be a worry for West Ham – particularly away from home.

Because there is no sugar coating it, the Greek league leaders are on fire and are freescoring.

Olympiacos have scored 14 goals in their last four games, are unbeaten in their first seven competitive matches this season and have won six of them.

West Ham round off the group stage with a trip to Serbia. And they will be hoping to go there with their destiny in their own hands, knowing a result will secure progress to the last 16 or set up a play-off tie at the very least.


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