West Ham United will discover their Europa League group stage opponents next week as the excitement starts to build.
The Hammers got the new season off to a flying start with a 4-2 victory on the road at Newcastle last weekend.
West Ham’s fellow Europa League side Leicester are next up on Monday at the London Stadium.
But soon after all eyes with turn to West Ham’s first foray into the group stages of the revamped Europa League.
This is when West Ham will find out group stage opponents in Europa League draw
Who West Ham will be playing and where they will be travelling to will be revealed when UEFA do the Europa League group stage draw on Friday August 27th.
West Ham will find out which three teams they have been paired with in the 32-team Europa League group stage.
The first Europa League fixture then takes place on September 16th.
The likes of Real Sociedad, Real Betis, Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer Leverkusen, Napoli, Lazio, Lyon, Marseille, Braga and Lokomotiv Moscow are all potential opponents.
New format will be exciting adventure
And they could be joined by Celtic, Rangers and Slavia Prague soon too as they play out pre-qualifiers having failed to make the Champions League.
West Ham have announced ticketing details for the club’s Europa League campaign.
West Ham’s hierarchy have been heavily criticised by supporters over ticketing in the past. But credit where it is due, the club seem to have got the price point right judging by the reactions of many fans on social media.
The Europa League promises to be a much more prestigious competition from here on in.
The long format with 48 teams in the group stages has in the past made for a gruelling campaign. But that has been ditched for a new format which mimics the Champions League.
Meanwhile Europe’s minnows – and Spurs from the Prem – are siphoned off into the much derided UEFA Conference League.
Europa League draw, coefficients and how it all works
The first round of the knockout phase also now involves only the group stage runners-up and the Champions League third-placed teams, with the group winners directly advancing to the round of 16.
And of course the competition carries the ultimate incentive for West Ham and the 31 other clubs – qualification for the following season’s Champions League.
UEFA’s issued a comprehensive update, which you can read in full here, which explains how the remaining group stage spots will be decided.
And it also explains how the seedings work for the group stage draw as teams will be divided into four pots based on their UEFA club coefficients.
Of the 12 teams qualified so far, West Ham have the third lowest (9th) coefficient with 20.113 – but will likely therefore be in the top 10 seeded teams overall come the draw next Friday.