UEFA appears to be loving having West Ham United in the revamped Europa League next season.
West Ham will compete in Europa League group stage football for the first time after their record-breaking Premier League season.
David Moyes’s side finished just one win off claiming a Champions League spot.
But qualifying for the completely revamped Europa League is still a fantastic achievement for West Ham.
Revamped Europa League should be an exciting adventure for West Ham
Some still look down on the Europa League as a hindrance to a club’s Premier League hopes.
The long format with 48 teams in the group stages has in the past made for a gruelling campaign.
Especially when some – like West Ham in previous seasons – have had to start the season early to take part in qualifying.
The new and improved Europa League will see the group stage significantly reduced from 48 to 32 teams. And the number of teams participating in qualifying is also reduced significantly.
Less games and better quality teams in format which mimics Champions League
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, qualification for the following season’s Champions League.
The governing body have used the Hammers in several other posts too.
UEFA love-in with West Ham continues after bubbles social media post
And now UEFA are loving West Ham once again in a new social media post.
“Which team?” UEFA posted on its Europa League social media channels alongside a picture of bubbles.
Moyes’s side are one of 12 to have qualified for the group stages so far. The other joining West Ham in the competition group stages are Braga, Frankfurt, Lazio, Leicester, Leverkusen, Lokomotiv Moskva, Lyon, Marseille, Napoli, ex Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini’s Real Betis, and Real Sociedad.
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.