Europa League Matchday 2: West Ham v Rapid Vienna (H): Thursday 30th September; 20:00

The 100% streak continues. It's exhausting.

So back to Europe this week following two very good away wins. We're probably favourites, and should have enough to beat a team that are currently 10th in the Austrian league and who lost to Genk in the opener.

Today was hard work so I wouldn't be surprised to see a few changes; maybe Kral for Soucek, Johnson for Cresswell and Vlasic for Bowen. Even with those I'd like to think we can get the win.
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Comments

  • The 100% streak continues. It's exhausting.

    So back to Europe this week following two very good away wins. We're probably favourites, and should have enough to beat a team that are currently 10th in the Austrian league and who lost to Genk in the opener.

    Today was hard work so I wouldn't be surprised to see a few changes; maybe Kral for Soucek, Johnson for Cresswell and Vlasic for Bowen. Even with those I'd like to think we can get the win.

    Just give it a game or two more and the jackals (Jordan) will turn on you.

    Based on Europa Game 1, I’m guessing Antonio, Rice and Fabianski will play at least.

    Fabianski; Johnson Zouma Diop Masuaku; Rice Kral; Yarmolenko Vlasic Fornals; Antonio
  • Masuaku didn't look great against Man Utd imo, he gave the ball away a lot (he know he often does, and that, when he's playing well he has other attributes) so I'm not sure about him, especially at LB.

    I know he's coming back from a long time out, and that he needs game time after a few outings for the u23s, but I'm not sure he's ready just yet unless we're really confident of beating Rapid.
  • Would be nice for Lanzini to get some minutes in this one
  • edited September 26
    Know thine enemy...

    Dietmar Kühbauer has been Rapid's manager since October 2018, he made 184 appearances for Rapid 1992-97 as a player, won 55 caps for Austria and played all three of Austria's matches in the 1998 World Cup.

    His preferred formation is 4-2-3-1, leading the line is 25yo Ercan Kara who joined from SV Horn of Austria's 2nd tier in January 2020 and has since scored 28 in 69 appearances. He's got 4 caps for Austria but wasn't selected for this summer's Euro Squad.

    Unlike Dinamo Zagreb none of the Rapid players are regular internationals, attacking midfielder Taxiarchis Fountas has won 8 caps for Greece in the last 6 years while CM Dejan Petrovic won two caps for Slovenia last year but played with the U21s this summer.

    Rapid's first choice keeper Richard Strebinger is out with a shoulder injury, his replacement 24yo Paul Gartler has conceded 7 goals in 6 games. Club Captain Christopher Dibon CB is also out after surgery on his knee earlier this month

    It is traditional for the Rapid fans to start clapping in the 75th minute - the Rapid Viertelstunde

    They didn't get off to a good start, losing 1-0 at home to Genk and are probably the weakest team in the group. Imagine we're playing a midtable Championship side, say QPR or Blackburn Rovers, that sort of gives you an idea of what level Rapid are at.

    This is what I do to chill out after work,,,
  • edited September 26
    Moyes will mix the side again. We have a game Sunday so will need to freshen up the 11. I imagine the bench from yesterday will all be in contention to start.

    Fabianski
    Johnson - Diop - Zouma - Cresswell
    Rice (c) - Kral
    Vlasic - Lanzini - Fornals
    Antonio
  • Areola
    Johnson - Diop - Dawson - Masuaku
    Noble (c) - Kral
    Yarmelenko - Lanzini - Vlasic
    Antonio
  • I'm just not convinced that now is the time to be resting everyone. Sure, a bit of rotation, but we don't want to risk Rapid getting off the mark in the group, and it's better to have the points on the board early in this group stage. Winning the group means you miss out the first knockout round against Champions League drop outs, so I think we should be putting out a strong side and go for the top spot. If we win our first four, we can do some big rotation for the final two.
  • I think we'll see the same team as last Europa game, with either Coufal or Johnson in for Fredericks and maybe Kral in for Soucek, though I'd like to see Lanzini dropped deeper into CM alongside Rice against a team like this. Possibly Masuaku in there as well.

    Does Antonio play now his suspension is over?



    I'd like this:

    (could also play it as a back 5).

    Areola
    Coufal - Zouma - Diop - Cresswell
    Lanzini - Rice
    Vlasic - Fornals - Masuaku
    Antonio
  • For me, you play Zouma and Diop. That has the potential to be a future partnership for us given the age of Dawson/Ogbonna. We are getting to a bit of a moment with Diop. We will probably have to make a decision soon as to whether to sell or renew his contract. Let's see if there's potential in that pairing. I feel, ideally, Diop gets in ahead of Ogbonna before the end of the season, gets a run of games with Zouma, does well & we have our CBs sorted for a few years.
  • Areola
    Johnson - Zouma - Diop - Cresswell
    Lanzini - Rice
    Vlasic - Fornals - Masuaku
    Antonio

    In an ideal world, I wouldn’t mind seeing Antonio come off if we’re in control in the second half and we bring on Kral (and move Lanzini up to attacking mid and Vlasic into Antonio’s position). Yarmo on for Fornals at some point later on depending on the score as well.
  • alderz said:

    I'm just not convinced that now is the time to be resting everyone. Sure, a bit of rotation, but we don't want to risk Rapid getting off the mark in the group, and it's better to have the points on the board early in this group stage. Winning the group means you miss out the first knockout round against Champions League drop outs, so I think we should be putting out a strong side and go for the top spot. If we win our first four, we can do some big rotation for the final two.

    I agree, we need to really try and pull away if we can after such a brilliant first result, top spot saves you from a potentially very difficult tie. I would certainly put out a full strength side and if we have a good lead and look comfortable we can take 2 or 3 off with half an hour to go. We have a much better squad from last season as the caraboo cup proved but there is still a gap between the squad players and the first eleven. Kral had a good match but he isn't as strong as Rice or Soucek, Johnson the same but he is not Coufal! I could potentially play Diop or Dawson alongside Zouma to rest old man Oggy but beyond that I would field the team that started against Leeds.

    Aslef's info has given me confidence but we can take nothing for granted on the European stage.
  • Just realised this game is the first of five out of the next six that are at home.
  • What time’s ko? =)
  • 8pm

    I shall set alarms and alerts all around the house.


  • It's been a long time since supporting West Ham has felt quite this good!
  • Going to need some rotation, we have 6 games in October and 6 in November. (minimum) then there are international breaks where a good number of our first team will be involved in those games.
  • It’s so tough to say who I would like to see play this game. So many players deserve some game time as I think many have played well when called upon. I’d lean towards:

    Areola
    Johnson Zouma Diop Cresswell
    Rice Kral
    Lanzini Vlasic Yarmo Benrahma

    Not sure what to do with the front four but they’ll work it out.
  • As everyone seems to think that Antonio will breakdown at some point then we should play him while he is fit.
  • Does that not mean that over playing him can increase the likelihood of him breaking down?
  • But there is no guarantee that not playing him stops him getting injured. They won't play him if he's not fit so until then play him. We have a striker in the form of his life which maybe because he is playing regularly. He is also fitter than he has ever been by the looks of him and his performances.
  • edited September 27
    I was a bit surprised to see Rice and Mount at the Joshua fight with a crowd of 65k people, must have been a lot of covid going about there, not be mention the risk of catching Spursy at that stadium.

  • I was a bit surprised to see Rice and Mount at the Joshua fight with a crowd of 65k people, must have been a lot of covid going about there, not be mention the risk of catching Spursy at that stadium.

    More Importantly is that Phil Mitchell giving it large behind them?.......
  • Is Mount thinking “I wish I was you”
  • Is Mount thinking “I wish I was you”

    As he appears to look lovingly at Dec
  • Areola
    Dawson, Diop, Zouma,
    Johnson, Rice, Kral, Masuaka,
    Lanzini, Benrahma,
    Antonio
  • IronHerb said:

    But there is no guarantee that not playing him stops him getting injured. They won't play him if he's not fit so until then play him. We have a striker in the form of his life which maybe because he is playing regularly. He is also fitter than he has ever been by the looks of him and his performances.

    There isn’t a guarantee but there is an increased chance that playing him could cause him an injury because of the increased workload. He’s often gone off in matches while pushing himself, something doesn’t magically pop while he’s on his couch and he’s suddenly off. Not starting this game is no less regular football than he gets any other season.

    And there is research into whether game loads increase the likelihood of injury - this one says hamstring injuries are more likely. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249319881_Muscle_injury_rates_in_professional_football_increase_with_fixture_congestion_An_11-year_follow-up_of_the_UEFA_Champions_League_injury_study
  • I would start with Vlasic. I think he could get a goal. I reckon he is a confidence player, so this one at home is an opportunity for him to shine.
  • I can see Yarmo being selected up top here with Vlasic - Lanzini - Benrahma behind him.
  • I would start with Vlasic. I think he could get a goal. I reckon he is a confidence player, so this one at home is an opportunity for him to shine.

    I agree, I also think he is used to European football which I find less consistently intense than the premiership. I think that worked massively in our favour against Zagreb as I don't think they were used to playing at our intensity, certainly in the first half of that match when it was at its peak.
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