This is the game that all West Ham fans have been waiting for – not just since it was announced, but for many years.
The Hammers travel to Europa League giants Sevilla – a side who have won the trophy on a record four occasions – to add to their two UEFA Cups, also.
It is only natural that West Ham start the match – and tie as a whole – as underdogs, given the Spanish outfit’s track record, along with the fact that they currently sit in second place in the La Liga table.
West Ham have won one European trophy in their history – the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965. Can they match that achievement and go all the way?
It is one that all Irons supporters will be itching to get started, however, and I’m sure that the players alike will also be counting down the minutes until they can kick off.
So how do our resident Green Street Hammers staff think the first leg will unfold as a return leg to London Stadium awaits the following week?
Jimmy: Sevilla 1-1 West Ham
This first leg will be an interesting one for both teams. Sevilla have a decent amount of injuries and suspensions heading into this game, while West Ham have been struggling since the start of the new year.
Another blow for West Ham is it seems Jarrod Bowen will not be playing after picking up an injury on Saturday against Liverpool. With both teams having their issues I can see this being a very even match to kick off the Europa League knockout stage.
Alex: Sevilla 2-1 West Ham
What an occasion this will be, it really shows far the club has come in recent years- from near relegation to a European knockout stage match. The Spaniards are 2nd in La Liga and have a great side, all on top of them being the Europa League kings winning the competition a record six times.
With Jarrod Bowen set to miss out it’s a real blow but I believe Michail Antonio can cause them problems with his mix of pace and strength. I’ll take a draw leaving it level for the return leg at the London Stadium that will definitely be rocking. However, I think Sevilla will sneak the win as they’re at home along with that extra European experience they possess.
To go far in Europe you need to beat the best and Sevilla are one of those but we can’t be scared. Come on you Irons!
Mia: Sevilla 0-1 West Ham
Honestly, I still pinch myself that we are in this position. The boys look so up for this game, with Declan mentioning many times how pumped he is for the occasion. Acknowledging our injuries, but also Sevilla’s, I believe we can snatch a win here tonight. Antonio looks like he is playing attacking football again, with a genuine goal-scoring threat; Dawson and Zouma are proving what a solid partnership they have, and Noble demonstrated against Liverpool that he can still provide quality when called upon.
This will be a challenge for us, but I feel confident that regardless, we will produce tonight. We’ve come too far to break down at this hurdle. The Hammers fans are in Seville loud and proud, and I have no doubt they will pull the lads through it!
Let’s go West Ham!
Lou: Sevilla 1-2 West Ham
When making West Ham predictions, I usually opt to follow my head over my heart, but this time is different.
I’ve not been as excited for a match as long as I can remember and, whilst I’m usually quite pessimistic regarding all things West Ham, I can just envision something special happening on Thursday evening.
If I can’t predict a Hammers win now, when can I?!