David Moyes targeting top spot in West Ham's Europa League group
West Ham manager David Moyes has expressed his desire to secure top spot in the club’s Europa League group tonight.
The Hammers travel to Rapid Vienna this evening having already qualified for the knockout stages of the competition with 10 points from four matches.
If they can match or better Dinamo Zagreb’s result against Genk, Moyes’s side will confirm their place as group winners.
Speaking ahead of the visit to Austria, the Scot said [via the club’s official website]: “I’d like to get the job done, but we’ve given ourselves a really good start and because of that we’ve got a little bit of room for manoeuvre.
“We’ve told the players we’d like to get ourselves topping the group if we can. At the start of it, it was just to say ‘could we qualify?’ We’ve got ourselves in a qualification position, it’s just now if we can go a bit further.”
Winning their group would be a big statement from West Ham, considering this is their first European campaign in five years.
Dinamo Zagreb and Genk are sides experienced in the Europa League and have both made the quarter-finals in recent seasons, but the Hammers have pushed ahead of them.
Top spot would also be a considerable boost to Moyes, as group winners progress straight to the round of 16, while runners-up must compete in the preliminary knockout round.
With West Ham lacking squad depth, they could really do without two additional fixtures in the new year.
If the Hammers lose or draw in Austria this evening and Dinamo Zagreb get three points against Genk, it will come down to a winner-takes-all clash against the Croatian outfit at the London Stadium in a fortnight’s time.
In other West Ham news, view our predicted lineup for this evening’s game against Rapid Vienna.