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West Ham: Next Possible European Opponents

As the Hammers secured a place in the last 8 of the Europa League after an emphatic 5-0 win against Freiburg, we decided to look at their next possible opponents, and who will be more favourable for West Ham fans.

To start with, it's clear that West Ham will want to stay well away from Bayer Leverkusen and Liverpool. Bayer Leverkusen have been holding the back page all season. They haven't lost a game in all competitions this season and are showing no signs of letting up. Evidently shown in their recent game against Qarabag, they just don't know when they are beaten. Xabi Alonso is starting to build a real dynasty at Leverkusen. A tournament favourite no doubt, so West Ham will surely want to avoid them, and another trip to Germany.

Liverpool are quite possibly the best team in the world right now. No matter how well you play against Liverpool, they just always seem to find a way to win. For West Ham, they haven't won a game at Anfield since 2015, where they came away 3-0 winners in a famous outing. They have already played Liverpool twice this season, both to know avail, with an aggregate scoreline of 8-2 from both matches coming in the Premier League and League Cup. Liverpool are certainly a team West Ham have struggled to beat, so it will certainly be difficult to advance past them in the quarters shouldn't they be drawn together.

AC Milan as an opponent has been looked at both fondly and not so fondly by fans. They are aware that AC Milan are currently in form and 2nd in Serie A, however Hammers fans long for a trip to the mighty San Siri before it's knocking down. Despite their form, it seems as though can have a right go at Milan, spoiling the party and ending the Champions League at the iconic stadium at their hands. Seems like a dream for fans. But, by no means will it be easy, especially since they've lost twice in their last 12 games in the league.

Benfica is another club West Ham will be looking out for, with the team sat 2nd in Liga Portugal. Despite a favourable trip to sunny Portugal, Benfica are not to be overlooked, after a hard-fought 1-0 win away at the Ibrox to secure a sport in the last 8. Although, West Ham will be confident after their win against Freiburg, who play at similar quality.

Atalanta is a team that the Hammers will look towards with hope, with the team sat 6th in Serie A. A nice trip to Italy against a team in good form all things considered, Having only lost 2 from their last 11 in Serie A. But West Ham will be confident they can do a job against the Italian side, who sit in a similar league position. Another factor to note is, that they will face former player Gianlucca Scamacca, who left West Ham last summer to follow his desire to return to Italy. West Ham will be keen to welcome the familiar face, for better or worse.

Roma are the third of the 3 Italian sides to make it through and it is another difficult one for the Hammers should they be drawn. Sat 5th in Serie A, with the second highest goal tally in the league, Roma could be a problem, especially whilst being managed by the great Jose Mourinho, who loved a result against West Ham. Having only lost 2 of their last 10 in the league, West Ham fans may want to look in a different direction.

Lastly, Marseille are a side West Ham fans are also hoping to draw against purely because of how close it is to England in comparison to the other opponents, meaning they can create a big crowd and an electric atmosphere. The team also sit 7th in Ligue 1, similar to West Ham, and have failed to win 5 of their last 8 games in the league. As well as this, West Ham fans can track back to the last time they faced French opponents in the Europa League, in one of their great nights for the club. After a 1-1 draw at home, West Ham needed to turn up in Lyon, and how did they. Goals from Dawson, Rice and Bowen secured a famous 3-0 win to secure a place in the semi finals. What a night.

So, here's what teams West Ham may want, and may want to avoid. Personally, I'd love to face Marseille, with not far to travel, and a high likelihood of coming away with a result. All will be revealed in the draw, taking place on Friday 15th March 2024.

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