West Ham Draw with Leverkusen, Aim for European Qualification Against Crystal Palace

West Ham's Europa League exit motivates Moyes to win remaining Premier League games and secure European qualification. Crucial match against Crystal Palace awaits, with Hammers aiming to bounce back and maintain their top-six push.

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West Ham Draw with Leverkusen, Aim for European Qualification Against Crystal Palace

West Ham Draw with Leverkusen, Aim for European Qualification Against Crystal Palace

West Ham United held Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen to a draw at London Stadium in the Europa League quarter-final second leg on Thursday night.

Despite the valiant effort, it was not enough for the Hammers to overturn the 2-goal deficit from the first leg, as Leverkusen secured their place in the semi-finals.

West Ham manager David Moyes has now challenged his squad to win all five of their remaining Premier League fixtures to ensure they qualify for Europe next season. "Despite the disappointing exit from the Europa League, we have to focus on finishing the season strongly in the Premier League," said Moyes. "Our goal is to win every match and secure European qualification."

The Hammers are set to welcome back Lucas Paqueta and Emerson from suspension for their crucial Premier League clash against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday. Palace are coming off an impressive 1-0 victory over Liverpool at Anfield last weekend.

Why this matters: West Ham's pursuit of European qualification holds significant importance for the club's future. Securing a spot in continental competitions would not only bring financial benefits but also help attract top talent to the London Stadium.

For the upcoming match against Palace, Moyes has made three changes to the starting lineup. Jarrod Bowen is unavailable due to a hip injury, while Angelo Ogbonna replaces the injured Nayef Aguerd at center-back and Emerson Palmieri comes in at left-back for Aaron Cresswell. Kalvin Phillips, who has been recovering from injury, is fit enough to be included on the bench.

The match is evenly poised, with Opta predicting a 33% chance of a Crystal Palace win, a 38% chance for West Ham, and a 29% chance of a draw. West Ham currently sit in eighth place in the Premier League, just two points behind sixth-placed Newcastle United. With high-profile clashes against Liverpool, Chelsea, and Manchester City on the horizon, every point will be crucial in their quest for European qualification.

Former Hammers player Frank McAvennie has insisted that West Ham should be higher in the Premier League given the quality of their squad. "The club must qualify for a European competition this season. Winning the Conference League was a great step forward, and reaching the Europa League quarter-final has shown that they belong at the top level," said McAvennie.

West Ham's recent form has been concerning, with just one win in their last seven games across all competitions. However, Moyes remains confident that his team can turn things around and finish the season on a high note. The upcoming match against Crystal Palace will be a stern test for the Hammers, but a victory could provide the momentum they need to secure their place in Europe next season.

Key Takeaways

  • West Ham held Bundesliga champions Leverkusen to a draw but exited the Europa League.
  • Moyes challenges West Ham to win the remaining Premier League games for Europe qualification.
  • West Ham welcome back Paqueta and Emerson for crucial Crystal Palace clash.
  • Securing European spot crucial for West Ham's future and attracting top talent.
  • West Ham's recent form concerning, but Moyes confident they can finish season strongly.