West Ham travel to Serbia on Thursday evening as they take on Backa Topola in the Europa League, live on talkSPORT 2.
David Moyes’ side now have the chance to book their place in the knockout stages should Freiburg also beat the Greek side this week.
West Ham won’t be wanting to rely on other teams though, with a win against Backa Topola all but confirming their spot regardless.
As for the Serbian outfit, they are bottom of the group and need three points to keep their hopes of staying in the competition alive.
Backa Topola vs West Ham: Wonderful Ward-Prowse
A key part of West Ham’s success in Europe this season has been James Ward-Prowse.
The midfielder arrived from Southampton in the summer and instantly became a crucial part of Moyes’ side.
And he has excelled on the continent, creating 18 chances throughout the four games, which is the most of any player in the competition.
15 of those chances have come from his trademark set pieces that continue to cause problems for teams every single week.
From corners specifically, the Hammers have scored more goals than any other team in the Europa League. And who assisted them all? Ward-Prowse.
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- Backa Topola’s only previous meeting with an English club in a competitive match was their defeat at West Ham on MD1 of this season’s UEFA Europa League campaign.
- West Ham have won 17 of their last 19 matches in all European competitions (D1 L1), scoring at least once in each game.
- After winning their very first game in Europe 2-0 against Petrocub-Hincesti in August 2020, Backa Topola are since winless in Europe (D2 L5), conceding 26 goals in seven games. They have dropped six points from leading positions in this season’s UEFA Europa League, the joint-most of any team along with LASK.
Backa Topola vs West Ham: Team news
Bowen suffered a knee injury on international duty with England and he is not expected to be risked in Serbia.
Michail Antonio is also out with a knock that will see him sidelines for multiple weeks.
Lukasz Fabianski is expected to be starting in goal as Moyes makes changes to his side.
Konstantinos Mavropanos should feature in defence while Pablo Fornals and Maxwel Cornet may get minutes in the starting line-up.
Teenager Divin Mubama may also get the nod up front after Danny Ings struggled last time out.
Backa Topola vs West Ham: What has been said?
Mubama may be handed a start in Europe, with Moyes praising the young striker following his performance off the bench on Saturday.
The West Ham boss said: “We want to play him but I would say how many 19 year-old centre-forwards are there in the Premier League?”
“It is getting harder, because it is such a difficult role, and the level of competition is really high at nearly every club.
“His mentality and attitude are as good as any top player. He is so determined and works incredibly hard for the team.
“We need him to develop his actions and technical ability but he is only 19.”
Backa Topola vs West Ham: talkSPORT coverage
This Europa League Group B clash will take place on Thursday, November 30.
Kick-off at the TSC Arena in Serbia is scheduled for 5:45pm.
talkSPORT 2 will also have live coverage of the game.
The game will be broadcast live on TNT Sports 1.