West Ham News

Slaven Bilic makes West Ham Europa League claim ahead of Lyon tie

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Slaven Bilic has stated it’s ‘strange to say’ but he thinks West Ham United are favourites to beat Lyon in the Europa League, as he told CBS Sports on Paramount+ (06/05/22 at 10:45 pm).

The out-of-work manager added that it’s ‘great’ to see West Ham buzzing with European fever, after fans used to talk about wanting Europe back when he was, not just managing, but playing for the club.

On Thursday night, David Moyes’s side face their biggest game in a long while when they host Lyon in the first-leg of their Europa League clash.

The winner of this tie will progress to the semi-finals where either, the German side, Eintracht Frankfurt or Spanish giants, Barcelona await.

Nonetheless, ahead of tonight’s game, Bilic made it clear that he will be left ‘disappointed’ if West Ham don’t knock Lyon out.

“When I played for West Ham ages ago, then when I managed West Ham,” said Bilic. “Fans were talking about those European nights ages ago.

“Now it’s happening there. The London Stadium. 60,000 people. And it’s great.

“To be fair, it’s strange to say, but they are the favourites against Lyon. Yes, I think so. First of all, they beat Sevilla. Secondly, they are playing really good. They are very high in the Premier League.

“On the other side, Lyon is a big name. They have more experience in European games. But, Lyon in the French leagues are not playing good. I will be very disappointed if West Ham doesn’t go through.”

Whilst West Ham will feel they are still in the race to finish fourth via the Premier League, in truth, their best bet is the Europa League itself.

It has been a pretty long while since those in East London tasted trophy success, but this is by far their biggest chance.

Mark Noble is due to hang up his boots at the end of the season and it would be fitting for him to end on a high.

Europa League in hand and a place in next season’s Champions League is the end goal for all those in Claret and Blue.