West Ham went so close to qualifying for the Europa League last season, let down by their poor form towards the end of the campaign. Having moved up to sixth in April with a 2-1 win over Everton, West Ham hand their top six destiny in their own hands. However, the Hammers managed just one win in their final seven Premier League matches to eventually finish seventh.
Even with their rotten form, West Ham could have sealed the top six on the final day of the season, had they beaten Brighton with Manchester United losing to Crystal Palace. They lost 3-1 and were dropped into Europa Conference League qualifying, having to contend with Thursday night football while trying to fight for a spot in the top six.
The Hammers haven’t got off to the best start either, losing both of their opening two Premier League matches. While defeat to Manchester City may have been expected, West Ham struggled against newly-promoted Nottingham Forest and still haven’t scored a goal, missing a penalty in their most recent match.
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West Ham Top Four Finish odds
4:00 pm Sunday May 28
West HamTo finish in the top four of the 2022/23 Premier League
But what if West Ham are feeling optimistic about the season, even with their poor start? The Hammers have been busy in the summer transfer window, signing five players to their first team including striker Gianluca Scamacca and Maxwel Cornet from Burnley. There is also the fact of the World Cup being played this winter and while West Ham won’t be without their internationals, they are more likely to retain more of their players than some of the bigger clubs.
This means that Moyes will have more time to work with his players while the tournament is going on, keeping them fresh and utilising the time to work on any tactical issues that may have arisen from the first half of the season. However, it has been almost 40 years since West Ham last finished in the top four of English’s top flight — finishing third in the 1985/86 First Division season, six years before the introduction of the Premier League.
The Hammers may also draw encouragement from the three home wins they managed against Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea in the Premier League last season, but they will need to work on their away form against the Big Six sides.
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West Ham to win a cup odds
As mentioned, West Ham are in the final qualifying round for the Europa Conference League, drawn against Danish side Viborg but outright odds for that competition aren’t yet available due to the full roster still being unknown. However, West Ham’s participation in Europa Conference League qualifying has given them a bye to the third round of the EFL Cup, perhaps enhancing their chances of winning that competition.
West Ham haven’t won a domestic cup since 1979/80, when they beat Arsenal 1-0 in the FA Cup final, still the last team to win the competition from outside the top flight (playing their football in the old Second Division at the time). The Hammers have also only been in two domestic cup finals since then, losing the EFL Cup final to Liverpool a year later and then the 2005/06 FA Cup final to the same club.
Regardless of their signings this summer, West Ham’s best business in the transfer window will be keeping hold of Declan Rice, as it has been for the past few seasons. The Englishman was once again heavily linked with a move away from West Ham this summer and it appeared that this could finally be the year he left, either moving to Manchester United or Chelsea.