David Moyes has said that West Ham will back themselves to cause an upset when they face Sevilla in the last 16 of the Europa League.
West Ham face a daunting task after being drawn against Sevilla, who have won this competition six times, but Moyes is confident that his side will approach tonight’s first leg at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium with a positive attitude.
“I feel it is where the players should be,” West Ham’s manager said. “The group we have are capable. There are times this season where it does not matter who we play, we will get a win. I see this as a great game for us.
“Sevilla have a really good history in the competition. It is two legs – we have this one and we are looking forward to the London Stadium next week. You want to play in Europe. It is the elite to challenge yourself against.
“Our effort last year is why we are in this position. We wanted the best teams, to challenge them and see how we do.” Moyes said that he wants West Ham, who are sixth in the Premier League, to compete regularly at this level. “I expect them to win whoever we play – Chelsea, Liverpool or Man City, I expect them to win and am disappointed when we do not,” the Scot said.
“I want to be a new West Ham that qualifies for Europe and challenges the top teams. This time last year I thought Europe was a possibility. Prior to that we were avoiding relegation. That was the job. We have become a team challenging for Europe. We have moved a big amount in a short time. Tomorrow is a different level.”
West Ham will be without Jarrod Bowen after the forward limped off during last weekend’s defeat to Liverpool, but Declan Rice has travelled to Spain after recovering from illness. “He trained today for the first time,” Moyes said. “He was very unwell but he is with us and if fit he will play.”
Moyes urged his forwards to sharpen up after missing several chances during West Ham’s defeats to Liverpool and Southampton. “In the last two games we felt if we had the finishing we would have been through in the FA Cup and had a great chance to take something from Anfield,” he said. “I think there have been some good signs from Michail Antonio that he is on his way back. He is so important to how the team plays, but we need those goals.”
Sevilla, who are second in La Liga, have several injury concerns. Anthony Martial is expected to be fit but Erik Lamela, Diego Carlos, Gonzalo Montiel, Papu Gómez, Fernando and Suso could miss out. Thomas Delaney is suspended.