West Ham are unbeaten in their Europa League campaign so far, and will be hoping to continue that in their upcoming fixture in Austria on Thursday when they face Rapid Wein.
David Moyes’ side have been impressive in Europe so far, only dropping points in their most recent game in the Europa League with a 2-2 draw with Genk.
The Hammers are currently four points clear at the top of Group H which they share with Dinamo Zagreb, Genk and Rapid, and look comfortable in their last couple of games ahead.
One player who has improved massively this season is Said Benrahma, who impressed in the East London club’s draw against Genk with a brace.
Benrahma was side-lined last season when Jesse Lingard came into the squad halfway through and made an instant impact on the side, scoring nine goals that led them to the European football they are playing this season.
David Moyes has spoken highly about the impact the £58k-per-week attacker had on the team in his performance against Genk, leading us to believe he could be game-changing again this week. The manager said:
“He did a lot of good things which in recent games I’ve not been so sure of. Tonight I thought he played well. Getting a couple of goals for us will help him.
“Tonight he really pleased me because I thought he released the ball at the right moment more often.
“The individual actions he took I thought more of them came off so we’re making sure that Benrahma is well aware of what the standards are and what we expect of him. He needs it as well, he needs a bit of confidence. He was a much better team player tonight and I was really pleased with how he played.”
Now Moyes must decide how he intends to set up for the Europa League game on Thursday that could see West Ham win their group and move into the knock out stages, something that would have only been thought to be a dream for Hammers fans a few seasons ago.
Benrahma is showing determination and presence in his attacking press and contributing to key moments of games that will have impacted the fact that West Ham currently are fourth in the Premier League.
This Europa League game will be a clear test of the 26-year-old’s ability to deal with pressure at a higher level and offer a challenge of perseverance when it comes to ensuring the West Ham side can remain unbeaten in Europe. However, after being dubbed a “magician” by former Nice teammate Lorenzo Vinci, he should be able to rise to the occasion.
The Hammers will travel to Austria in hope of securing their Europa League round of sixteen spot, which will also include Champions League dropouts that will prove a further challenge to West Ham.