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Alphonse Areola and West Ham kick off their European campaign against Viborg tonight
Alphonse Areola and West Ham kick off their European campaign against Viborg tonight

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Hammers ready for more

Alphonse Areola says West Ham are eager to surpass last season's memorable European run.

The Hammers kick of this term’s continental campaign tonight as they host Danish side Viborg in the first leg of their Europa Conference League play-off at the London Stadium.

Last season, they enjoyed a thrilling path to the Europa League semi-final, narrowly missing out on the showpiece after defeat to eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt.

Goalkeeper Areola, who started 11 of the 12 games they played in the competition, said: "We did something great for the first time with the club, and now we hope to do even better.

"We are competitors. When you are competing in Europe, you want to win."

Boss David Moyes is expected to make changes for the clash against the European minnows, meaning new £10.1million defensive signing Thilo Kehrer could be handed a start.

Areola played with Kehrer at Paris Saint-Germain and said: "He’s a good player with his feet, he has good experience and he played with some of the greatest players in the world. He’s going to bring that experience and quality.

"We went through lots of games together. We had a year-and-a-half together. It’s always good to have someone you know on the pitch. You have that confidence."

Viborg will be without two players for the clash in East London, with African pair Ibrahim Said and Alassana Jatta unable to travel with the squad due to UK entry rules after Brexit.

Saints want revenge

Southampton were controversially beaten by Leicester last season
Southampton were controversially beaten by Leicester last season

Ralph Hasenhuttl says Southampton are using last season’s heavy defeat to Leicester as motivation ahead of their return the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

The Saints were beaten 4-1 by the Foxes on the final day after going behind to a controversial James Maddison goal.

The Coast coast side were in possession when play was stopped following an injury to Jamie Vardy but referee Jon Moss then presented the ball back to the hosts, leading to Maddison’s opener.

The Austrian boss said: "I still must say that I cannot follow what happened there at that time.

"This was definitely decisive for this game. It’s always a motivation when you lose a game but when you lose it in this way even more.

"The way was absolutely not right and not fair. We got punished for something that was not right.

"It’s gone and we cannot win this game. But we can win this game on the weekend and this is the goal and this is why we’re going there with all of the motivation we need to have."

Saints forward Che Adams is fit for the clash following a minor injury against Leeds last time out while Romain Perraud, Tino Livramento and Theo Walcott remain sidelined.

City charged for title celebrations

Fans of Manchester City invaded the pitch after they won the Premier League title
Fans of Manchester City invaded the pitch after they won the Premier League title

Manchester City have been charged by the FA after fans invaded the pitch following last season’s Premier League title win.

Thousands of supporters poured on to the pitch after sealing the domestic crown with a dramatic 3-2 comeback victory over Aston Villa.

Opposition goalkeeper Robin Olsen was attacked by a fan, while the crossbar of one of the goals was broken.

Two people have already been charged in relation to the invasion, with Greater Manchester police continuing to investigate events and offences.

An FA statement said: "Manchester City has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E20 following its Premier League fixture against Aston Villa on Sunday, May 22, 2022.

"It is alleged that after the final whistle of this fixture Manchester City failed to ensure that its spectators — and all persons purporting to be its supporters or followers — conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and refrained from using threatening and/or violent behaviour whilst encroaching on to the pitch.

"Manchester City has until Thursday, August 25, 2022 to provide a response to this charge."

Brucey calls for firepower

Steve Bruce's West Brom remain winless in the Championship this season
Steve Bruce's West Brom remain winless in the Championship this season

West Brom manager Steve Bruce called for more attacking reinforcements after his side were held to a goalless draw by Cardiff.

The Baggies are currently in the Championship relegation zone after going winless in their opening four games, during which they have scored only three goals.

They are currently without striker Daryl Dike for at least two months through injury, with fellow forward Karlan Grant missing chances to break the deadlock at the Hawthorns.

Asked if the Midlands side will be busy before the transfer window closes, Bruce said: "I think that’s pretty obvious, absolutely.

"We’re short, but we still have two-and-a-half weeks to go. We’ll see what becomes available."

Bruce's men will hope for more luck in front of goal when they host Hull on Saturday.


West Ham UnitedEuropa Conference LeagueWest BromwichChampionshipManchester CitySouthamptonPremier League
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