West Ham kicked off their Europa League group with a 2-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday night and Manchester United may have some food for thought ahead of their upcoming fixtures. The Hammers were rewarded for their impressive campaign last year with qualification for the Europa League.
Clubs in previous years making their debut in the Europa League have often struggled to cope with the amount of games added to their schedule.
But David Moyes appears to have built a squad capable of challenging on European soil and they looked in excellent form away at Croatian side Zagreb.
Goals from Michail Antonio and Declan Rice handed them a comfortable 2-0 win to put them top of Group H.
Now, focus turns to back-to-back matches against United in the Premier League on Sunday before a trip to Old Trafford three days later in the Carabao Cup.
The Red Devils may well enter as favourites, but West Ham will certainly be confident going into both fixtures.
Michail Antonio sharp again
The main talisman for West Ham this season and arguably the in-form striker in English football at this moment.
He of course won’t be available for selection in the Premier League after his red card against Southampton.
But he will be able to make his return to the squad in next week’s Carabao Cup tie at Old Trafford.
And given the fact he will have had a week’s rest, Antonio will be primed and ready to cause problems for United’s defence.
Declan Rice/ Tomas Soucek partnership
Arguably the bed-rock of West Ham’s success since Moyes’ arrival has been the solidity between Rice and Tomas Soucek.
Sitting in front of West Ham’s defence, the midfield pairing have proven tough to break through and Zagreb were frustrated in their efforts to find a way past the Hammers duo.
Both players are also given the licence to join in the attack as well with Soucek often getting amongst the goals.
But Rice showed his ability to race forward on Thursday with a neat finish to give West Ham a 2-0 lead.