Bayer Leverkusen vs West Ham United

BayArena sets the stage for the first leg of an exciting Europa League quarter-final tie between Bayer Leverkusen and West Ham United.

Congratulations could be in order this weekend after a 1-0 win at Union Berlin last week brought Bayer Leverkusen to the cusp of their first-ever Bundesliga title. But before that, Die Werkself will host West Ham for the first time, looking to extend their incredible 41-game unbeaten run in all competitions this season (W36, D5). Virtually unplayable at the BayArena, Xabi Alonso’s men have won all four Europa League home games this season, netting 3+ goals in each triumph. Alonso knows in-depth about beating West Ham, having only lost one of his seven meetings with the Hammers as a player (W5, D1). His experience increases Leverkusen’s chances of stretching their unbeaten home run in the Europa League to eight matches (W5, D2) and maintaining their dream of winning a coveted treble.

Meanwhile, West Ham brought their topsy-turvy Premier League campaign back on track last weekend, coming from behind to beat Wolverhampton 2-0 to end a four-game winless league run (D3, L1). David Moyes’ side also needed a comeback to set up this tie, overturning a 1-0 first-leg deficit against Leverkusen’s domestic rivals Freiburg in the previous round with an overwhelming 5-0 home triumph. Despite staring at long odds, Moyes will not shy away from the challenge after winning both managerial encounters against Leverkusen. But that record is in jeopardy, especially as the Hammers have lost two of their last three away European games against German opposition (W1). The visitors have been notoriously inconsistent on their recent Europa League travels, alternating between victories and defeats in their last eight away matches (W4, L4).

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