West Ham United vs Freiburg: Preview and Prediction

West Ham United will be seeking to overturn the deficit from their controversial first-leg encounter with SC Freiburg.

David Moyes might have felt relieved watching the referee from the first leg against SC Freiburg heading to the VAR monitor to re-check his on-field decision not to award a penalty to West Ham United. To his dismay, the official stuck with his original decision, which resulted in the Hammers returning to London empty-handed from Germany.

Moyes will have wanted answers then, but there is no time to dwell in the past and look forward to the task at hand. West Ham will have home comforts to bank upon in the second leg, although the challenge of a knockout game will have its own troubles.

The Hammers have already had success against Freiburg in the group stages and are heading into this encounter in decent form. They managed to come back from two goals down against Burnley this past weekend to earn a draw through Danny Ings’s late equaliser. Now, Moyes will want a concerted effort to make it to the Europa League quarter-finals as he will want to improvise their form and find a way to break the German side.

Freiburg fans will have felt that irrespective of West Ham beating them twice in the group stages, their team got the result in by far the most important of the three games. Coming to London, the German outfit have a fair advantage. However, they will be thankful for the referee’s decision not to overturn his on-field decision in that controversial penalty call late in the first leg.

Freiburg are aiming for the perfect result and getting a win over West Ham, or at least holding out for a draw. The last time a German side beat the Hammers, it was Eintracht Frankfurt, who went on to lift the Europa League trophy.

Those superstitious fans will undoubtedly take this fact into account and will push their team to win, although there are challenges that Christian Streich will know about at the London Stadium. For now, Freiburg will come here with their tails high and the optimism to win this contest.

Team News & Tactics

West Ham United

David Moyes will have a nearly entire strength squad, barring the availability of Maxwel Cornet, who could return after the international break as he recovers from a hamstring problem.

The only other major trouble is not knowing whether Emerson will play. The left-back was absent from their weekend encounter with Burnley and remains doubtful about the Freiburg clash. Beyond that, Moyes will have his other players available for selection, meaning Aaron Cresswell will start at left-back.

There are chances for Nayef Aguerd to start at the heart of the defence in place of Dinos Mavropanos and partner Kurt Zouma. With Cresswell likely getting a rare start this season, Vladimir Coufal will start right-back. Moyes will retain Lukasz Fabianski in goal and resist the temptation of using Alphonse Areola between the sticks.

Tomas Soucek and Edson Alvarez are Moyes’s most potent midfield pairing, with James Ward-Prowse, the man to play in the attacking midfield. Jarrod Bowen will continue to lead the line with the support of Lucas Paqueta and Mohammed Kudus on either side.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Coufal, Zouma, Aguerd, Cresswell; Soucek, Alvarez; Kudus, Ward-Prowse, Paqueta; Bowen

SC Freiburg

Compared to West Ham United, Freiburg has a long list of players injured before this trip to London. Daniel-Kofi Kyereh, Kenneth Schmidt, Max Rosenfelder, Noah Weishaupt, and probably Philipp Lienhart are all out.

There are also fitness-related issues with Jordy Makengo, which might keep him out of contention for the West Ham game. Streich will likely stick with his variation of the 4-4-2 ahead of this clash and will have the likes of Maximilian Eggestein and Nicolas Hofler in his central midfield roles.

Ritsu Doan and Vincenzo Grifo are well-placed to hold the wide areas. At the back, Matthias Ginter and Manuel Gulde are the preferred central defenders for Streich, with Kiliann Sildillia at the right-back and Christian Gunter on the left-hand side.

Lucas Holer will lead the line for Freiburg alongside Roland Sallai in a two-prone setup up front. Streich will want his side to use the compactness of the team and hurt the West Ham defence as much as possible.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Atubolu; Sildillia, Ginter, Gulde, Gunter; Doan, Eggstein, Hofler, Grifo; Holer, Sallai

Key Stats

  • West Ham United have won just two of their 12 matches in 2024.
  • West Ham have already beaten Freiburg twice in the Group Stages this season.
  • West Ham have not kept a clean sheet in their last 11 games across all competitions.
  • Freiburg have scored in each of their last six games in all competitions.
  • Freiburg have won five of their last nine away games in the Europa League.

Player to Watch

Jarrod Bowen

Embed from Getty Images

Now, with the Hammers entering the second leg of their European knockout game with a one-goal deficit, David Moyes will want a fast start to restore parity. Currently, the manager may not look at anyone else beyond Bowen to get an answer, as he would hope the England star will provide the goals.

Bowen has not been at his sharpest since the last few games and needs an occasion to become that main in the attack. While West Ham has been recently boosted by the return of the likes of Lucas Paqueta, Moyes hopes Bowen will take his chances coming from behind and help his side progress into the quarter-finals.


West Ham United 2-1 SC Freiburg

The tie was evenly poised in the first leg only until Freiburg found a way through late in the game, and there can be a similar feeling this time around. The German side does come to London with that slender advantage, which also gives them the choice to sit back and soak up the pressure.

West Ham will want a fast start to the game and get the first goal out of the way to bring parity to the tie. After that, the Hammers could have the edge to score again, although Freiburg does have the means to find a way through their defence. At the same time, the clash has all the hallmarks of going into extra time, although West Ham could go through either in extra time or on penalties.

Leave Comment


Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.