'Very strong' - Bayer Leverkusen boss names six West Ham threats ahead of UEFA Europa League clash

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West Ham are hours away from taking on unbeaten side Bayer Leverkusen in UEFA Europa League quarter-final

It’s only a few hours to go until West Ham kick-off their UEFA Europa League quarter-final against a side that has remained unbeaten across all tournaments in 2023/24. Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen currently sit 16 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga, have reached the final of the DfB-Pokal Cup and remain without loss in their European run.

However, this does not mean that the Spanish boss is without worry and speaking to the press ahead of his side’s clash against David Moyes’s Irons, has named six opposition players who could cause problems for his rampant side.

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Moyes has headed to Germany leaving Jarrod Bowen, Kalvin Phillips and Edson Alvarez at home with the two former footballers suffering a back and thigh injury respectively while the latter serves a suspension. These are not insignificant absences for Moyes as Bowen has scored 19 goals across all competitions this campaign and the Irons have won just two of the seven games that Alvarez has missed since he joined from Ajax last summer.

Lucas Paqueta has been named one to watch by Xabi Alonso ahead of Europa League clashLucas Paqueta has been named one to watch by Xabi Alonso ahead of Europa League clash
Lucas Paqueta has been named one to watch by Xabi Alonso ahead of Europa League clash | Getty Images

For Alonso, there still remain players about whom he is concerned and the ex-Liverpool star has named Lucas Paqueta, Tomas Soucek, Michail Antonio, Mohammed Kudus, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Kurt Zouma has key figures to watch out for this evening.

“Paqueta is a great player, Soucek, Antonio, Kudus, there are a lot of players that we know,” said Alonso to the media. “Mavropanos, Zouma, they are all physically very strong players, good on the ball. 

“They won the Europa Conference League last season so they have experience in Europe so they know how to play well. They can be patient, they can be defensive, we are aware of all of that for tomorrow and we want to control the match.”

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The game kicks off at 8pm BST this evening and the BayArena and is available to watch on TNT Sports. The reverse leg will then take place next Thursday 18 April at the London Stadium with another 8pm kick-off scheduled.

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