West Ham are preparing to take on Genk on Thursday evening and will be looking to make it three wins from three in the Europa League.
The Hammers bounced back from defeat to Brentford with a fine 1-0 win over Everton on Sunday afternoon in a performance that was far more convincing than the scoreline.
David Moyes will be hoping to see more of the same from his team on Thursday evening but is expected to name a heavily rotated team as the Hammers prepare for a busy end to the year.
With six points in the bag already a win against Genk will leave West Ham in a superb position mid-way through the Europa League group stages and cement them as firm favourites to progress.
Ahead of the game, football.london spoke to Belgian football reporter Marnik Geukens from Het Belang van Limburg for the lowdown on what the Hammers can expect from Genk.
How have Genk fared in the opening months of the Belgian season?
Genk started the season with high ambitions. They kept the side together, which won the cup and almost the league. Nobody had expected that, because a lot of players caught the attention of clubs in big leagues. They made a good start, were a bit unlucky in the Champions League preliminaries against Shakhtar Donetsk but are now in a small crisis with four losses in five games. One of them was the very poor European performance against Dinamo Zagreb 3-0.
In Belgium, they dominated the games that they lost. But they missed too many chances and conceded too many easy goals. Already ten from set pieces, especially against West Ham that can become a big problem.
Who are the players West Ham should be worried about?
West Ham know the most dangerous player very well, top striker Paul Onuachu who attracted their attention last summer.
But Genk asked for more than £20million. Genk can ask for that kind of fee, because they don’t need the money at the moment. The club is not owned by a private person, it’s a community model, where they stay alive with transfer money. They sold a lot of players in recent years and therefore are financially in a good shape.
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Are there any injury or selection issues left to iron out ahead of the match?
Just as West Ham, Genk will have a small problem at right back. Colombian international Daniel Munoz is suspended after his red card against Zagreb, his backup Preciado returned with a slight injury from international duty with Ecuador.
The rest of the players should be fit. The problem is that Genk have seven overseas international players. Mentally and physically they’re not fresh anymore. But I don’t think [manager] John Van den Brom will rest any of them, because everybody wants to play the West Ham game.
The team is young and talented but misses efficiency. Other interesting players to watch out for are Kristian Thorstvedt, Norwegian international and son of the former Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Erik. And of course Londoner Iké Ugbo, a Chelsea transfer. He is used as backup for Onuachu.
What is your score prediction?
My prediction is a West Ham win. Although Genk has the quality to cause a shock, they only can succeed if they play the perfect match.