West Ham given huge boost ahead of Leverkusen test

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With Xabi Alonso’s unbeaten Bayer Leverkusen heading to the London Stadium and a Europa League quarter-final second-leg date with West Ham, David Moyes side have a mountain to climb if they want to turn around the two-goal first-leg deficit.

The Hammers have to come out and attack from the first whistle, and whilst that’s not beyond them, Moyes tends to prefer a more conservative style.

That simply isn’t going to see the East Londoners through to the semi-final, particularly against a team that love to attack themselves.

West Ham could get pre-match boost for Leverkusen test

In some respects it might be a more exciting match than the first encounter, though if Leverkusen score first the atmosphere will almost certainly become non-existent, and that isn’t going to help the hosts pile the pressure on their Bundesliga opponents.

West Ham are missing Lucas Paqueta of course after the Brazilian was yellow carded in the first game, though they might get some good news after Jarrod Bowen came through a training session on Wednesday.

West Ham ace Jarrod Bowen could be passed fit against Leverkusen

“It was great to see Jarrod out there,” said Moyes, quoted by football.london.

“We’re not sure yet (if Bowen will play). I would never risk a player if I thought they were injured but you always want your best players back in, your goal scorers as well, and Jarrod has been that this season.”

Bowen was a huge miss for the Irons at the Bay Arena, where his pace would’ve provided them with a decent outlet throughout the 90 minutes.

As it was, they huffed and puffed thanks to a hard-working Michail Antonio without ever looking likely to score.

Their backs against the wall performance almost got its reward but they were undone by two late goals which makes a comeback difficult – though not impossible.

If Bowen is passed fit, then his team-mates have to help him get in amongst it at every opportunity, and if it’s the home side that strike first it could really light the blue touch paper.

From Moyes’ point of view, he’ll only put Bowen in the firing line if he’s 100 percent fit, and the Hammers faithful will surely be hoping he is.

More Stories David Moyes Jarrod Bowen Xabi Alonso