“No Foregone Conclusion” – Martin Keown Issues Warning To West Ham

TalkSPORT pundit Martin Keown has warned West Ham not to take Freiburg lightly after being drawn against the German club in the last 16 of the Europa League.

Despite beating them twice in the group stages, the ex-Arsenal defender said that the Hammers should not be complacent about qualifying for the quarter-finals:

“West Ham’s European record has been phenomenal the last number of years so no one really wants to draw them. But, nonetheless, if you’re eighth in the Bundesliga you’re still of a reasonable quality.”

“We’ll see how good David Moyes is, he’s been fantastic up to now in Europe, that’s certainly going to be an interesting game Jim, but I wouldn’t say it’s a foregone conclusion.”

With West Ham in pretty poor form, Keown is right to say that the two games won’t be a walk in the park. David Moyes‘ side haven’t won in any competition this calendar year but they do have two fixtures in the Premier League before they take on Freiburg.

They host Brentford at the London Stadium on Monday night before travelling to play Everton the following weekend.

Why are West Ham playing Freiburg again?

After finishing top of their group, the Hammers didn’t have to play in the playoff round. However, after finishing runners-up, Freiburg did. The Bundesliga side won against Lens 3-2 on aggregate to get to the last 16.

West Ham are not the only team that will face a club they played in the group stage. Sporting Lisbon and Atalanta (who were both in Group D) have been drawn together, as have Bayer Leverkusen and Qarabag.

Who have the other English clubs been drawn against in the Europa League?

Liverpool will take on Czech side Sparta Prague while Brighton will face Italian giants Roma. The first legs for all the ties take place on March 7th with the second legs a week later on March 14th.

David Tully

David Tully

David has worked as a football reporter for the last fifteen years. Having started as an intern at Snack Media, he then went on to become a freelancer, working on various different sites. At the start of 2023, he took up his current role as content writer for National World's Football News Network.