West Ham prepare for a grudge match against Olympiakos at the London Stadium, with the Hammers angered by the Greek side’s raucous celebrations in Athens after a shock 2-1 win in the Europa League
West Ham are treating Thursday night’s visit to Olympiacos as a grudge match after seeing the Greek hosts celebrate their group stage win two weeks ago as if they had won the Europa League.
David Moyes’ men could see and hear the celebrations in the hallway from their dressing room at Karaiskakis Stadium in Athens as they lost 2-1 and are now using that as motivation.
The likes of James Ward-Prowse and Angelo Ogbonna have admitted they were angry at the behavior of their opponents in the aftermath of that disappointing defeat and vowed to showcase a ‘different West Ham’ on Thursday.
“It’s football,” Ogbonna said. “With the way they celebrated their win, maybe we would be a little more respectful if we got the same win, but it’s football.”
Ogbonna was among those targeted by lasers at Olympiakos and continued: ‘As a British club we are more respectful with that part of the game, but they are very passionate fans. You rarely see that in football. We are looking forward to playing the game and getting the three points.”
David Moyes’ side welcome Olympiakos to the London Stadium on Thursday in a grudge match clash
The Greek team celebrated the 2-1 victory last time in a raucous manner
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Ward-Prowse added: “It was admittedly not a good performance from us. The way they reacted after they won the game – you could hear it down the hall – we talked about it and said it was a good opportunity to put that right and show them something.
‘Then you could certainly see a different West Ham. Evening games are generally rougher and have a bit more spice, so it will be an interesting match.’
Moyes wants West Ham’s 60,000-strong backing to ensure the London Stadium is intimidating after the extraordinary welcome they received in Athens.
“There are some brilliant stadiums when they’re rocking – Anfield, Old Trafford – but I think we all enjoyed it immensely because there was an incredible atmosphere,” said Moyes, whose team remains top of their group.
‘We have a lot of good things in the Premier League but I don’t think we should get carried away thinking we have the best atmosphere because if you go and watch a lot of European games you would be quite shocked at how good the is busy.
“We weren’t shocked by Greece, but it helped their team a lot, the support they had.”
Moyes wants West Ham’s London Stadium to create a sound and atmosphere to rival the extraordinary welcome they received in Athens