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Silverware is on offer when Fiorentina take on West Ham United in the Final of the second edition of the UEFA Europa Conference League. We have put together a handy guide ahead of kick-off, containing all the relevant information ahead of a historic night for both clubs involved.
When will it be played?
The Final will take place on Wednesday 7th June 2023. The match will kick off at 8 pm BST, whilst locally in the Czech Republic this translates to 9 pm.
Where will it be played?
This game will be staged at Fortuna Arena, which is the home of the Czech Republic First League side Slavia Prague.
A capacity of 19,370 has been set, with both clubs being officially allocated 4,890 seats. The remaining tickets were distributed to the official UEFA website, local organising structures, UEFA and national associations, commercial partners and broadcasters. As expected, the match is sold out.
How did both teams get to the Final?
Fiorentina started their journey to the Final all the way back in August last year when negotiating a two-legged play-off against FC Twente, which they won 2-1 on aggregate. They would comfortably progress out of their Group containing Başakşehir, Hearts and RFS (Latvia), losing only once in the process. They had no issues defeating Braga and Sivasspor in the next two knockout rounds, before having more issues, but ultimately progressing, in the Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals against Lech Poznań and Basel respectively.
West Ham United also had to get through an opening playoff round when comfortably despatching Viborg. They would be the only team to enjoy a 100% winning record within the Group Phase when beating Anderlecht, Silkeborg & FCSB home and away. AEK Larnaca proved no match for the Premier League side in the Round of 16, and whilst West Ham drew their Quarter-Final First Leg away to Gent, they had a much easier time in the home tie. AZ proved stubborn opposition in the Semi-Final, but again they were eventually brushed aside.
What happens to the winners?
Victory for either Fiorentina or West Ham United would secure a spot in next season’s UEFA Europa League Group Stage, meaning they would not have to participate in a Qualification Play-Off.
West Ham actually took part in the 2021/22 UEFA Europa League, only to be knocked out by Eintracht Frankfurt at the Semi-Final stage.
How did both teams perform in their league season?
It was an 8th-place finish for Fiorentina in Serie A, which was only one place, but six points, below the last allocated European qualification spot in the league. They have earned a top-eight finish in eight of their last 11 seasons in the Italian top flight.
It proved to be more of a struggle for West Ham in the Premier League as they largely endured a relegation battle before ending the season strongly to secure 14th position. They had enjoyed consecutive top-seven finishes in each of the two campaigns prior.
Has either team won a European trophy before?
Fiorentina have reached four UEFA finals in its existence, winning one and losing three. They were successful in the 1960/61 European Cup Winners’ Cup when overcoming Scottish side Rangers 4-1 over two legs. Their most recent Final appearance was in the 1989/90 UEFA when losing to Italian rivals Juventus.
Not so long after Fiorentina were celebrating their only European glory, West Ham claimed a trophy of their own in the 1964/65 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup after a 2-0 win over 1860 Münich at Wembley Stadium. Their next Final appearance proved less joyful when Anderlecht of Belgium secured the 1975/76 European Cup Winners’ Cup. Also, one of the three UEFA Intertoto Cup Finals in 1999 saw West Ham defeated French side Metz 3-2 on aggregate.
What is the team news?
Fiorentina Head Coach Vincenzo Italiano has a slight injury concern over Italy international Gaetano Castrovilli. He suffered a knock in last Friday’s Serie A away victory over Sassuolo and trained separately from the squad on Tuesday morning, but the expectation is the midfielder should be fit to start.
Hammers boss David Moyes has already confirmed that this match will come too soon for striker Gianluca Scamacca to return from his own injury problem. He underwent knee surgery towards the end of April and has been out of action ever since. Captain Declan Rice is set to play in what is expected to be his final game for the club, with a summer transfer heavily rumoured.
Head to Head record
This Final is not the first time Fiorentina and West Ham have faced each other before. In 1975 they contested in the Anglo-Italian League Cup Winners Cup, with Fiorentina winning 2-0 on aggregate.
West Ham last faced Italian opposition in European competition during their 2006/07 UEFA Cup campaign, losing 1-0 and 3-0 in both ties versus Palermo.
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