West Ham have succeeded with a request to bring their Premier League match against Manchester City forward to help them prepare for a potential European final — despite the top-flight game clashing with City Women’s FA Cup final against Chelsea.
West Ham travel to German side Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday for their Europa League semi-final second leg, hoping to overturn a 2-1 deficit.
Should they manage that they will seal a place in the final of the tournament in Seville on Wednesday 18 May, only three days after they take on Premier League leaders City in east London.
That game had been due to kick-off at 16.30 BST. But on Tuesday, the Premier League released a statement confirming the match had been brought forward to 14.00 because of a “club request with board approval”.
The Athletic understands that West Ham were the club to request the kick-off time to be moved, to give them longer to prepare for the Europa League final should they get there.
The fixture change is likely to disappoint Manchester City fans, however, because it means that the game will now clash with the club’s Women’s FA Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley.
The final is due to kick-off at 14.30 — meaning a Manchester City supporter who starts watching the club’s Premier League match will miss the majority of it.
But the fixture amendment will be seen as a victory for West Ham, who are attempting to win their first European trophy since 1965, when they defeated 1860 Munich 2-0 in the final of the Cup Winners’ Cup.
West Ham will have to come from behind in Germany this week if they are to reach their first European final in 46 years after Frankfurt deservedly won 2-1 at the London Stadium.
Should West Ham win in Frankfurt they will come up against RB Leipzig or Rangers in the final in Spain. Leipzig lead that tie thanks to a late wonder goal from the former Manchester City player Angelino last week.
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