West Ham aim to finish season on a high after Europa League disappointment

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 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

David Moyes has already insisted that whether West Ham end up in the Europa League or Conference League will have no bearing on his ambitious summer plans,

But having watched Wednesday’s eminently winnable final in the former competition, the Hammers boss will surely be itching for a swift second bite at the cherry.

A lax first-leg performance at home to Eintracht Frankfurt and Aaron Cresswell’s early red card in the second had West Ham cursing an opportunity missed after their semi-final exit — and that is not a feeling that will have dissipated after the German side beat Rangers on penalties this week.

Last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City confirmed Moyes’s men, currently seventh, will play European football again in some capacity next season.

But victory away at Brighton on Sunday would see them climb above Manchester United and into a Europa League berth should Ralf Rangnick’s side drop points in the German’s final game as interim boss.

United travel to Crystal Palace, who will surely be determined to end a transformative season on a positive note, rather than the sour one of last night’s defeat to Everton.

As well as European places on the line, both fixtures will be notable for farewells, with the Eagles potentially bidding an unwanted one to Conor Gallagher, while Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba are out of contract at Old Trafford this summer. At Brighton, Mark Noble could make his 550th and final appearance for West Ham.

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