As winners of the Europa Conference League, UEFA rules mean that West Ham enter next season’s Europa League not only in Pot 1 of the group stage draw but also, as the top seed, with Europa Conference League winners given the top seed automatically, regardless of their UEFA club coefficient rankings.
Of the six teams guaranteed in Pot 1, the Hammers will be avoiding Liverpool, Roma (Italy), Villarreal (Spain), Bayer Leverkusen (Germany) and Atalanta in the competition.’s group stage.
Of the other six teams guaranteed in the 32-team group stages, West Ham can only face five of them, with Brighton being exempt. Sporting CP (Portugal) and Stade Rennais (France) will enter Pot 1 or 2, meaning West Ham could face either if they drop down into Pot 2. Spanish side Real Betis are a potential opponent as they enter the competition’s group stage via either Pot 2 or Pot 3. Brighton (England), Freiburg (Germany) and Toulouse (France) could enter either Pots 2, 3 or 4 at the current stage, guaranteeing West Ham could face the latter two.
The rest of the 20 teams in the competition’s group stage are yet to be determined, with multiple rounds of qualifying to take place at the start of next season. Ajax (Netherlands), Aberdeen (Scotland), Olympiacos (Greece) and Slavia Prague (Czech Republic) are all among those to feature in the qualifying rounds.
In addition to being the top seed of the Europa League next season West Ham finished the season second in the coefficient ranking only between Manchester City, who won the Champions League yesterday. The Hammers were unbeaten in the Europa Conference League with just one draw, and the rest were all wins.
The Hammers were ranked above Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Bayer Munich and Napoli based on the number of wins in European competitions with 29 points this season.
Overall West Ham is ranked 36th over the past two seasons, which isn’t bad as it is based on the past five seasons, three of which we didn’t qualify.