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Europa Conference League final: Everything you need to know as West Ham play Fiorentina

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Europa Conference League final: Everything you need to know as West Ham play Fiorentina
Date: Wednesday, 7 June Venue: Fortuna Arena, Prague, Czech Republic Kick-off: 20:00 BST Coverage: Listen live on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sport website; follow live text on BBC Sport website.

West Ham United play Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final on Wednesday (20:00 BST kick-off), with the Hammers looking to secure a first major trophy for 43 years.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be in the final,” said Hammers boss David Moyes. “It’s a big achievement for the club, but now it’s about going and winning it.”

West Ham have not won a major European trophy since defeating 1860 Munich in the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup at Wembley in 1965. Their last major domestic trophy was the 1980 FA Cup.

The Europa Conference League is in its second season and is a third tier European club football competition after the Champions League and Europa League.

Roma won the inaugural Europa Conference League final after defeating Feyenoord.

Why such a small venue?

Uefa chose Prague as a venue before last season’s competition actually started.

But the tournament has proved popular with clubs from bigger countries, with Leicester City, Roma, Marseille and Feyenoord reaching the semi-finals last season.

Uefa have already decided to increase the minimum final capacity to 30,000 from next season.

But for this one, it is too late.

Chelsea lost on penalties to Bayern Munich in the 2013 Uefa Super Cup at the Fortuna Arena in Prague

What’s at stake?

West Ham finished 14th in the Premier League table, six points above the relegation zone, but will secure a third successive season in Europe if they defeat their Italian opponents.

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That is because the winners of the Europa Conference League will qualify for the group stage of the 2023-24 Europa League.

West Ham, if successful, will join fellow Premier League clubs Liverpool and Brighton in next season’s competition.

It will mean eight English clubs will compete in Europe next season: Manchester City (Champions League group), Arsenal (Champions League), Manchester United (Champions League), Newcastle United (Champions League), Liverpool (Europa League), Brighton (Europa League), Aston Villa (Europa Conference League play-off round).

Watch and listen – how to follow

BBC Radio 5 Live will have full commentary of Wednesday’s final, while the BBC Sport website will have live text, analysis and reaction.

BT Sport is making the Europa Conference League final available for everyone in the UKexternal-link to watch whether on TV, online or on mobile. It is doing the same for Saturday’s Champions League final between Manchester City and Inter Milan (20:00 BST).

‘It feels special, it feels big’

This is West Ham’s 15th European game of the season after starting the Europa Conference League campaign in the play-off round on 18 August.

Moyes’ side have played in Denmark (twice), Belgium (twice), Romania, Cyprus and the Netherlands.

“I don’t know if we’ll ever get a statue [if West Ham win] but I do believe that the players have got a good opportunity to be remembered by everybody at this club,” added Moyes.

“It feels special.”

The Europa Conference League trophy on display in Prague
Roma won the inaugural Europa Conference League trophy last season, but who will get their hands on it on Wednesday?

‘We have a mission to complete’

Fiorentina finished eighth in this season’s Serie A and have not won a major European title since the 1960-61 European Cup Winners’ Cup.

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The Viola have lost three times in this season’s competition but Vincenzo Italiano’s side have still made it through to face West Ham.

“It is my first season in Europe and reaching the final is a great satisfaction,” said Italiano. “This path to the final will always remain with us but now we have a mission to complete.”

It is Fiorentina’s second final of the season after finishing runners-up to Inter Milan in the Coppa Italia.

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