The Hammers will travel to Austria and Iceland as their pre-season preparations begin ahead of the 2017-18 Premier League campaign
West Ham United have endured a tricky summer in the transfer market, but they have their pre-season plans set in stone as they prepare for the 2017-18 season. The Hammers had hoped to recruit a striker in time for their tour of Austria, having targeted the likes of Olivier Giroud and Kelechi Iheanacho.
No marquee forward has arrived, however, with Pablo Zabaleta the club’s only signing of the close-season thus far; a bid for Stoke City’s Marko Arnautovic has been rejected, but attempts to sign him will continue.
The Hammers have time to procure a new signing before their first fixture of the summer, too, with their first game taking place on July 20.
Perhaps unusually for a Premier League team, the current schedule sees West Ham foregoing a marquee match at the London Stadium, instead taking in every fixture in Austria.
Here is Goal’s complete guide to what awaits the Hammers…
WEST HAM PRE-SEASON FIXTURES
|Jul-20||Fulham||19:00||Sportzentrum Graz-Weinzödl, Austria|
|Jul-28||Werder Bremen||17:30||Schneverdingen, Austria|
|Jul-29||Werder Bremen||14:30||Lohne, Austria|
|Aug-01||Altona 93||17:30||Adolf-Jager-Kampfbahn, Germany|
|Aug-04||Manchester City||15:00||Laugardalsvöllur, Iceland|
First up for the Hammers is a London derby against Championship side Fulham, who narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier League last season.
The two teams will square off in the somewhat unfamiliar surroundings of Sportzentrum Graz-Weinzödl, a small stadium which holds only 2,500 spectators.
West Ham will then have their first chance to get acquainted with Werder Bremen, whom they play twice in two days.
Slaven Bilic’s men will take on the Bundesliga side first on Friday 28 July and then again under 24 hours later in the Betway Cup. The aggregate score of the two encounters will decide the winner of the trophy, provided by the Hammers’ sponsor.
Fourth-tier Altona 93 – one of the oldest clubs in Germany – will be their next opposition, prior to a marquee encounter with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in Iceland. The match against City will also mark the first meeting between two English sides in the country.
WHEN DOES THE SEASON START?
West Ham’s historic fixture against City comes eight days before the start of their Premier League season, with Bilic’s men kicking off their domestic campaign against Manchester United on August 12.
And the former Croatia manager believes that the marquee friendly will whip his side into shape in time for the meeting with Jose Mourinho’s men.
“Iceland captured the imagination of everyone with their fantastic performance at the European Championships last year and, although the country is small in population, they have a huge love for football,” he told the club’s official website.
“It is also the perfect fixture for City and ourselves, because we have great respect for each other and will both be looking for the same positives from the game, in terms of fitness and preparation for the start of the Premier League season a week later.”
After United, West Ham face another two away games, against Southampton and Newcastle, meaning fans will have to wait until September, when they face Huddersfield Town, to see the Hammers in action at London Stadium.