Two teams that have just one European trophy each in their histories look to double that haul in the UEFA Europa Conference League final. Find out who’s the favourite with our Fiorentina vs West Ham prediction.
Fiorentina vs West Ham: Quick Stats
- Fiorentina are given a 47.6% chance of winning this Conference League final inside 90 minutes by Opta’s supercomputer.
- West Ham have forced the most high turnovers and attempted the most shots following high turnovers in the Europa Conference League this season.
- La Viola striker Arthur Cabral comes into the final as the tournament’s joint-top scorer.
The second ever UEFA Europa Conference League final takes place in Prague on Wednesday, with Fiorentina looking to keep the trophy in Italian hands.
José Mourinho’s Roma may have been bested in last week’s UEFA Europa League final by Sevilla, but they were the inaugural winners of the Europa Conference League in 2021-22 and Vincenzo Italiano will hope to emulate ‘The Special One’.
West Ham provide the opposition for La Viola, with the London side competing in their first European final since the 1975-76 Cup Winners’ Cup defeat to Anderlecht. The Hammers did win what remains their only European trophy to date in the same competition in 1964-65 when they beat 1860 Munich.
The clash at Fortuna Arena will be the first major European final hosted in Czech Republic, though the same stadium did host the 2013 UEFA Super Cup between Chelsea and Bayern Munich, which the Bundesliga side won on penalties.
Fiorentina also have just one European trophy in their collection; also the now defunct Cup Winners’ Cup and also claimed in the 1960s. They defeated Rangers 4-1 on aggregate in the 1960-61 final. This will be their fifth final of a major European competition, and the first since the 1989-90 UEFA Cup when they lost to Juventus.
With both teams looking for a significant win in their modern history, it could prove to be a tactically fascinating encounter. Italiano has already openly stated his intention to instruct his team to commit tactical fouls in an attempt to stop West Ham’s counter-attacks.
It is understandable that the Fiorentina boss would be concerned. West Ham have forced the most high turnovers (121) and attempted the most shots following high turnovers (26) of any team in the Europa Conference League this season, while also scoring the most goals from fast breaks in the competition (three).
However, David Moyes’ men will need to be mindful of the attacking power of the Serie A side going the other way. Fiorentina have scored 36 goals in 14 games in the Europa Conference League this season (2.6 per game), at least five more than any other team in European competitions, ahead of Manchester City’s 31 goals in 12 games in the UEFA Champions League. They have also attempted the most shots (261) and recorded the most shots on target (94) of any team in European competitions this term.
Both should be able to field strong lineups with no reported injury issues.
West Ham 0-1 Fiorentina: 10 December 1975 (Anglo-Italian League Cup)
These two have only ever met twice, both times in the short-lived Anglo-Italian League Cup in 1975. The competition pitted the winners of either the English League Cup or FA Cup against the winners of the Coppa Italia.
The Anglo-Italian League Cup – not to be confused with the Anglo-Italian Cup – was originally created to compensate Swindon Town after they won the League Cup in 1969, but were not allowed to take part in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup due to being in England’s third tier. It would only run until 1976, but a year prior to that, the competition allowed West Ham and Fiorentina to lock horns.
The first leg in Italy saw Fiorentina win 1-0, with the return leg not taking place until three months later. Walter Speggiorin’s goal before half-time at the Boleyn Ground secured a 2-0 aggregate win for La Viola.
Fiorentina reached the final by beating Swiss side Basel 4-3 on aggregate in the semi-finals. A dramatic second leg went to extra time at St. Jakob-Park, with the Italians winning 3-1 after two goals from Nicolás González.
West Ham beat AZ Alkmaar 3-1 on aggregate in their semi-final, earning a 2-1 victory in the first leg in London before a late Pablo Fornals goal in the second leg sealed their place in Prague.
Fiorentina have won four, drawn one and lost one of their last six games in all competitions, scoring first in five of those matches. They are also not far removed from a fantastic run of form that saw them win 10 games in a row between February and April. They suffered a loss in the final of the Coppa Italia to Champions League finalists Inter Milan, but have beaten Roma and Sassuolo since. In fact, since March, Fiorentina have won the most points in Serie A (28 – W8 D4 L2), finishing the season in eighth place.
Including qualifiers, West Ham are unbeaten in all 14 of their games in the Europa Conference League campaign (W13 D1), scoring at least once in every match (33 in total). The last English side to have a longer unbeaten run in Europe was Chelsea in 2018-2019 (16 games).
Moyes’ side have either won or lost their last 11 games (W6 L5) and ended their Premier League campaign with a 2-1 defeat at relegation-suffering Leicester City, giving them a final league finish of 14th. It means the loser of Wednesday’s final will not be in Europe at all next season.
Fiorentina: Arthur Cabral
Sofyan Amrabat may have made a name for himself at the World Cup with Morocco, but Arthur Cabral has been Fiorentina’s main star in this competition. The Brazilian has seven Europa Conference League goals, tied with Basel’s Zeki Amdouni for the most.
One of the key reasons for his proficiency is likely the fact that Cabral is not the only threat in Fiorentina’s attack, so defences cannot just focus on him. Luka Jović has managed six goals in Europe, while González and Antonín Barák have five each.
There is also plenty of ammunition, with Cristiano Biraghi providing the most assists in the Europa Conference League this season with six. It is the joint-most of any player in European competitions this term along with Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne. Biraghi is the first ever defender on record to provide six assists in a single European season (since 2006-07).
West Ham: Declan Rice
This could be Declan Rice’s last game for West Ham, and what a fitting way it would be to go out if he were to lead them to European glory before making what seems to be an increasingly likely move to Arsenal or Bayern Munich.
Rice has been one of the most consistent performers in the Premier League in recent seasons. He was top of the rankings in England’s top-flight for possession won in 2022-23, and it wasn’t particularly close. Rice won the ball 334 times, 33 more than Man City’s Rodri and 68 more than third placed Idrissa Gueye of Everton.
Rice is also becoming more of a goal threat, with his four Premier League strikes this season his most ever in a league campaign, while he also scored one of the best goals of the Europa Conference League this season when he ran half the length of the pitch before slotting against Gent in the quarter-finals. He could be an outside shout to find the net, though the likes of Michail Antonio, Jarrod Bowen, Lucas Paquetá and Saïd Benrahma will certainly be likelier scorers.
Fiorentina vs West Ham Prediction
The excellent form of La Viola means the Opta supercomputer has them as strong favourites, giving the Italians a 47.6% chance of winning the trophy inside 90 minutes. The Hammers are given a 28.1% chance of doing so.
As with the Europa League final, there is a possibility it could go to extra time, though we think that is just shy of a one-in-four chance with the draw given a 24.3% likelihood.
Fiorentina vs West Ham UECL Squads
Fiorentina: Pietro Terracciano, Michele Cerofolini, Tommaso Martinelli *, Tommaso Vannucchi *, Salvatore Sirigu, Dodô, Cristiano Biraghi, Nikola Milenković, Aleksa Terzić, Luca Ranieri, Lorenzo Venuti, Lucas Martinez Quarta, Costantino Favasuli *, Igor, Giacomo Bonaventura, Riccardo Saponara, Gaetano Castrovilli, Alfred Duncan, Sofyan Amrabat, Rolando Mandragora, Lorenzo Amatucci *, Alessandro Bianco *, Dimo Krastev *, Antonín Barák, Luka Jović, Arthur Cabral, Jonathan Ikoné, Nicolás González, Riccardo Sottil, Filippo Distefano *, Eljon Toci *, Fallou Sene *, Josip Brekalo, Christian Kouamé.
West Ham: Łukasz Fabiański, Alphonse Areola, Krisztián Hegyi *, Joseph Anang, Aaron Cresswell, Kurt Zouma, Vladimír Coufal, Angelo Ogbonna, Thilo Kehrer, Nayef Aguerd, Emerson, Carl Robinson *, Jamal Baptiste *, Levi Laing *, Michael Forbes *, Oliver Scarles *, Kaelan Casey *, Regan Clayton *, Pablo Fornals, Lucas Paquetá, Flynn Downes, Tomáš Souček, Declan Rice, Daniel Chesters *, Keenan Forson *, Archie Woods *, George Earthy *, Lewis Orford *, Freddie Potts *, Ben Johnson, Gianluca Scamacca, Michail Antonio, Manuel Lanzini, Maxwel Cornet, Danny Ings, Jarrod Bowen, Said Benrahma, Armstrong Okoflex, Kamarai Swyer *, Divin Mubama *, Gideon Kodua *.
*Player list B