West Ham boss Slaven Bilic is convinced his side will mark their Olympic Stadium debut by overturning a Europa League third qualifying round deficit against minnows NK Domzale on Thursday.
The Hammers succumbed 2-1 in last week’s first leg in Slovenia although a successfully converted penalty from skipper Mark Noble means West Ham’s task is less arduous than it might have been.
Although the stadium’s official opening as West Ham’s home is not until Sunday’s friendly against Serie A champions Juventus, 54,000 fans are set to witness the start of a new chapter in the club’s history.
“I am confident we are going to play better than what we did in Slovenia and that we will beat them with the result that will see us qualify for the play-off stages,” said Bilic.
“We have to adjust to the new stadium and there is no better way to adjust than to win a game. The wins reduce the time necessary to adjust and hopefully we will start on Thursday.”
Euro 2016 participants Dimitri Payet, James Collins and Angelo Ogbonna will not be considered for selection, while Bilic has confirmed that Manuel Lanzini’s knee injury is set to sideline the midfielder for up to five weeks.
“It’s not a big, big injury, but he can’t play for the next four or five weeks,” added Bilic.
“I think he’s going to miss the first three games of the season, which is not ideal but not that bad. We think he’ll be back after the international break following the Manchester City game.”
The Croatian also said that West Ham are close to signing a new left-back following the knee injury to Aaron Cresswell which left him facing four months out. Bilic said: “We are close to getting one of the new players.”