Hammers head for Slovenia

  • Hammers to face NK Domzale in UEFA Europa League third qualifying round
  • Domzale will provide first opposition at London Stadium on Thursday 4 August
  • The Brigands finished third in Slovenian PrvaLiga in 2015/16
West Ham United will face Slovenian side NK Domzale in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.

Slaven Bilic’s squad will travel to Slovenia for the first leg on Thursday 28 July at 8.45pm CEST (7.45pm BST), with the tie being switched to the modern 16,155-capacity Stozice Stadium in the capital city of Ljubljana – ten miles south west of the town Domzale.

The return leg on Thursday 4 August at 7.45pm BST will be the first match at the Hammers’ new London Stadium home on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Click here for second leg ticket details.
NK Domzale are one of Slovenia’s oldest clubs, having been formed as long ago in 1921, when students formed a club called SK Disk, which was expanded and renamed SK Disk Domzale a decade later.

The club moved to its current home at Domzale Sports Park in 1948 and competed with varying success in local Ljubljana and national Yugoslavian competitions.

Slovenia gained independence in 1991 and Domzale was placed in the First League. Initially, the club struggled and was relegated, but regained their top-flight position in 1998. Another relegation followed, with the Second League title secured in 2003.

Since then, the Yellows have enjoyed regular triumphs, winning back-to-back Slovenian titles in 2007 and 2008, the Slovenian Cup in 2011 and Supercup on two occasions.

Domzale finished third in the PrvaLiga League last season and reached the Slovenian Cup semi-finals. They opened the new PrvaLiga season with a 2-0 home win over Radomlje last weekend.

Regular participants in European competition in the last decade, Luka Elsner’s side defeated Andorran side Lusitanos – who West Ham overcame a year ago – with relative ease in the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round before edging out Shakhtyor Soligorsk.

West Ham are embarking on their eighth European campaign and second in succession. The Hammers won the now-defunct European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965 and reached the final of the same competition in 1976.

Bilic’s men played in the Europa League qualifying rounds last season, beating Lusitanos of Andorra and Birkirkara of Malta before losing 4-3 on aggregate to Astra Giurgiu of Romania in the third qualifying round.