West Ham United will visit Germany to take on Werder Bremen in a unique and prestigious two-legged Betway Cup encounter as part of our pre-season preparations for the 2017/18 Premier League campaign.
Slaven Bilic’s men will face the Bundesliga side in back-to-back matches on July 28 and 29, during a 10-day trip that will form the second of two training camps in Europe this summer, with the first taking place in Austria between July 10-21.
The schedule has been planned to ensure that the pre-season build-up is focused entirely on the fitness and conditioning needs of the playing squad, with minimal travelling time and a consistent programme in place ahead of the big Premier League kick-off on the weekend of August 12.
After arriving in northern Germany on July 24, the squad will train for three days before facing Werder at the Osterwald Stadion in Schneverdingen on July 28. The following day, the two clubs will meet again at the Heinz-Dettmer Stadion in Lohne, with the aggregate score from both matches deciding who takes home the Betway Cup, courtesy of West Ham United’s principal partner.
Playing back-to-back matches in Germany will ensure that the squad can work together at the same level for the vast majority of the time that we are there
Hammers boss Bilic said: "The entire pre-season programme has been carefully planned to make sure we build up the preparation perfectly and reach August 12 in ideal condition. Although we are in Europe, the travelling is not too much, and everything is geared around what is best for the players.
"Playing back-to-back matches in Germany will ensure that the squad can work together at the same level for the vast majority of the time that we are there, and the two training camps will also be important for unity and togetherness.
"We have a number of players returning from injury at the beginning of pre-season and so it is important that our preparation is exactly right to give us the best opportunity of making the strongest possible start to the new season."
Werder, who visited Upton Park two years ago at the start of Bilic’s reign and lifted the Betway Cup thanks to a 2-1 win, finished eighth in the German top flight last season and contain a familiar face in former Chelsea striker Claudio Pizarro.
Die Werderaner are one of Germany’s most famous and historic clubs, having been formed in 1899, won the Bundesliga title four times and lifted the German Cup on six occasions. Like West Ham, they have also lifted the European Cup Winners’ Cup once in their history, back in 1992.
Prior to their visit in 2015, the only previous meeting between the two clubs took place at the Weserstadion in August 1984. The German club ran out 2-1 winners on that occasion, too.
Ticket information for both matches against Bremen will be announced on whufc.com once confirmed, while the later stage of the pre-season schedule will also be finalised soon.
Provisional fixtures for the 2017/18 Premier League season will be revealed on whufc.com at 9am tomorrow.