West Ham have London rivals to thank after being named top seed for Europa League qualifiers

West Ham United have the likes of fierce rivals Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal to thank for being named top seeds for Europa League qualification.

Despite finishing the season in a disappointing 12th place, the Hammers secured European football for their final season at the Boleyn Ground via the FIFA Fair Play standings.

It means the 2015/16 campaign will start over a month earlier than normal on July 2 with the draw for the first qualifying round due to be made on June 22.

The last time the East Londoners had the chance to make it into Europe they were unceremoniously beaten 4-0 on aggregate by Serie A side Palermo.

But fears the managerless side could meet similar tough opposition this time around have been allayed after they were seeded top of 104 teams in the Europa League first round based on their UEFA coefficient score.

The coefficient rankings are compiled off the back of results of clubs in the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League over the previous five seasons.

With West Ham not having any European excursions to speak off since that ill-fated encounter with their Italian conquerers back in 2007, it was thanks to the success of other Premier League clubs in the Europa and Champions League which put the Hammers top of the pile.

So thanks to the consistent performances of the likes of fellow London sides Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal in Europe over the last five years the Hammers actually have more chance of making it through to the competition proper.

If they are to qualify for the group stages, West Ham will need to win no fewer than four two-legged ties. To win the trophy, the side will have to play 23 matches in Europe.

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