Belfast Telegraph

West Ham forced to rearrange first home fixture

West Ham face the possibility of having to play their first three matches of the season away from home.

The club have confirmed their second fixture, scheduled to be at home to Southampton, will have to be rearranged due to the World Athletics Championships being held at the London Stadium.

The event takes place between August 5 and 13, so the stadium will not be back in 'football mode' in time for the Saints game on August 19.

The fixture could be reversed, meaning the Hammers would face three games on the road.

The club said: "Our opening fixtures in August will be played away from home as London Stadium welcomes the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships for a once-in-a-generation occasion.

"Supporters are therefore advised that our second fixture of the campaign, against Southampton, will be rescheduled, with further details to follow."

West Ham's first match, on Saturday August 12, is away to Manchester United and the third, on Saturday 26, is a trip to Newcastle.

Their first home fixture will therefore be the visit of newly-promoted Huddersfield on Saturday September 9.

It has also been announced the Hammers will play Manchester City in a pre-season friendly in Iceland on August 4.

The match, to be played at the Laugardalsvöllur Arena in Reykjavik, could see summer signing Pablo Zabaleta face the club he left at the end of last season.

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