West Ham host Danish Superliga outfit Viborg FF in the first of leg of their Europa Conference League play-off on Thursday night.

After last season’s magical run to the Europa League semi-finals, the Hammers will of course be desperate to replicate many of the great memories they enjoyed along the way.

But first, a little-known club from Denmark stands in David Moyes’ way of a second consecutive campaign in European competition proper. But, who exactly are Viborg?

Pronounced Vee-Borg, they were founded in 1896 and have won just one major trophy in their 126-year history, which was the Danish Cup in 2000.

Last season was their first back in Denmark’s top-tier since 2017, managing to finish 7th. Their place in this season’s Europa Conference League this season came via a penalty shoot-out win over Aalborg BK in a European play-off, which is a game played between the winners of the ‘Relegation Round’ and the 5th placed team in the ‘Championship Round.’

So while Viborg are one of the oldest clubs in Denmark, they are by no means the most successful, nor are they anywhere near the size of the likes of Copenhagen, Brondby and Midtjylland, all of whom were founded many decades after the The Greens.

What can West Ham expect from Viborg over the next week, then? Well, Danish Football expert, Henry Nicholls from Football In Denmark, spoke to the We Are West Ham Podcast this week to give more insight and background into the Hammers’ upcoming opponents, and it’s fair to say there is a huge gulf between the two sides.

He said: “Firstly, I think the Conference League gets short shrift from Premier League fans but I think, throwing up storylines like this is exactly why it’s such a great competition and why I enjoyed it so much last season.

“Viborg is a city with only a population of about 40,000 and they’re one of the oldest teams in Denmark, they’ve been around since the late 1800’s. So given a team like FC Copenhagen, for example, that you’re probably more familiar with, they only came to existence in 1992. So I think that tells you that this is a very old-school team.

“This is really only their second time ever playing in Europe and they were just promoted to the Superliga, which is the Danish equivalent to the Premier League, last season. They really took the league by storm and they would’ve been the story of the season if wasn’t for the fact the other promoted team actually finished 3rd [Viborg finished 7th].

“So this is a real David versus Goliath clash, I think the bookies have Viborg at about 9% to win on Thursday, so it’s going to be a huge upset if they can pull something off.

“But last season they were really a breath of fresh air and by the end of it, they were deserving of their place [in the Conference League] by winning the play-off in the fashion that they did, and with a squad value of €8m, according to Transfermarkt.

“By comparison, West Ham’s squad value is €362m, so you can get an idea of the size of the gap between the two teams.”

Many West Ham fans will be looking at this fixture and seeing it as a formality, but remember how poor we tend to be against lower-ranked opposition?

We barely made it past Kidderminster Harriers in the FA Cup last season, while no one can forget two consecutive Europa League qualifier exits at the hands of Astra Giurgiu, who are now playing in the third tier of Romanian football.